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APGA Primaries: As Party Members Square Up Against The Cabal (Opinion)

By Emeka Okoye, Esq


The stage is indeed set. The coming days will be engulfed by intense politicking across the major political parties seeking power from Ndi Anambra. For the frontline parties-APGA, PDP and APC, the quest to clinch the party’s ticket will obviously portray an intriguing spectacle, with the obvious belief that whoever emerges from these parties, could ultimately become the chief executive officer of the state in the next dispensation. 

With INEC’s announcement a few weeks ago, directing that the primaries must hold between June 10 and July 1, while cautioning the political parties on the need to conduct ‘very credible and representative’ primaries, stakeholders are being allowed the last minute chances to re-tool their encumbrances before throwing spanner in the works.

This seems to be particularly true for the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, where overriding political interests are angling to bend the rules in order to get the elections to go their way. While there is nothing bad in aspiring to any political office one is qualified for, efforts must be made to align every process to the rules of the game. For the Igbo man, APGA holds a princely attachment, since Ikemba identified with its goals and aspirations and vigorously made his voice heard on their behalf when it mattered most. The expectation was that with its strong roots and accomplishments in Anambra, APGA was better positioned to clinch all the states in the South East and possibly South South. But that has not been realized, instead the party has seemingly lost all hopes of coming to reckoning, no thanks to the cabals. 

Incidentally that mistake is rearing its ugly head in Anambra where APGA has its foothold at the moment. This is why all men of goodwill within the party, must support the National Working Committee in the face of the overwhelming interference being orchestrated by the same cabals.

To understand the importance of having a well-rounded democratically optimal selection process in the party, it is imperative that everyone takes a good look at Prof Rahat Gideon’s specular work in 2008, tilled: ‘Which Candidate Selection Method is More Democratic?’ The renowned political science scholar, whose works have shaped the political democracies in the world, argued that parties must make their considerations as broad as possible in a way nearly every member would have the right to determine who emerges as a candidate. By this he means that since democracy is a game of the people, the more the number of people who are involved as ‘selectorate’ the better. That is exactly what many members of All Progressives Grand Alliance are seeking. They yearn to be part of the selecting process, so that they can share in the pride of being part of the exercise that brought about their candidate. The party structure must sample the opinion of members of the party at ward levels on their fears about imposition to understand why Prof Rahat Gideon noted that ‘internal rebellion’ is the consequence of any candidate selection process that smacks of imposition. It may ‘work well’ for the members of the cabal due to their ulterior motives which are usually selfish, but the worst that can happen is to leave any APGA member believing that the candidate who emerged is ‘theirs’, rather than ‘ours’. 

The party must tread cautiously at this time to avoid any slips that will leave the structure with internal wrangling at this auspicious time. APGA cannot afford another Imo State experience in Anambra state, which is like the ‘lone palm nut inside the fire place’. We can’t let the nut burn because of a cabal, who are ready to jump to other parties once APGA fails.

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