The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has criticised the United Nations for expressing dissatisfaction over the multiple political parties in Nigeria, describing the global intergovernmental organisation’s position as treacherous.
Peter Ameh, IPAC National Chairman, made the council’s reservation known in a statement issued on Sunday in reaction to a statement made by Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa.
Chambas had during a courtesy visit to Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), raised an alarm over the number of political parties in the country.
According to the head of the UN West Africa office, the list of 73 presidential candidates in the 2019 general elections, as well as large number of political parties across sub-Saharan Africa “sometimes distract them from the quality of the process and informed decisions by the electorate.”
But in its response, IPAC lamented that the United Nations was encouraging autocracy in Africa with its complaints of multiple political parties.
The Council noted that it was hypocritical of the multilateral organisation, which was established to promote world peace, was talking about weakening Nigeria’s democracy fought for by patriotic Nigerians.
The statement read: “The position of the United Nations, encouraging autocracy in Africa, as stated by the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, is not only treacherous but threatens the very peace which the United Nations was formed to uphold.
“The UN came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War, with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN does this by working to prevent conflict; helping parties in conflict make peace; peacekeeping; and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish
“It is indeed of great concern to hear Mohammed Ibn Chambas of the United Nations, express such views as he did, during a courtesy call on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja, on behalf of the UN in this 21st century when democracy and world peace is under threat in most African countries as a result of dictatorships and perceived centralisation of governments as currently witnessed in Nigeria.
“IPAC condemns in very strong terms, the position and statement by the UN, that the multi-party democracy which Nigerians currently enjoy and which was fought for by the country’s eminent jurists including Chief Gani Fawehimi (SAN) and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), could be said to, in his words, pose a serious challenge as it hinders the electorate from taking informed decisions.
“To further state that the result of such sacrifices by patriotic Nigerians, is a serious challenge which ‘distracts from the quality of the process’ shows the extent to which the United Nations, through its Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, understands Nigeria’s democratic struggles and the threats incidental thereto.”
Noting that the multi-party system has “afforded over 200 million Nigerian citizens, the opportunity to be part of the electoral processes in Nigeria”, IPAC urged the United Nations to focus on its primary role of providing humanitarian assistance and pressure the government to end the spate of insecurity currently ravaging the country.
The statement read: “IPAC calls on the UN to concentrate more efforts on the security challenges ravaging and decimating the Nigerian Nation and the unprecedented level of unemployment across the Federation which are the real threats and which ought to be of great concern to the UN.”