AS the people of Kogi State eagerly wait for delegates of the major political parties to match to the field of play and vote in the primary elections billed for next weekend and next month respectively, stakeholders are of the view that the exercise should be free and fair, considering the golden roles delegates play in the sustenance of Nigeria’s Democracy.
If the emergence of a people desired leader through democratic processes must not be truncated, delegates of the various political parties play keen roles in sustaining the spirit and soul of democracy by imbibing the culture of internal democracy without subscribing to any form of duress emanating from some desperate politicians.
However, like kingmakers who prepare the throne for the emergence of the new king, delegates from the various wards of every political party in any democratic setting should be seen as democratic kingmakers.
But in most developing countries especially in Nigeria, rather than allowing delegates exercise their franchise in any primary election, the order seems to be different as it appears that those on the list of delegates see it as a business opportunity to make more money especially as the various aspirants vying for positions go all-out lobbying with monetary gain.
The heavy influence of monetary inducement in the process that culminates to the emergence of candidates that fly tickets of political parties has underpinned the democratic rationale which necessitated the conduct of primary elections.
It is pertinent to say that, delegates that own the right to voting in any primary election stand in the gap between the desires of the masses and the destiny of the land because whoever emerges from the primary election will be made to face other opponents in the main election.
However, delegates need to be aware that before they were nominated at the congresses held at the various wards before coming for the main primary election, they were seen as responsible individuals that would decide the destiny of their people as well as the destiny of their political parties.
While they are still pockets of delegates who allow their conscience to guide them during the election, there are many others who are only after smiling to the banks without recourse to who will fly their party’s ticket.
But in Nigeria, the politics of “godfatherism and cabalism” have denied most qualified aspirants from having their vied elected offices regardless of their qualifications for those offices. The delegates should be reminded that their actions and inaction during the Primaries go a long way in determining the prospect of their political parties as well as the destiny of the land in the next four years.
It is expedient to assert that, the internal crisis rocking the various political parties resulting from post-primary acrimonies will be minimized if the primaries are conducted democratically and fairly by allowing qualified delegates to truly decide who picks the party’s tickets.
Moreover, the hurdles before political parties in the main elections will be drastically reduced if a right, competent and people desired aspirant emerges as the party’s candidate. While it boosts the chances of the political party who fly a credible candidate for winning the main election, it also increases the barometers of hope for the people.
This will change the narratives and encourage more good people into politics otherwise, Nigerian political terrain has been as a no-go-area to some individuals regardless of their constitutional rights and their leadership dexterity in managing the office they may vie for.
It should be known that the beauty of any democratic dispensation is its ability to elect qualified leaders through sound electoral processes without compromising the electoral principles that guide the processes. This will culminate to palpable transparency among sundry aspirants.
Since leadership is the root cause of most national hardship Confronting the land over time, it is expedient that the processes that lead to the emergence of leaders should be transparent enough to make the electorates elect their desired leaders without coercion from any quarters.
It is, therefore, germane to say that, allowing mere connections with the ‘power that be’ to influence the electoral processes in favour of some anointed contestant may jeopardize the emergence of passionate, diligent and intelligent leaders thereby endangering the destiny of our nascent democracy.
Not allowing qualified people to pick the tickets of our political parties has made us to be the architect of our own poverty, problems even when providence has made us a great and prosperous nation as early as the foundation of the world because we allow sentiment and personal aggrandizement to becloud our reasoning especially in filling people that will be.
We do not need to throw sincerity to the thin air because as it stands, it seems merit is no longer in our dictionary as things are being done by who we know than what we could do through our innate and honed abilities.
Delegates voting in any primary election in the country owe the good people of Nigeria and Kogi state in particular responsibility by jettisoning personal gains and have the destiny of our democracy at heart.
Dear Kogi delegates, bear in mind that the destiny of your people is in your hands, your decisions and actions during the primary elections will either cause your people laughter or they will languish in penury.
Precious delegates, do know also that you are on an errand for the people who are true owners of the throne. To them belongs the power. Whoever you vote for and whoever you pick will represent an emblem. It could either be an emblem of Warfare or that of welfare. It could be an emblem of social-economic development of the land or that of deceit in governance.