Political analysts believe that elections are preceded by activities of politicians in the areas of campaign, realignment in the political scheme of things, subterfuge and intrigues, among other strategies, to win.’
From the onset of the race to the exalted Lugard House, Kogi Governor’s Office, Lokoja on April 11 with primary elections, various political party loyalists had begun ploy to ensure that their respective political party remains relevant.
Mr Promise Ogbodu, a legal practitioner, notes that the primaries and the results had left much to be desired by which stakeholders could identify the good and the bad
sides of whatever roles they played in the primaries.
Lugard House, Kogi Governor’s Office, Lokoja, will be vacant on January 27, 2024 and Gov. Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will have completed the eight-year tenure as the state governor.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has done the needful, designing a time table for the race.
According to the timetable, there was a deadline of April 17 for all the political parties to produce their respective candidates for the Nov. 11 governorship election.
The exercise was also organised and concluded within just a week by all the interested political parties but not without the good, the bad and the ugly sides.
The political parties that participated were APC, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Action Alliance (AA), Labour Party (LP), Action Democratic Congress ADC, Young Progressives Party (YPP) New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and People’s Redemption Party.
Bu while the primary election exercises of AA, NNPP, YPP and PRP went smoothly, peaceful and successful, those of APC, PDP, ADC and LP did not go as expected.
An entrepreneur, Mr Olayinka Braimoh picked AA ticket, a prominent politician, Alhaji Mubarak Musa got the NNPP ticket, Dr Abdullah Bayawo sailed through to be the flag bearer of PRP while Dr Samson Omale, an active party members picked YPP’s ticket in the state.
The ADC and LP had parallel primary elections while APC and PDP, on the other hand, had other candidates disagreeing and contesting the results of the primaries, creating a threat to the unity of the members in both parties.
For instance, in PDP, the former deputy governor of the state, Mr Sunday Awoniyi challenged the emergence of Dino Melaye as candidate of the party and in APC, Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo, the state Auditor-General for Local Government, is opposed by Mr Murtaza Yakubu-Ajaka, Mr Sani Ohiere and Sen. Smart Adeyemi, claiming that there was no primary election on April 11.
Worse still is two members of APC have filed a case before an Abuja Federal High Court challenging the emergence of Ododo as candidate of the party for the Nov. 11 governorship election.
Mr Realwan Akpanachi and Yahaya Seidu-Nuhu in an originating summons filed by their counsel, Mr Promise Ogbodu, sued six of the contestants as first to sixth defendants.
They joined the APC and INEC defendants for what they described as violation of the Electoral Act 2022 and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The first to sixth respondents are Abdulkareem Jamiu (Chief of Staff), Jibril Momoh (Account-General), Yakubu Okala (Auditor-General), Asiwaju Idris (Commissioner for Finance), Salami Ozigi (Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) and Ahmed Usman-Ododo (Auditor-General for Local Government Areas).
They prayed the court to declare that the seventh respondent — APC — cannot validly nominate any of the first to sixth respondents as its candidate for the governorship election.
In Labour Party, two factions held separately primaries, producing two candidates.
Shortly before Dr Ayo Olorunfemi-led LP governorship primary election committee could declare the results of the election there were several gun shots that sent everyone at the venue away.
The story is not different in ADC which had produced two candidates — Leke Abejide and Dele Bello-Williams by direct and indirect primaries respectively.
Observers express concern that the agenda of these political parties that have been in controversy in the conduct of party primaries might have been compromised.
However, they advise that public office holders should be determined to discharge their responsibilities effectively irrespective of the prior intrigues and differences in their interests.
According to them, governance requires leaders who are courageous and disciplined to provide solutions to the country’s challenges.
All in all, a critic, Prof. Afolabi Aribigbola of Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, believe that the obvious expectations of Nigerians is primary elections outcomes that will produce good and credible candidates that will be committed to development.(NANFeatures)(www.nannews.ng)