The outgoing chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has lamented the lack of internal party democracy in Nigeria.
He stated that the trend, which encourages substitutions of candidates after primaries by political parties, created an enormous burden for the commission during the just concluded 2015 general elections.
Jega, who spoke in Abuja during a stakeholders’ conference on 2015 elections, disclosed that last-minute substitution of candidates by parties was concerning to the commission.
Vanguard reports that Jega, who was represented by a commissioner at the INEC, Mohammed Kuna, told participants at the conference to proffer solutions on how to entrench internal democracy in political parties in the country revealing that the party structure in many West African countries are firmer than what is obtainable in Nigeria.
“In the commission, we are worried about internal democracy in political parties. We have seen cases of substitution of candidates after the primaries. It is a serious problem for INEC. We had several cases in 2011 and the same thing happened in 2015.
“I think it is important that we look into it. If you look at political parties across West Africa, the party structures in many countries is better than what we have in Nigeria. We will share our experiences with other participants here in order to deepen democracy,” he said.