No doubt, 2023 general election game is fully on. Politicians, undeterred by the outrageous price tags, are flooding the terrain. As usual, to be genuinely considered for election, candidate must identify with a political party. Such party, in strict adherence to the constitution, scrutinises and presents the candidate for election or appointment into public offices. Therefore, the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) screening was an exercise of power so conferred.
However, events trailing aftermath of the exercise is seemingly posing a dark spot on white apparel. With the latest odds in favour of the already disqualified candidates, one may be tempted to ask; what were the precepts for which some aspirants qualified and others were disqualified? How comes, those disqualified became qualified again? What were the things that David Mark-led executives could not see that were made visible at the appeal? Is anyone (either the aspirants or the executives) playing games at this trying time of our national history?
For the record, two presidential aspirants were disqualified. Some aspirants were disqualified in Zamfara. Although reinstated, it was before the exercise. In Benue state, there was a concession and those asked to step down did so willingly. Not lobbying their ways behind close doors.
In Kogi, my dear state, seven Legislative aspirants were disqualified – Four senatorial aspirants from Kogi Central, including Senator Ahmed Ogembe, two senatorial aspirants and a house of representative aspirant from Kogi East.
Moreover, the executives in a statement made available to the press, ensured necessary parts of the constitution were explored and decisions unanimously reached.
Nonetheless, barely a week after the exercise, event has taken a new turn as reports flying around has it that some of the disqualified aspirants have been cleared, and they can go on and contest in the forthcoming primaries, and subsequently, elections.
How did this happen? What went wrong thereafter? The fact that some aspirants never voted where they currently seek vote? Or the debilitative fact that aspirants who should be cooling off in EFCC’s custody were found guilty of anti party activities? How did the forbidden fruit became a spec in the bud? Is the yardstick for (dis)qualifying a candidate by PDP differ at the appeal or there was a tip-drop of oil on the water surface which eventually spread? These questions beg for answers from the executives, appeal panel to be precise.
Having been led to the depth of extreme poverty and hardship by the ruling APC, Nigerians have decided to cling to the old rugged cross—PDP to leverage its vast democratic experience to hand over the next Nigeria to capable hands.
As a matter of fact, citizens had placed clarion calls on the strongest opposition party in the country to produce leaders of veritable antecedents in various offices of leadership. That says, the party cannot afford to throw this salient moment to the pit in substitution for personal interests. I and many others who have renewed our Faiths in PDP should not be greeted with rude shocks.
The latest move is obviously a window for litigation if any of the later-cleared candidates eventually wins election. In that case, monkey go work, bamboo go chop. Bayelsa history would be repeated, God forbid!
More so, I like to state unequivocally that PDP is at a crossroad; to either win the forthcoming election or go into extinction. Therefore, politicking is apparently useless. The party, in line with the people’s aspirations should seek professionals instead of giving room for lobbying. You can’t continue the old pattern and expect different result.
PDP ought to be cognisance of certain emancipation and avoid political gaming that could further endanger its derailing lifespan. The party should be more innovative, transparent and democratically driven, leveraging its vast experience in power to regain its fast falling giant stride.
The recent screening poised a different approach which (to some of us) was the real deal. It should have followed that trend or even more by initiating processes that ensured that those to emerge as its flag bearers are not only competent, they’re void of moral decadence. To be forewarned is to be fore armed.
It is tragic to make the same mistakes that earned the party the governorship seat in Bayelsa. PDP should retrace its steps now and guide the genuinely cleared aspirants to victory.
– Enenche James wrote from Abuja.