An NGO, Initiative for Integrity and Good Leadership has frowned at former Governor of Anambra State and Vice presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election for hobnobbing with one of the party’s gubernatorial aspirant, thus giving the impression that the guy is the anointed candidate.
In a statement issued in Abuja today, the group advised the various political parties involved in the Anambra Gubernatorial election to ensure that they resolve internal squabbles relating to primaries in order to avoid repeat of the Imo scenario where the Supreme Court imposed an aspirant that came third in the primaries.
The Initiative further advised the various political parties should put their acts together and ensure that they organise credible primaries that will not be fraught with controversies so as to continue to entrench democracy. According to the group, the influence of godfathers in the nation’s politics should be whittled in order to for democracy to grow.
See the full text of the statement:
GROUP FROWNS AT PETER OBI FROLICKING WITH PDP GUBER ASPIRANT, CALLS FOR LEVELED PLAYING GROUND IN ANAMBRA GUBER CONTEST
The last couple of weeks has been a little frenetic for all the serious candidates vying for Anambra Gubernatorial seat. Given the fact that the State has always had issues with primaries in all the major parties at this level, concerted efforts are being made to ensure that the situation in which parties enter the crucial elections divided, which has become the norm in Anambra is reversed.
Despite these moves however, APGA, which is the ruling party in the State, APC and even the PDP have all, in the last couple of weeks slipped into crises with magnitudes of such problems varying.
It is however instructive to note that some of these crises seemed to have been instigated by aspirants who have nothing to lose if the party loses the Gubernatorial election, hence they can hardly be regarded as strong party members.
The Initiative for Integrity and Good Leadership has followed the politicking in the state keenly with respect to all the parties and has therefore decided that stakeholders in the state must call the leadership of all the political parties in the state to order. Anambra has had its fair share of political turbulence and the process of electing a new Governor for the state must be devoid of acrimonies that will lead to a ‘Supreme Court Governor’ emerging in the State. To avoid this scenario, believe that the various parties must adopt transparent and open ways of producing their party candidates so as to minimize he recourse to the judiciary in picking who flies the flag of the parties.
Specifically, the presence of professional gubernatorial aspirants who have been on the scene since 1999 and who would always want to use the judiciary to thwart the system if it does not favour them calls for concern. Such aspirants, who are always quickest to go to court and obstruct party machineries for resolving issues are clogs in the wheel. Unless and until parties see them as such, Anambra may not be able to get the best out of the electoral system.
Another issue however is the presence of godfathers in Anambra politics, which was indeed one of the reasons party perform woefully as they end up picking unpopular candidates for elections. In the PDP for instance, the role of former Vice Presidential candidate of the party in the last elections who also happens to be a former Governor of the state cannot be easily forgotten. From our findings, he is already casting shadows upon the party primaries by his attitude thus far. It is widely believed that Peter Obi already has a candidate he is backing and has been frolicking with to the discomfiture of other aspirants. The general belief is that his anointed candidate would pick the party’s ticket, further entrenching godfatherism. This will ultimately not augur well for the other candidates who ab initio believed that they were operating a leveled playing field. This will also work against the party on the long run as losers from such primaries would likely not feel happy enough to work for the party. Ultimately, this affects party cohesion and weakens democratic structures.
SIGNED BAMIDELE AFOLABI
CONVENER, The Initiative