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Westminster Foundation for Democracy Urges IPAC’s New Leadership to Promote Credible Elections in Nigeria

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has extended a call to action to the recently elected executive council members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), urging them to utilize their positions to champion credible and transparent elections in Nigeria. This charge was made by Adebowale Olorunmola, the Country Director of WFD, during the culmination of a three-day strategic action plan for IPAC’s development in Lagos.

WFD, a proponent of democratic values and institutions in developing nations, collaborates with development partners to strengthen the fabric of democracy, particularly focusing on political parties and civil society institutions.

Addressing the newly elected IPAC leadership, Olorunmola emphasized the significance of their roles beyond mere leadership transitions, stating, “Your election and the transition of IPAC’s leadership, though not without challenges, affirm the sustainability of IPAC. However, IPAC should transcend the mere transition of leadership. It should evolve into an entity capable of promoting dialogue, adjudicating between political parties, and advancing the mutual interests of all political parties in Nigeria.”

Olorunmola urged the new IPAC executives to collaborate seamlessly with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and enhance their capacity to influence reforms, particularly those impacting elections, political parties, and democracy.

Dr. Murtala Mohammed, Founder/Executive Director of System Strategy and Policy Lab, shared insights on leadership, development, and lessons from successful nations like Singapore, China, and Rwanda. Mohammed encouraged IPAC to play a proactive role in addressing Nigeria’s developmental challenges, emphasizing the need to focus on institutional building rather than individual interests.

“To survive, IPAC needs innovative funding mechanisms,” Mohammed stressed. “Without resources, they will not be able to deliver on their mandate. So, IPAC needs innovative funding to survive.”

Adding to the discussion, development expert Jide Ojo underscored the importance of providing resources to IPAC, enabling them to fulfill their roles effectively. He advocated for investing in the capacity development of IPAC members and affiliated institutions, including training programs, technical assistance, and resources to strengthen organizational management, leadership skills, conflict resolution abilities, and electoral expertise.

As IPAC assumes its new leadership mantle, the counsel from WFD and other experts underscores the critical role it plays in shaping a democratic Nigeria where credible elections and robust institutions are the cornerstones of progress.

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The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) is the umbrella body of all the registered Political Parties in Nigeria. A platform for the promotion and sustenance of a free, fair, credible, transparent, acceptable, inclusive and peaceful electoral environment in Nigeria.

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