NASS Should Revisit Funding Of Political Parties -Falade | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NASS Should Revisit Funding Of Political Parties -Falade

Dare Falade 2
Posted: May 1, 2016 at 3:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hon. Dare Falade, the national chairman of the Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), does not hide his view that the Federal Government should fund political parties for those not in power to effectively play the role of opposition. In this interview with EJIKEME OMENAZU, he also spoke on the planned National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and how his party is preparing for the coming local government election in Lagos.

How do you see the current silence of the opposition? Do you think it is due to the fear of probes by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration?

The opposition is silent, not because of the fear of probes, but due to lack of stamina. The opposition is not only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It has been my view that political parties should be funded by the government as was the practice in the past. If political parties are not funded, the voice of the silent majority and the voice of the voiceless will not be heard. Politics is an act and science of the mouth speaking out the truth that can bring about deserved development and the yearnings of the masses. What can parties do without money? They need money to pay for and establish offices in parts of the country as well as equip their national secretariats. It is only the government parties that are funded with security votes that can do all these. It is only the government parties that are funded by government’s contactors that can do all these. It is only the government parties that can really speak. It was the PDP government that silenced the opposition when the y passed the law abolishing government funding of the opposition. I am therefore calling on the National Assembly to revisit this issue of funding of political parties by reviewing this law. So, I will not agree the opposition parties are silent because of the fear of probes.

How do you see the PDP’s current rebuilding effort? Do you see it capable of coming back to win the 2019 general elections?

I cannot speak for PDP. I can only address the issue of political movements. PDP has its internal problems, like any other party. But, they have the capacity to re-engineer and reposition. They have the advantage of having ruled the country for 16 years. They are suffering the effects of not allowing the weaker parties to flourish under their watchful eyes because of their attitude of the winner-takes-all. My party, the MPPP, is also re-strategising to reap from the fall-out of PDP’s National Convention on May 21 because it cannot give what it does not have. But, I wish the well.

Are saying that the PDP National Convention will be chaotic?

The PDP National Convection is bound to be chaotic because people are bound to change their leaders. Change is inevitable in PDP. They have laid foundation for political migration or movement. MPPP is waiting to harvest from this migration of like-minds who have no place in PDP. We are looking for like-minds who will embrace MPPP, our party.

What is your take on the current fuel crisis which seems to have no solution?

I believe that in adversity, we learn character. The President Buhari regime should be seen as an adversity to every Nigerian and our sympathisers all over the world. The gain of the fuel crisis is that every Nigerian needs to build a character. The regime has taught me that money is good, but it is not everything. I advise Nigerians to face the pains of the fuel crisis. Former President Obasanjo spoke about it. He was not understood. President Goodluck Jonathan and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke about it and they were not understood. Now, the Change Mantra symbol is making it clear that there is a price to pay for stability of gas. Nigerians should embrace the fuel scarcity. Our mode of consumption and the cartel in the oil industry are issues that have to be addressed. All over the world, gas and oil business is not a business of a cartel. It is manned by entrenched players. But, I assure Nigerians that there is hope, not because Buhari is president, but because God is interested in the Nigerian project. I wish the Federal Republic of Nigeria well.

The nation’s current bad economic situation has become a major issue as it seems to lack a solution. What is your take on the economic situation?

There is a process to greatness. I am a student of the late sage, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who said, “if my service is to be dispensed with, it must be done constitutional means.” I will not blame the current economic hardship on the past or the present administration, but on Nigerians. The economy has to do with the contributions of all. In America, people believe on what they can do for their government and not what their government can do for them. Here, it is the other way round.

In South West, for instance, if the head cannot provide for the family, the wife, also as a leader, is there to cushion the lapses pending the time of a turnaround. If all Nigerians contribute their quota to the economy, there will be a turnaround. Life is full of ups and downs. As a Christian, I was taught that life is about seasons and times. What we are facing now is for the season. Definitely, there will be a turnaround. Every Nigerian should do his or her best and their best can never be enough.

Many Nigerians do not seem to be happy with President Buhari over his frequent foreign trips. What is your view on that?

The trips are about the fulfillment of democracy. We need to dialogue with all and sundry. It is not automatic that foreign trips will yield results. President Buhari has to knock on doors. You do not know the doors that will open and the ones that will not. But some will open. We are in a democratic process. We have less than 37 months to change or retain our leaders. If at the end of his tenure, the trips do not yield results, Nigerians will decide whether a local champion will put food on their tables, give them shelter and security. Our votes are of seasonal value to change our leaders.

The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) seems to be getting ready for the Local Government elections. How ready is your party for the event?

My party, MPPP, is into a coalition with other opposition parties in Lagos to have consensus candidates to challenge the dominant party in the state, the APC. Where they fail in their covenant with the people, we will send them packing. But where do well, we will allow them to retain them. But, I want to stress that the local government election in Lagos will not be as usual, where the winner-takes-all. We will stampede APC to an extent that Lagosians will be given the real leaders to run their affairs in the local governments and the LCDAs for the betterment of the communities and the state in the coming elections.

How would you assess the APC government in Lagos?

Here cannot be a perfect situation. APC is the reincarnation of the Progressive governance in the South West. They have their goods and bad. Where they are getting it right, we will leave them. But where they are getting it wrong, we will give them a quit notice. Leadership is not by coercion, but by appointment.