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Opinion

Party delegates and the season of anomie

 

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CHINEDUM Anayo l Wednesday, June 01, 2022

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LAGOS, Nigeria – The 2023 political race is on. Nigeria’s political parties have begun their primaries. On Tuesday, a Presidential aspirant of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Kingsley Moghalu, stated that ‘Nigerians should vote for their future and not their ancestors’.

This statement is quite curious. I asked myself in awe, what exactly does he mean by this?  With the recent events in the country, one could say Nigeria is not ready for a substantial change.

We have seen the exorbitant monetization of the primaries process. This is the same account that lead to the withdrawal from the PDP primary by certain aspirants. Money is always a major feature in Nigerian politics. It is a popular activity amongst the two major parties, with the PDP leading by example. The PDP literally ‘dollarised’ the primaries, therefore swaying the delegates.

The best occupation in the country today is to be a delegate at any party primary. Ordinarily, it is a temporary assignment but it currently seems to be a profitable venture.

Most of these delegates are agents of party stakeholders. Getting paid for the duty is the most important aspect of the task to them, regardless of how events turn out later. Some of these delegates even play games with their votes despite the remuneration.

A delegate could even collect money from every aspirant and still be selective with votes. An instance was seen in Ondo State, where a senate aspirant seeking a second term in Ondo Central for PDP, Ayo Akinyelure, bought cars for the party leaders and still lost.

He has presently asked that his cars should be returned. Also, in Delta state, a House of Representatives aspirant was shocked by his loss, he eventually fainted. There are many other worse cases for aspirants.

In all honesty, It is always going to be – anywhere the belly faces, and the tune would always go to the highest bidder. Imagine an event where delegates asked for U.S dollars as inducement. It is indeed frightening.

After witnessing the PDP’s dollar rain, I engaged a concerned Nigerian. He noted, ” Nigerians will never learn, money is not everything. At this stage I can’t believe Nigerians would still refer to their stomachs before choosing.

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With what I saw, a positive change is only a probability in this country”. On this note I agreed with him, the electoral process shouldn’t be a means to enrichment of the pocket. I wish the statement from Moghalu had come before 2022.

It is a very essential quote. Nigerians need to start thinking about a few years from now. They should recall that what is most important is the future of the younger Nigerians and that it is not for sale. A positive change is needed around the nation. Problems are everywhere, yet certain individuals can bring out huge sums to bribe delegates.

I think the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should investigate this matter. Many of these politicians are yet to explain to us how they got the money to spend. Aspirants may have to declare their assets before obtaining the declaration of interest forms.

It is now obvious that no matter the extent of any law (the Electoral Act 2022), many problems are still personal. Nigeria needs a change. The electoral process needs to change. We need to make progress with the right leader and not a moneybag. And most importantly, let us hope for the best this season.

 

NB: Chinedum Anayo  can be reached @ neduum@aol.com

 

 

 

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