Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has said abuse of funds by party leaders led to the withdrawal of Federal Government subventions to political parties.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, on Sunday, Ekweremadu said this while hosting the members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria who visited him.
He said, “Giving subvention to political parties was the case in the past but we had to amend the constitution to remove that; the reason being that it was thoroughly abused by some people. They will register a political party and wait for election; government gives them subvention, then they will put it in their pockets and make no efforts to win. To them, political parties are platforms for making cool money from the government.”
He said parties should be allocated seats in the legislature based on the number of votes they gathered.
“When this is done, instead of first-past-the-post system where a party that polls the highest number of votes even by a single vote takes the parliamentary seat, while the other parties go home empty-handed no matter how well they performed, parties will now be allocated parliamentary seats based on the percentage of the total votes they garnered in an election.
“That way, smaller parties will be accommodated in the parliament. They will know that they will not go empty-handed if they work hard,” Ekweremadu added.
He added, “For instance, we have gone to the judiciary; we have gone to the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, asking them to express their views. We got a lot of responses. So, we are going ahead, and your visit today will help to shape the final document, which we will present to the Senate.”