By Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim
My very first post this year on a major political issue was on January 2nd. It was an invitation to all Nigerians to take more than a passing interest in the build-up to the primaries of the political parties, particularly the APC and the PDP.
This is because the way they are run may present Nigerians with a fait accompli for the 2023 election.
Unfortunately, the counsels we offered were not heeded.
First, the electoral law, due to infighting amongst the various sections of the political party became flawed.
INEC which took sides with the Buni-led Caretaker Committee in the APC, imposed a very tight primary, scheduled originally intended to benefit the defunct Caretaker Committee.
The intent was to make the Caretaker Chairman preside over the Presidential Convention of the APC, that was why primaries of political parties normally held in November were moved to April/June.
The confusion in the Primaries have been complicated with the monetisation of the primaries which started with the unreasonable costs of nomination forms.
Even smaller political Parties participated in the bazaar.
When I chose not to buy the nomination form and chose to wait for the time of sanity and God’s time, a lot of my supporters saw reasons with me.
I remain grateful for this understanding and support.
But there were a few shallow-minded fellows who came to mock what they frame as inability to pay 100m Naira.
It is simple. A normal person will not bring out 1 million naira to buy a bottle of Coke just to show that he is a rich man. Only yahoo boys, drug barons and other categories of money launderers will do that.
In 1998, after the death of Abacha and the country instituted a transition programme and I was fortunate to be one of those who founded the (then) PDP that eventually became the ruling party in 1999, the party charged only 500,000 naira for Governorship nomination form as against 50m in the ruling party of today.
Courtesy of errors and mischief in the Electoral Act, very few people, subject to monetary inducements and other pecuniary interest are choosing party flag bearers in a process devoid of principles, values, policy and character.
Yesterday, even former President Goodluck Jonathan had to describe what is going on in the party primaries, a mess.
The outcome of the ongoing process is already predictable.
Let us hope that the winner, particularly of the Presidential election, will be as kind to Nigerians as Umaru Yar’Adua who was a beneficiary of a flawed process, but was forthright to call it flawed.
The ongoing process is already irretrievably damaged due to the intransigence of the political actors and INEC, to yield to good counsel to pull back and correct the obvious anomalies in the process.
No government produced from this process can pride itself in any glorious legitimacy, but such a government can do one thing for our great country which is to form a Government of National Unity, and commit to an honest process of Electoral reform.