‘Multi-party system is best for Nigeria’
The emergence of more political parties in the country would help bring sanity in the polity and curb the excesses of politicians, especially those in the ruling party who believe that without their party there is no Nigeria or no other person can rule the country.
This was the stand of Barr. Bisi Ade- Ademuwagun, who was commenting on the move by some governors to float a political party, the coming of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, as a political party and the present crises threatening the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Ademuwagun, who was the former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja Branch said in an exclusive interview with the Hallmark that the recent political development in the country would leave Nigerians with options when they are voting and it will no longer be ‘’without our party no other political party’’.
He said that before the latest development, people believed that the elections in 2015 would be keenly contested between the PDP and the APC, adding that the situation has changed. He said if the governors and the PDM could sail through with the registration of their political parties then the contest would be between at least three strong political parties in the country. He argued that under the constitution the registration of new political party is legal because there is room for the freedom of association, saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will have no choice at the end of the day than to register the new political parties. He pointed out that whoever is going against the registration of the political parties is breaching the law.
According to him, ‘’even if it is the association of a family that wants to transform into a political party as long as they fulfil the constitutional requirements, INEC would have no option than to register them’’ . He said that whether we like it or not, some political parties would die naturally or fuse into other political parties, if they found out that they cannot survive. Ademuwagun also cautioned some of the people in the Presidency over their utterances, saying that the utterances of some of the presidential aides have been heating up the polity rather than helping out.
On the recent move by the five Northern Governors to canvass for peace and to mediate in the political crisis in the country especially in the PDP, the legal luminary pointed out that as far as he was concerned, the move by the Governors was a welcome development. Ademuwagun also warned that the North should not see the issue of the presidency as a do or die affairs.
He said despite the fact that they are entitled to their own opinions, they must be mindful of what they say in order not to contravene the law or say what would incite the people against the government of the day. He believes that no particular section of the country has the monopoly of governance, saying that it is the electorate that would determine who governs, whether from the North or the South. To me, the North should allow the people of this country to decide who rules them irrespective of where that person comes from”.
“What the political parties should do is to elect credible candidates in their primaries. If they do so whether the person comes from the North or the South it will make no difference. But the problem the political parties have is that they are not always transparent in the election or selection of their candidates. The ordinary Nigerian do not care about tribe or where you come from what we need is transparency in governance and provision of good roads, water, electricity and other amenities that would make them happy, he stressed.
Talking on the child marriage law, he said it should be looked at from two ways, the moral and legal angle. On the moral aspects, he posited that it is not right for a man to defile a 13-year old child because at that age she cannot decide for herself that she wants to get married. So it is not morally right to send such a girl at that tender age for marriage, it is share wickedness to do that. “On the legal aspect, a girl of 13 is presumed to still be a minor and she cannot as well make a decision and under the law as a minor is protected. The law protects her on sexual assaults. What the law says is that a married person is deemed to be an adult so if a 13 or 12 year old girl gets married she is not yet an adult and that contravenes the law. Such a law should be abrogated it is not welcome and it must be amended to be in conformity with the child rights act”.