The 2021 Primaries of the ruling, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State was held yesterday, Saturday 29th May 2021 with dusts raised yet to settle.
It is almost 24 hours after the ‘ill-fated’ party primaries that was characterized by killings, ballot box snatching, thuggery, gangsterism and high level manipulation, to mention but a few.
While the untoward incidents recorded at the various wards were not unexpected, it is most disheartening that the ruling party, through the conduct of the primary election did not learn any lesson from similar primary election held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in 2017, where the then Chairman of the Primaries, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi’s clothes was shredded by angry delegates, following a free for all.
Yesterday’s exercise was everything but a party primaries election by all standards. While party members showed up at their various wards to choose their preferred candidates, key gladiators and their hatchet men were busy planning how to disrupt a democratic and constitutional required exercise preceding the general election at the grassroots.
For those who complain about failure of the third tier and government closest to the people at the grassroots, they should look no further in tracing the root cause-flawed party nomination process.
While this piece is not primarily targeted at disparaging the ruling party, it is nonetheless a wake-up call to the leadership of the party in the State to live up to the responsibility of their offices and instill discipline, respect for party, due process and democratic norms. Without a true display of the above-mentioned virtues, the progressives which the party’s name bear will only remain a mere nomenclature rather than a true attitude.
Like the ill-fated 2017 LG primaries in the State, party members, gladiators and other stakeholders await the release of ‘results’ of an election that never held, as evidenced in viral reports on social and mainstream media platforms.
This unfortunate reality only connote two things. First, a lack of belief in democratic norms of peaceful election by aspirants and lack of trust in the party’s internal democratic processes and procedures. Whichever way, the party hierarchy is culpable!
The implication of this is that, those who knew they cannot win in a credible electoral contest will now rely on lobbying and power play to clinch the party’s ticket they ordinarily are not qualified for. Little wonder, we have misfits at the helms. As I write this piece, a high-level lobbying is currently on-going by aspirants and their god-fathers at the State level of the party in Acme, Ikeja.
Before the ‘results’ of the elections begin to trickle in, this is a good time to seize the moment and take a deep reflection and speak truth to ourselves as a people, if truly we are proud of the events of yesterday and can beat our chest in all fairness and say it was indeed an election.
More than 24 hours after the shameful naked dance, mum has been the word! No official statement nor any official result, especially on the Chairmanship aspirants has been released, except in few cases where the party interests or sole aspirants are involved.
The spiral effects of this singular infraction is that, merit is sacrificed on the altar of preferences and excellence is slaughtered on the altar of mediocrity.
As some are shamefully claiming victory in an election that never held, others are questioning the rationale of their claim. If we all keep quiet as we are currently doing, in the face of a naked rape on democracy, hoping the result will favour us or our candidate(s), let us bear in mind that, we will all become accomplices of electoral fraud and infractions, hence this piece.
More importantly is the untoward ripple effects of yesterday’s electoral infractions on the 2023 party primaries in the State and nation at large. If we fail to speak up now, then we have lost the morality to speak up then.
While we make do with the ‘results’ of the largely imperfect exercise in the interim, in view of the implications and uncertainty of organising a fresh primaries, let the candidates who are eventually ‘favoured’ as ‘winners’ on the official party list reflect on the words of late Nigeria’s President, Umaru Yar’Adua that, ‘the election that brought you into power was flawed with irregularities’.
Hence, you must be sober and magnanimous in ‘victory’ and work towards a meaningful party reforms that would make the 2023 and 2025 LG primaries in the State a true party primaries, by all standards and a true reflection of the wishes of ordinary party members.