Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC),on Wednesday unveiled the Code of Conduct binding all political parties to enhance the 11 of women, youths and Persons Living With Disabilities(PLWD) in politics.
The IPAC National Chairman, Mr Peter Ameh said this at the signing ceremony and launch of IPAC’s Code of Conduct organised in partnership with the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja.
Ameh said that the review of the 2018 revised code of conduct for registered parties was due to some lapses noticed which should be given priority to meet global best practices.
He said that some of the new inclusions were the introduction of an Audit control unit, the need to deepen women participation and youth participation with a focal point advisor for the council and PWD .
“Others are voter education directorate, the establishment of IPAC institute is very important for us to take the front role seat in all National matters and shape opinions going forward.
“We are the most important stakeholders in the political design of this country so we must take our place in our society and create awareness for aspects of our political arrangements which are flawed.
“We introduced additional portfolios so we have executives to deal with salient issues such as the inclusion of women ,youths and PWD in our political make-up.
“Executives who would pursue programs which would help us set the pace for whatever government is in power to follow,’’ he said.
Ameh said that as political parties, it was important to set out the rules clearly so that in the future after the present executives were long gone Nigeria would still have a coordinated IPAC.
Dr Emeka Okengwu, National Chairman, Code of Conduct Review Committee said that IPAC, had put in place a proper system to enforce the code of conduct.
Okengwu said that the code of code would take serious the issue of women especially with the 35 per cent affirmative action listed in the document .
He said that the document provided for a new national gender policy adviser and a director of people living with disabilities at IPAC.
He said “There are sanctions, warnings and we have a standing disciplinary committee to handle that and there will also be interrogations ,so we are taking it seriously .
“So we have a document that does not just bind us as party functionaries but ties our political parties and members to the demands of multi-party democracy while strengthening elections.’’
Okengwu said that hence forth, nobody would have the right to make pronouncement or proclamations on behalf of IPAC adopting a political candidate because IPAC was not partisan.
He added that the step would help to curb thugery and the roughness tlusually associated with politics.
Mrs Esther Uzoma, Alternate Chair Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, commended IPAC for drafting the code of conduct to capture the present realities.
Uzoma said that the code was very important in order to enhance orderliness among political parties and their activities.
“It is our belief that a strengthened IPAC is a strengthened democracy, we are not unmindful of the huge responsibility that rests on the shoulders of political parties.
“IPAC is the foundation of our elections so the code if followed, would go a long way to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral process and democracy.’’
Also, Prof. Anthonia Simbine, National Commissioner ,Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that the validation of the latest version of IPAC code of conduct was a step in the right direction towards political parties’ internal democracy.
Simbine said that the code marked another milestone in the development and consolidation of IPAC since it was established, adding that the commission would study and review it .
She said that there were new improvements on the IPAC operations that would go a long way in strengthening their actives especially with regards to elections and ensure democratic sustainance .
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede
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