Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Ghali Umar Na’aba, has warned that the absence of internal democracy in the political parties in the country poses a big threat to the survival of democracy.
Noting that the destruction of internal democratic ideals in the parties is a pointer that Nigeria’s democracy is still fragile and is heading for the doom.
Na’aba spoke at the launch of a book entitled: “Of Rust and Gold (Snippets of History)”, written by a former member of the House of Representatives, Femi Kehinde, held at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, on Wednesday.
He said: “It will be a curse for me if I leave this venue without addressing the issue of internal democracy within our political parties. I have been speaking on this everywhere I have the opportunity to do so, because this is an issue that affects not only politicians but all Nigerians.
“The time has come for us to recognise the importance of participating in the politics of the country. This is because if we must all accept democracy as a way of life, we must be familiar with what is going on. Noting that the essence of democracy is to have good leaders and good governance for the economic, social and political development of our country, the former Speaker maintained that the obliteration of internal democracy within the political parties has caused so much damage to the polity.
“Let me assure you that unless all of us confront this serious infraction on our democracy, our nation will continue to suffer. It does not matter if we as individuals are rich or not, but as long as members of our communities and societies are not allowed to become what they want to be through their God given endowments, this country is doomed.”
Expressing the importance of participatory governance, Na’aba affirmed that it would be dangerous for competent Nigerians to be passive towards the nation’s politics. Such attitude, he warned, would lead to a situation whereby they would be ruled by ‘fools’ in the society.
The chief launcher on the occasion, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, reiterated the importance of history, commending the author of the book, saying: “We must recognise history if we want to be remembered in the future.”
Dignitaries that attended the book launch included the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Senator Lekan Balogun; former Nigerian Ambassador to Philippines, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi; a retired Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Revd Ayo Ladigbolu; former Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor Senator Abiola Ajimobi on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, who reviewed the book; former deputy governor of Ogun State, Mr. Segun Adesegun and Justice Ladiran Akintola, among others.