By Princely Onyenwe, Abuja
Following the misinterpretation of the recent outcome of primary elections all over the country, groups of experts and analysts have thrown their respective weights to condemn the process.
In the same vein, same analysts are blaming the constitution of the Federal Republic for not specifically stating and absorbing the facts to correct certain anomalies bedevilling its application.
In this contest, Media Aide to SASG, Ejike Chukwuma Writes to caution All Progressives Congress APC party members to stay calm while the winners of the Primaries last.
Events preceding the party primaries in the state and the ripple effects that followed each stage has created a need to state the above.
There has been vituperation and calls for rancor by recalcitrant persons who feel shortchanged in one way or the other hoping to reverse their misfortune by forcing the party’s hand.
While it is very understandable and the legitimate right of aspirants and party supporters to air their grievance in such situations, it is completely unacceptable by any standard, to publicly disparage your party or attempt to denigrate its leadership, simply because you couldn’t have your way.
For the purpose of clarity, we should consider certain pertinent issues, left unaddressed by the aggrieved persons, in their misguided quest for justice.
Consensus, which had been adopted by the party in certain primaries within our state, was neither an unprecedented choice nor an anomaly introduced by Imo state.
It has been a historical process, backed by the party constitution and the new electoral act as amended.
Though it indicates that the aspirants in such a case, conceed to the emergence of a single candidate, it did not highlight the specific intricacies that will result in such a move.
This choice of selection, though not always acceptable to all, is used by all political parties when the individual interests are in direct conflict with the interest of the party.
In such a situation, the final decision of the party becomes supreme, to protect the entire party and not just the aspirants.
Let it be noted at this point, that the apex leadership of the party in the state, had at more than one occasion, reminded all aspirants and their supporters to seriously consider limiting factors to their aspirations like zoning formula, ongoing litigations and criminal records before the primaries.
Indirect primaries was also employed. The process involving the use of delegates, also deals with the party hierarchy, as the delegates are drawn from ardent party members who in turn are loyal to their party leaders as they should.
It is disheartening to note that those shouting loudest could not even convince their immediate constituents or delegates and therefore knew they would lose in an open contest devoid of inducement.
Their outcry can be interpreted as only a diversion from their last minute desperation and failure to clinch an undeserved mandate from seasoned and discerning delegates.
Thankfully, the loyal delegates performed their duty to the party creditably, without fear or favor.
Unfortunately too, some of these vociferous individuals crying foul now, failed to take those limiting issues raised earlier, into consideration and stubbornly insisted on going ahead with their pontifical approach.
Their supporters who are now on numerous platforms threatening fire and brimstone claiming that due process was not followed, are being hypocritical to say the least, knowing full well that in party primaries, it is the hierarchy within the political structure, following numerous consultations and considerations, that will play a pivotal role in the final choice of aspirants unlike in the general elections.
Where was their interpretation of due process, when they were encouraging their aspirants to lobby our esteemed stakeholders and delegates with numerous goodies in a failed attempt, to manipulate their choice of candidates?
Why didn’t they insist on due process without any form of inducement then? I am yet to see any aspirant that did not follow such ‘undue process’, because it is an acceptable norm, though not constitutional. All their supporters benefited from their largesse without complaints.
For most people, the electoral prospects of the aspirants, became linked to their financial inducement capacity, not their political antecedents in the party or a favorable zoning formula.
To be bluntly realistic, how many of these people crying foul have been present in our political activities within the wards and LGAs, prior to this election season?
How many had even called their ward or LGA chairmen for updates or support, before February 2022?
Our Governor Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, the State Chairman, Sir Macdonald Ebere, PhD. and party executives are not fooled by the sudden overt display of party loyalty by a select few.
Our party leaders, are hardcore loyalists, who earned their stripes by consistently identifying with party activities driven by unwaivering loyalty, to reach their present positions.
Our Governor and the party, under his leadership, reward dedication, not showmanship
Strangely, a number of our comrades, reeling from the loss, presented themselves only for ‘anointed’ tickets and have been out of touch with party activities in their constituency for a long time. You cannot reap where you did not sow.That is injustice!
Others were so sure of their ‘political connections’, that they were boasting to all who cared to listen of their special consideration by the Apex leadership despite evidence to the contrary, from the party leadership itself, with the Governor, publicly distancing himself from such claims.
No reputable party, gives its ticket arbitrarily, without giving due consideration to all compelling factors that may deny them victory at the general polls.
While the final choice may not appeal to everyone, true party loyalists always rally round such winners, to deliver the party successfully at the polls, irrespective of their misgivings. That informs part of the reward system employed, following victory at the general elections.
Most of the winners in the state primaries, are clearly ardent party faithfuls, who have stood in support of all the party activities over time not just during the election periods.
That is the paradigm shift, that has occurred in Imo APC under Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Gone are the days when party tickets are offered to the highest bidder or those with “orders from above” at the last minute.
Furthermore, the Governor had unequivocally stated that the party will reward only those who have worked and suffered for it and true to his word, has fully demonstrated it, through this exercise, as a sustainable standard for others to emulate.
The vociferous and rancorous few who had previously benefited from similar processes, under past administrations, are now attempting to hurl insults at the party, its hierarchy and by extension, the Executive Governor of Imo state, with their unguarded utterances.
They quickly forget that in history, people that have attempted such, painfully discover, that the party is the only vehicle by which political power can be attained constitutionally, hence, they will always need it for their ambition.
The foreseeable problem in this scenario, is that by trying to disrupt party unity, you deny yourself and your candidate, the moral right to expect favorable considerations in the future, as you will be deemed a disloyal and destructive entity, to party interests.
Cases abound of individuals who having lost in their electoral bid at the primaries and feeling shortchanged, maintained their loyalty to the party only to gain better positions later.
Compromise is the key!
It is better to channel your reservations with decorum, to the appropriate quarters for redress, than to publicly disparage your party which is your constitutional vehicle to power. Disloyalty is a mortal sin in politics everywhere.
As a political analyst, I have always believed that “Politics is not Activism but a game of strategy and horse trading”
Just as they say of the supreme court in its finality; the party in Nigeria, is not supreme because it is infallible, it is supreme because it is the final body that provides the ticket to democratic power.
For those that think they can arm twist the party for egocentric reasons, I advise them to reconsider their position.
In conclusion, my fellow party men and women, let everyone remember the Igbo adage;
” Agbarusia ngene ekurukwa ngene nuo”
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