The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has urged political parties to make spirited efforts to strengthen democracy internally.
The Lagos State Secretary of CNPP, Mr Olumide Oguntoyinbo, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Friday.
He said partiesâ€™ internal democracy is central to the development of the country â€˜s democratic culture and the delivery of good governance.
Oguntoyinbo urged parties to avoid imposition of candidates and ensure primaries are free and fair as they prepare for the 2019 general elections.
â€œOne of the major problems of the country â€˜s democracy is lack of internal democracy in political parties.
â€œThe knack of some political parties to impose candidates rather conduct free and fair primaries for elections not only promotes violence but bad governance.
â€œIt is high time our democracy outgrew the retrogressive culture of imposition of candidates against the wishes of the people in our parties.
â€œAs parties prepare for the 2019 elections, we advise that they should shun candidates imposition by conducting unrestricted primaries and ensuring only the best emerge.
â€œIt is by so doing that we can prevent violence before, during and after the election, grow our democracy and promote good governance,â€� he said.
The CNPP secretary also urged the electorate to play their part in growing the nationâ€™s democracy by voting credible candidates in 2019.
He urged citizens not to sell their votes for money or allow themselves to be used as tools of violence by bad politicians.
Oguntoyinbo advised Nigerians who have yet to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards to do so to enable them decide their leaders.
â€œYour vote is your power. You can only exercise the power and decide your leaders with your PVC.
â€œWe urge all those who are eligible to vote but do not have PVC yet to do so.
â€œPeople who do not vote should not complain about bad leaders,â€� he said.
According to him, the CNPP is open to partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders to ensure peaceful conduct of 2019 elections.
Oguntoyinbo said the zonal congress of South West of CNPP would hold in February, at which a new executive team would be elected.
He said 24 candidates would be contesting for the different positions at the congress.
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