Address by the National Chairman (APM)
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS
INTER PARTY ADVISORY COUNCIL (IPAC)
ADDRESS BY THE INTER PARTY ADVISORY COUNCIL (IPAC) NATIONAL SECRETARY, ALHAJI YUSUF MAMMAN DANTALLE AT MEETING WITH A DELEGATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ELECTORAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT MISSION (NAM) AT THE COUNCIL’S HEADQUARTERS ABUJA ON TUESDAY 12TH APRIL 2022
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) headquarters in continuation of your meeting with stakeholders in the democratic process ahead of the 2023 general election in Nigeria. Free, fair, credible, transparent, inclusive, peaceful and acceptable election is the beauty and bedrock of democracy.
The forthcoming general election is critical for the sustainable democracy in Nigeria. We are pleased that a delegation of the United Nations Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) led by Mr Serge Gakwandi Kubwimana is in Nigeria to have an on the spot assessment of our preparation for this critical general election. The success of the elections will be a defining moment for our fellow compatriots who desire and yearn for transformational, visionary, progressive, purposeful and resourceful leaders who will restore Nigeria as the great arsenal of democracy in Africa.
As the umbrella body of the 18 registered political parties in Nigeria, IPAC played a major role to ensure the 2022 Electoral Act amendment bill that would provide the legal framework for the general election was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. It added value to the electoral process with the adoption of an improved technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and uploading of election results in the INEC’s Result Viewing portal (IReV) when voting ends and votes are counted at polling units in election day among others.
Council will continue to engage stakeholders particularly the National Assembly for further reform of the electoral process including the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) as Nigerians have lost confidence in their ability to conduct free, fair, credible and inclusive elections at the grassroots level. Polls conducted by various SIECs in the country are mere charades with predetermined outcomes that make mockery of our democratic encounter. Accordingly, IPAC will boycott these electoral jamborees by State Governments in power which have impeded the nation’s democratic advancement at the grassroots, and demands that their functions be carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In view of this, IPAC supports Local Government autonomy as the third tier of government closest to the people.
To sustain the gains of the recent electoral reforms, IPAC will need the assistance of the UN Electoral Needs Assistance Mission in capacity building of political party leaders to equip us for transformational leadership and enhance parties’ internal recruitment process which will produce credible leaders with the people’s mandate to govern.
To ensure active participation of the populace in the forthcoming elections, IPAC will embark on massive sensitization, advocacy, enlightenment and mobilization of the electorate at grassroots level across the country. This will require intensive publicity which includes adverts on radio, television, newspapers and printing of fliers that will also be translated into various local languages to educate the masses on the need to actively participate in the elections and the danger of vote buying and selling that will mortgage their destinies if wrong people are voted into offices.
Council will continue to engage leaders of political parties on the need for inclusive and participatory democracy by drastically reducing the cost of expression of interest and nomination fees for aspirants contesting various elective positions. A political party’s ticket should not be exclysively for the highest bidder.
IPAC will also want the nation’s development partners to assist in the establishment of its African Democratic Institute (ADI) with the vision of creating a centre for training of politicians and administrative support structures of political parties.
Security challenge in the country is a cause of concern to patriotic Nigerians. It will be an uphill task to conduct elections in areas affected by terrorism, insurgency and banditry. The nation will need assistance to crush all forms of terrorism and make Nigeria safe for both citizens and foreigners.
Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. We need assistance of all lovers of representative governance to sustain it.
We appreciate your visit and wish you a fruitful stay in Nigeria
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Alhaji Yusuf Mamman Dantalle
National Secretary, IPAC