IPAC Chair Wants Remuneration of Political Office Holders Reviewed

IPAC Chair Wants Remuneration of Political Office Holders Reviewed

The Chairman of Nigeria’s umbrella body for all political parties, otherwise known as Inter-Party Consultative Council, (IPAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa has advocated for a review of the remuneration of all public officers especially those holding political offices. This was one of the recommendations submitted by IPAC to the National Assembly which is currently undertaking a

The Chairman of Nigeria’s umbrella body for all political parties, otherwise known as Inter-Party Consultative Council, (IPAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa has advocated for a review of the remuneration of all public officers especially those holding political offices.

This was one of the recommendations submitted by IPAC to the National Assembly which is currently undertaking a review of the Electoral Act 2010 (Amended) as well as the constitution. Dr. Nzenwa made this known in a special interview conducted in Abuja by Nigerian Democratic Report at a recent Stakeholders Workshop on Enhancing Political Parties Visibility in Social and Mainstream Media organized by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

In his wisdom, the bogus remuneration of political office holders is responsible for the upsurge in the number of persons showing interest in politics. “The remuneration of public officers, especially political office holders is very high and something needs to be done about that. We need to get it down because it could be seen as the motivation that has propelled people to go into these offices; people aspire to these offices on the account of the money they are going to get”.

To stem the tide, he said: “if that aspect is reduced, and you pay sitting allowances only based on the number of times the parliament sits. We also talked about the age range and several other things”

Dr Nzenwa, said IPAC has taken a first step into bringing its suggestions to reality by “making our position known about different aspects of the Electoral Act and the Constitution amendment in a paper submitted to the National Assembly” where it made a presentation to the joint-committee handling the review and amendment during a visit.

Another matter the IPAC Chairman wants attended to is the issue of carpet-crossing among the political class. According to him, this thrives because the law is being applied in the breach due largely to the fact that it benefits the party in power at whatever level.

“To address the problem, anytime you find someone that has won an election on a platform of a political party and decamps to another political party, the Speaker or the Senate President should have the courage and follow the law by declaring that particular seat vacant by-election conducted to fill the seat, that is the only way we can solve this problem” he submitted.

Observing that carpet-crossing has historical precedence in the polity, Dr Nzenwa also blamed lack of ideology by most of the political parties; economic factor as well as individual character traits for why carpet-crossing continues to thrive in Nigeria.

“When I say it is historical; if you go through the history of political party development in Nigeria, it has always been there. Carpet-crossing has always been there from the first republic to the second republic even the current republic; it is not a new thing so it has been there. To address the problem, anytime you find someone that has won an election on the platform of a political party and decamps to another political party, the Speaker or the Senate President should have the courage to follow the law by declaring that particular seat vacant and by-election conducted to fill the seat.” He expatiated.

“Again, you also need to understand that people do not understand why they are in a particular place and may be there essentially because of money. Let us go there and when they cannot asses that money they break away to another place, they are not driven by any philosophy; they are driven by transactional motives and as long as that happens we will never have a party that has very strong political ideology”.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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