Sunday, 26 April 2020

C/River North: PDP cannot conduct a second primary


26 April 2020 

The 24th March 2020 demise of Dr. Rose Oko, the Senator representing Cross River North at the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has thrown the People's Democratic Party, PDP, the northern senatorial district and the entire Cross River into disarray as eminent Nigerians jostle for the replacement of the late lawmaker. 

While the aspirations of some within the PDP political fold in the state for the plum job is welcoming as they are entitled to their sundry political associations, and inclinations the fact still remains that, the political leaning or body language if you wish of prominent members of the PDP in the state suggests that the logic of internal democracy, fairness and justice is poised to be thrown out through the window of unreasonable sentiment, complicated by parochial, self-serving interests. 

If one recall the facts and issues that transpired during the primaries of the PDP preceding the 2019 general elections, then it would be agreed without contention that, for the present jostle for who should replace the late Senator Oko, no other personality perfectly fits the tag like the Comrade Godwin Nyiam. Follow me and see why I hold this opinion; besides, I am not alone in this disposition. But, still stand to be corrected though. 

More importantly, the fact still remains that there were only two persons who demonstrated interests to fly the party's Cross River North Senatorial flag during the 2019 general elections and they went all the way to demonstrate their commitment to that cause. And they're Godwin Nyiam and Rose Oko. Oko won that interest with over 400 votes during the PDP Cross River North primary while Nyiam trailed behind with 5 votes. Oko got to win the seat in the general elections beating other party's candidates as usual, represented the district for almost a year but was snatched off by the cold hands of death (may her soul rest in peace). 

So, come to think of it, who should naturally fly the party's flag during the forthcoming bye elections for the said vacant senatorial seat? Should the PDP in Cross River conduct a fresh primary for an occupant for Cross River North? If your response is in the affirmative, my question is this: how economically savvy is that for the party? How politically logical is that move? How does this foster justice and reward for responsibility? My questions are unending. 

If you don't know, let me inform you that during the primary and build up to the election, the PDP in the state had only two candidates jostling to sit as Senator representing Cross River North at the 9th National Assembly, NASS. Consequently, only two of them purchased the Data Form, only these two got Intent /Nomination Forms, only two of them were screened by the screening committee set up by the National working Committee of PDP, thus only two of them were issued with Clearance Certificates by INEC to stand the primary elections, in fact we saw only two names on the ballot papers during the primary; and these illustrious two are —Late Sen. Rose Oko and Comr. Godwin Nyiam. 

Surprisingly, Comr Nyiam isn't my friend and I am indifferent to whether he wins or looses: it's public knowledge that we've had our issues especially with my stance as a blogger/public affairs analyst and he, as a public officer in the defunct DOPT now Traffic Management Agency, and thus may not have liked his style of implementing public policy, but I still find it quite difficult to shut my mouth in the face of this anticipated injustice by the PDP.

As usual, my concerns may not be looked into, but if the PDP must pride itself as a Democratic, not an autocratic political party, then the issues of justice, fairness and the like should be given the primacy it deserves during this bye election. 

It should be stressed that to go contrary to these submissions on the part of the PDP in Cross River is to show at this level that the PDP seem not to have repented of the numerous shenanigans committed by her between 1999 and 2015 for which the Nigerian public is yet to forgive her —suffice it to be said that the PDP in Cross River cannot justifiably conduct a second primary for Cross River North Senatorial Bye Election 2020.



Efio-Ita Nyok is a blogger with keen interest in politics. 



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