“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election is here and it is the opportunity for me as a delegate to get my own share of money.”
After the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary, I received many phone calls, from members of both from APC and PDP expressing their readiness and eagerness to support PDP as that is the only way out now, but all of these callers have a common concern; “Please, tell your party to present a credible and acceptable candidate”.
Therefore, ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party primary election on Tuesday, millions of Kogites are waiting for the opposition to do the right thing by coming out of confluence stadium on 3rd of September with most credible and acceptable candidate that will match the Bello of the APC. The fate of these concerned citizens is now hanging and dangling solely in the hands of few people called delegates.
Majority of these delegates are not concerned with the happenings in the state, rather, they see the primary election as an opportunity for them to make money, as the highest bidder will definitely have his way as it has been the custom and tradition. The individual that have this power to decide for you and me on who become the PDP flag bearer are looking for money and want to exchange this right and power for MONEY.
It is unfortunate, but this is where we are and the game is being played now. While we are blaming those who collected N500 on the queue to vote against their wishes, we also must condemn, collectively, the delegates that are also out there negotiating their own price tag. Some PDP delegates are placing N1million Naira while others are asking for N500,000 while others are asking for N300k. I am proposing N30k per delegate.
An aspirant was telling me yesterday that his coordinator just called him to inform him that delegates in his own ward are asking for N500,000! This is because some delegates want to leave Lokoja direct and commence the building of a house or buy car and others want to pay school fees, while some need the money to get additional wife. Those in this category are not better than Bello.
Yes, I agree with you that it is too late to stop delegates from mortgaging the collective interest of the people, but how long shall we continue in this way?
Stealing is stealing and corruption is corruption. You that is reading me today have a relative, in-law or brother even sister, dad and uncle who are delegates. We must tell them that majority of those aspirants there worked hard to become millionaires that qualify them to contest for the office of the Governor and you must be cautioned while extorting them. Majority of them never held any elective offices before, so don’t even tell me it is government money.
One of the delegates that I spoke with yesterday told me that the PDP aspirants are coming with government money and it is an opportunity for them to get their own share. It took me over 20 minutes to convince him that majority of them are coming with personable sweat and effort, not government money.
The delegates who collect big money and vote against his or her conscience is not better that Governor Yahaya Bello that Kogites are desperate for his exit from Lugard house.
Dear delegate, before your vote on Tuesday, ask yourself a question; are you okay with the situation of Kogi state? Mister delegate or sister delegate, ask your neighbour or ask those primary school teachers in your village, let them tell you their experience in the hands of this government. Ask those community secondary school teachers, ask those teachers in government secondary school about their experiences. Ask the dispensary assistance DA in your village his experiences.
The truth is naked and we must tell ourselves, no matter its bitterness. Nobody will remove Bello for you if you fail to do your own part. While we can’t rule out money from primary election, but we must acknowledge that general election is more expensive when a party candidate emerged from the primary that is too expensive, then, getting fund to prosecute general election will be another burden.
The fate of the Kogites is hanging on the decision of the PDP delegates and the confluence state shouldn’t be for the highest bidder but the credible alternative to Yahaya Bello.
– Usman Okai Austin, PDP Member and Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Abuja.