Delta State PDP Political Innovation A Right Move By Ogwezzy

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Political electoral primaries is one of the stages or types of election process in Nigeria. The process mainly involves the issuing of forms to aspirants with the mind of selecting a suitable candidate.

The recent development proposed by the leadership of Delta State Peoples’ Democratic Party(PDP) has mandated leaders to pick suitable candidates is a laudable development. The declaration was made by the Delta State PDP Chairman Olorogun Kingsley Esiso. The statement gave great joy to many aspirants, leaders, electorates. This is because it is a political innovation with numerous advantages. Political leaders picking suitable candidates for elections simply means a process whereby leaders are made to nominate candidates for elections at the Local Government and Ward levels. The process allows the party to issue one form for Local Government as the case of chairmanship position and one form each for Wards for Councillorship position. A situation whereby leaders are allowed to pick credible candidates is the best option, because as leaders, they should be able to know the candidates that have the party at heart, worked and be faithful to the party, that will favourably contest with the opponents emerging from other parties. Moreso, the candidates should be able to stand the test of time.

Many perceived the system as the best, having observed that the use of primaries process of election has been problematic. It demands huge sum of money to see many politicians such as touring round the constituencies and to see the people that matter.

The old process makes aspirants waste money in buying forms while only one candidate will be chosen eventually. This gives room to multiple political godfatherism with all its inherent negative implications. Besides, factions are created within the party with many aggrieved which could result to politics of calumny.

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With the recent political innovation, it will go along way to reduce to a high extent the rate of godfatherism, crisis within the party and the incidence of “cross carpeting”. Apart from that, it will reduces the degree of commitment(loyalty) to such godfathers.

Observation has shown that many political office holders are usually deeply indebted to political godfathers, leaders and delegates etc during primaries process of election. The more people are involved the more the level of commitment(loyalty). This is why a lot of political office holders in Nigeria cannot meet up to people’s expectations, because of their political entanglements that result to bad governance. The lesser the leaders to consult the lesser the cost on aspirants. For instance, a certain political office holders was called upon to give account of his administration.
His explanation was that he spent huge sum of money to settle the people that placed him in office at the end no much was left to deliver his electoral promises.

A more saddening aspect of the party primaries is that there are usually cases of litigation between aspirants after primaries. When there are issues of litigation much money is involved. This stresses some politicians and may lead to depression, frustration and ultimately even death.

The decision of the State Party leadership should be commended. This is because while other parties are busy mending their fences(reconciling), PDP is advancing in political innovation to outsmart rival parties. Delta PDP you have set the pace and others will follow.

Though, this is a good innovation, if not properly guided it can be misconstrued. It will therefore be pertinent that the leadership of PDP, under the able leadership of Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, with due respect, should please define what actually constitutes a leader in our Local Government and Ward levels. At the local level, many politicians claim to be leaders, all former and sitting political office holders all claim to be leaders. This will lead to leaders forming factions to pick candidates that will be at variance to the party’s guidelines.

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The party should also bear in mind that adapting to change in Nigeria is always difficult. In the recent change, observation has shown that some leaders negated already laid down rules such as the gentleman agreement(MoU) which has been an effective way of achieving peaceful elections in some Local Government Areas and Wards, due to their ulterior motives. Some leaders have decided to impose candidates that will not be of people’s choice.

It will therefore, be advisable for the party to make a quick appraisal of the leaders picking suitable candidates to avoid people taking undue advantage, thereby thwarting the good effort of the noble party from achieving its desired objective.

To sum it up, the relevance of leaders picking suitable candidates for the party cannot be over emphasised, if leaders play their roles as required to ensure hitch-free picking of candidates. The result derivable from leaders picking creditable candidates is capable of promoting party unity and growth which are the major characteristics of a formidable party. Not only that, it will become an innovative model for other States of the Federation.

Richardson Ogwezzy is a teacher at Girls” Secondary School, Kwale, Delta State

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