• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Abia State: Our collective interest

Abia State: Our collective interest

Today, more and more nations are joining democratic committee of friends more than ever before. Ours being a fragile democracy, that’s even more reason we should make an effort to understand our own democratic setting.

We must ensure that our political party primaries, (be it direct or indirect primaries), are responsive, representative, accountable, realisable and above all make it a “cleaner political party primaries.”

On close observation of our fragile democracy, I have seen how ineffective our political party primaries have been over the years.

Political party’s primaries are to be blamed for our weak democratic processes and non-participation of political party members.

So far, empirical evidence has taught us that there must be connection between the political parties and party members and by extension the electorate.

This year of 2022 will be the start of political activities and promises to get more intense as the weeks and months go by. I suspect there will be dozens or more candidates that will declare their intention to run for the governorship of Abia State.

All eyes both home and abroad will be on Abia State. For the simple reason, who are we going to pick or support to be the next Governor of Abia State, or perhaps I should say, who is going to be the next incompetent candidate to be imposed on Abia State come 2023.

Again, the road looks quite bright and clear and I just hope we’re not going to fall into a ditch for the fourth time. Since 1999 to date, all we have seen and experienced are people who are not up to the job and not capable by any definition.

The path since 1999 has not advanced and will not advance our collective agenda which is a better Abia State with a reasonable infrastructure across the State.

This is the time for us to break that circle of recklessness, irresponsibility and waste in Abia State and say, enough is more than enough and say it boldly both privately and publicly.

Political parties and particularly Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressive Alliance (APC), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Political parties have a role and a civic duty to genuinely and sincerely encourage their members to advocate for transparent primaries.

Mr President may have missed a golden opportunity to strengthen our fragile democracy by not signing an act of parliament concerning direct primaries.

This could have given Nigerians and party members the opportunity and chance both at the federal and state level to throw up credible candidates up and down the country.

Smoked filled room primaries, un-identifiable delegates, and unseen delegates have turned out to be a complete joke and have made a mockery of democracy. Currently, political party primaries in Nigeria is something worst than military dictatorship in military administration.

For my brothers and sisters in Abia State, we must be seen to be vocalising transparent primaries as this may be the only chance we have from getting us out of this imposition of candidates.

We have tried and tested imposition of candidates since 1999 and so far it hasn’t worked, the time is now to resist it in its form.

This is time for us to fine-tune and rethink and if possible, resist imposition using all civil and democratic means to put a stop to it in 2023.

If we follow this honourable path, we have a chance of getting someone who may at least see governance as serious business and not jamboree and razzmatazz which for so long we have gotten use to.

We may get a chance of someone who may be able and have capacity to do the job; someone who may be seen to be dealing with dilapidated infrastructure and adding value to citizens of Abia.

I suspect, for far too long, Abians are fed up, sick and tired of both current and previous Governors who are continuously singing and dancing in the rain and celebrating for paying pensioners and salaries.

Both current and previous Governors of Abia State, please be informed, that paying salaries and pensioners is an entitlement for those who have laboured all their lives and rendered public service to their State.

Repairing and maintaining an existing public infrastructure, is a basic duty of the State Government like hospitals, schools, state roads, local clinics, the list could go on forever. For God’s sake and in God’s name, these are the minimum any Governor must be seen to be doing.

My fellow Abians, they nearly fooled me and you for years or since 1999 that administration is rocket science or brain surgery, and we know it’s not, it’s simple administration.

To aspire to Govern is to decide to Govern and therefore, a Governor must make a choice either to empty Abia State public fund or decide to render public service to his people based on his conscience. The choice when in public office as a governor remains yours and yours alone.

For me, does it matter the person or the personality who may be the next Governor of Abia State? Not at all.

However, my thinking is for party members to be given a chance to x-ray the participants through a transparent process of candidates be it from PDP, APC or, APGA. Governorship election normally attract a lot of interest, candidates and political gladiators.

Read also: Abia Assembly adjourns indefinitely

In Abia State, the political landscape will be full, there will be more than enough aspirants that could make up a football team. The race will be almost overcrowded and at the same time bound to be interesting.

There is a gaping hole in governing of our country, created primarily due to serious in-adequacies in our political party primary election and which in turn making it ill-prepared to address the issue of leadership in Nigeria.

Nigeria is going through a series of turbulence and our system is ill-prepared for any of them. Our political party primary system as it is, needs to be overhauled and would require major changes to the way we conduct our party primaries.

Our party primary elections, if not completely reset, poses a challenge which will be unprecedented since 1999.

All we are interested in, is transparent primaries across all level of electoral position. For us, that must be the key for us not to embrace the same traditional rituals of the office which is largely imbedded in looting the public fund.

We cannot continuously embrace falsehood that has been in Abia State since 1999. If we don’t genuinely advocate transparent primaries as responsible democrats, I’m afraid to report that our fragile democracy will be doomed if not completely collapsed.

It is a significant threat we all are facing if we continue to jettison transparent primaries. My warning is that Governors must never be under any illusion that they are immune from this threat.

Our country facing a national challenge today, and if our party primaries are not effectively transparent, the real problem will be a continuous absence of government and leadership.

Ogwuru writes from Abuja.

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