By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
The National Institute for Legislative Studies( NILS) has proposed Crowdfunding as a mechanism to reduce the influence of money-bags and god-fatherism in Nigerian politics and the restoration of citizen’s confidence on political parties through people-centered manifestoes and programmes.
The chairman, Steering Committee on National Institute for Legislative Studies’ Engagement with Critical Political Stakeholders in Nigeria’s Democracy and Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Hon Aminu Shagari, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the leadership of Nigeria’s opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
According to a statement by NILS Communication Adviser,Nwajei Kanayo, the meeting which was on the heels of earlier and similar meetings across party lines; including the Labour Party and KOWA Party, signified a concerted commitment to national aspirations.
He said this is coming against the background of NILS’ expanded mandate, and the establishment of the department of Democratic Studies. The objective is to facilitate training courses on democracy, political culture and development.
It would be recalled that the Leadership of the National Assembly had in May, this year endorsed this collaborative initiative between the International Republican Institute, IRI, U.S.A and the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) to chart a new course that would deepen the countries democracy.
Responding at the meeting, the National Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Sen. Ahmed Makarifi described the initiative as a positive and welcome development for the growth of Nigeria’s democracy.
While expressing the PDP’s readiness to partner with NILS, Makarifi noted that, “field and practical experience in politics, must be integral and an essential ingredient in developing the modules for human capital development among political parties.”
He also called on the National Assembly to initiate reforms towards changing the voting pattern on the floor of the Chambers. “Our voting pattern on the floor must be very democratic rather than the “nays and the ayes”.
He observed that these have a telling effect on the outcome of our democracy. He stated that the success of a legislator is not so much on the number of the Bills he has sponsored, but the quality and impact of Bills on the overall wellbeing of the citizens and governance” he argued.
The Steering Committee had in attendance, some members, including Prof Ahmed Alkali of the National Open University of Nigeria, the Director General, NILS, Prof Ladi Hamalai, MFR, Barr. Hauwa Shekarau and top management of NILS.
The IRI/NILS intervention is part of efforts of the leadership of the National Assembly, to create avenues for interface, promote communication, reinforce democratic cohesion, close the gap and engender collaboration among political party stalwarts and between political parties.
IRI has been at the forefront, promoting and helping emerging democracies to learn best practices, address deficiencies and gaps in democracies and become more efficient.