Ex-Kwara APC guber aspirant backs abolition of multi-party system
A former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, has thrown his weight behind the proponents of abrogation of multi-party system in the country.
He said Nigeria would have to undertake a referendum after the 2019 general elections fallout of which a criteria would be set to determine how many parties were suitable for the nation's political process.
Mustapha disclosed this in Ilorin yesterday against the backdrop of 91 political parties on the register of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The names of the parties featured prominently on the ballot papers used in the first round of the general elections, which held last Saturday.
Mustapha, a former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) noted that he was not oblivious of the nation's constitution, which allows freedom of assembly and association but a time has come to prune the numbers of political parties.
He pointed out that multi-party system was too expensive for Nigeria to operate, adding that it usually put needless pressure on the electoral commission.
"From the constitution we operate, it says freedom of assembly and association. In other parts of the world, they have a lot of parties. But you will only hear the two dominant parties.
"Like the INEC Chairman said, after this general election, we must all come back and see down to discuss how we want to run election in this country. If we want to narrow it down to two parties, which sometimes, is like you are tele-guiding everybody's fate to either here or you are there.
"I think there are measures and criteria that can be set that will reduce the unwanted parties that are just there for the sake of we want to make noise and we want to be noticed.
"I think after this election, I also want to agree that we might need a kind of roundtable discussion to fashion out and see how we can make a process and the atmosphere of the political engagement much more easier and better.
"There are so many measures that we can use to prune down this humongous system of multi-party democracy we want to run. For instance, if you say a party that wants to be taken serious, must as first of all, have won some numbers of local government seats. So, there are so many areas that we can look at and try and see how we can prune down this system", Mustapha said.
He acknowledged that the nation's political maturity was gaining momentum with gradual departure from the old order.
"It is growing, and for me, it is work in progress. What happened in 2015, is not what is happening today so also in 2011. So, I think we are growing. It might not be at a very fast pace but I must appreciate the electorate because for those of us who have been in it for sometime, we have seen different election processes and we have seen a lot of departures from the past.
"Sometime ago, nobody thought of card reader, but today we are using card reader. I think with time and enlightenment, we will get there", the APC chieftain maintained.