The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has challenged political parties to be more transparent in their funding and expenditure.
Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking at a two-day capacity workshop for Legal Advisers, Organising Secretaries and Treasurers of political parties.
Represented by National Commissioner and Chairman Elections and Party Monitoring Committee Antonia Simbine, Yakubu emphasised that parties need to pay attention to lack of internal democracy in terms of electing parties’ executives, its process of selecting candidates for office, formulating policies and making decisions.
He said “Part of it is insufficient inclusivity in terms of absence of deliberate policies to promote participation of key social groups, including women, youths and people living with disabilities.
“Lack of transparency in the funding and expenditures of political parties and campaign expenses, absence of formal internal mechanisms for mediation and dispute resolution are also involved.
“It includes limited and deliberate compliance with relevant provision of party constitutions, the Electoral Act and other regulations guiding political party activities,’’ he said.
Yakubu noted that the essence of the workshop was to promote understanding and compliance of parties with campaign finance rules and regulations.
He therefore charged the national officers of political parties to be committed to implementing the lessons of the workshop in running the affairs of their parties in order to strengthen the country’s democracy.
On his part, the Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, Samuel Bwalya, said the body remains committed to supporting lNEC and the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in further enriching the capacities of political parties.
Bwalya, who was represented by UNDP Team Leader, Governance and Peace-Building, Kehinde Bolaji, described political parties as keystone of democratic governance.
The IPAC National Chairman, Mohammadu Nalado, said the workshop would help to enhance party administration, management and fund-raising for campaign.
Represented by IPAC Deputy National Chairman, Onwubuya Breakforth, Nalado stated that the workshop would help to reduce litigations after elections, especially the forthcoming Anambra governorship and the 2019 general elections.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja