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Political parties call for return of govt’s funding

05 December 2012, 16:01

Abuja – Some parties’ chieftains have stressed the need for the Federal Government to resume funding of the registered political parties in the country.

The chieftains, who made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the existing political parties were not sufficiently solvent to be denied grants from the government.

One of the respondents, the National Auditor of PDP, Chief Bode Mustapha, said that political parties were facing challenges in keeping afloat without regular financial support from government.

He said that membership registration by the political parties did not attract special revenue for the running of their secretariats and other activities.

“Party funding is a very challenging issue in the sense that there are parties and there are parties; there is PDP that has 23 states, over 60 to 65 per cent of the National Assembly.

“There are parties that have no members in National Assembly, no single state legislator.

“There are some that have only two legislators and when you look at funding, we are not yet at a level where members of political parties pay subscriptions to join them, let’s face the reality,’’ he said.

“For now, government should fund the parties in line with  the level of their representations and also proscribe all the parties that had not won any elections.

In his contributions, retired Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi, the National Chairman of Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP), said that the National Assembly barred INEC from funding political parties.

He said that it was a bad idea and unacceptable to many political parties because some were not functioning.

Magashi said that if Nigerians were to run a two-party system, then the funding of the parties would not be necessary.

“If government wants to develop democracy with the intention of developing minor political parties and nurturing them to respond to emerging challenges, then government’s funding is essential.

Also speaking, Alhaji Tijani Tumsha, the National Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) said that most of the political parties were not thriving because they were financially handicapped.

He said that government could still provide grants to the party as “this is crucial to democracy’’.

NAN

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