By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The need to reform Political parties in the country in order to achieve credibility and accountability for good governance has been emphasized by a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Prof. Stephen Monday Omodia.
Prof. Stephen Monday Omodia, of Edo University Iyamho (EUI) made the call while delivering the 1st Inaugural lecture series of the institution titled: “Bourgeoisification of the Nigerian Political Process and the Search for Good Governance”.
He said the call for reform of political parties in the country has become imperative, adding that political parties are characterised by ethnicisation, weak organisation network and poor democratic culture.
“If good governance is to be established and enhanced in Nigetia political process, political elite recruitment must be reformed in such a way that enables for credibility, accountability and for people centred governance”.
“In order for political process to be transparent and credible, of course they know they have to reform the process of throwing-up candidates to make sure that the best and most appealing emerges”.
According to him, “For Nigeria electoral body, the reform should focus on financial and administrative aspects”. “The financial aspect should be designed to make the body more financially autonomous through funding from consolidated revenue fund.
“The administrative should border on the appointment of the chairman of the body, I’m of the conviction that the position should be advertised,” he said.
Omodia said, “the political process in the country is improving, but good goveranance is still very far from the people and the culture.
“Political parties are expected to be well structured to provide political mobilisation, education as well as aggregative functions, especially in a liberal democracy.
“The import of political parties to democratic governance could be best understood in their functional attributes in democratic system which includes political elite recruitment and political education and communication function.
“In order to have enduring and mature democratic process, there is need for electoral body to instil confidence in electoral system and provide a level playing ground for stakholders.
“This can be best achieved through reforms that are anchored on identifying the challenges of the present system and offering functional and pratical solutions towards salvaging the identified challenges,” he said.
The deputy vice chancellor, said there is wide gap between the rich and the poor in terms of what they represent, their goals and aspirations.
According to him, the focus of the rich is on how to get richer, how to buy private jets while that of the poor is on how efficient public transportation system could be provided by government as regards governance.
In conclusion, he said that the Bourgeosification of the Nigerian political process has manifested political behaviour which negate political equality, effective discharge of institutional functions, optimal and functional political participation on the part of the citizenry as well as fairness in the electoral process.
Welcoming guests to the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Engr. Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor reiterated that Edo university Iyamho is fully owned by Edo state government having been established by an enactment of Edo State House of Assembly as Edo University Iyamho (amendment law No. 3, 2016.
Prof. Aluyor further stated that Edo University Iyamho is fast becoming a household name in Nigeria and beyond having achieved several milestones within the less than four years of its existence.
He said that all the programmes offered in the university are approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) while the various departments that have been accredited by the NUC earned full accreditation status which usually with a 90 percent score or above adding that the expectation of the university is that programmes due for accreditation must earn 90 percent and above.
According to him, different professionals bodies such as Council of Regulation for Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Council for legal education, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), and Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria etc have approved its courses for the university, saying that COREN has chosen the university as one of her pilot institutions for the introduction of Outcome Based Education (OBE) in engineering in Nigeria.