Pursuant to the time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all the registered political parties in Nigeria commenced plans towards holding their party primaries that will produce candidates for the 2023 general election. So far it has been the case of a mix of the good, the bad, the ugly and the out right despicable, all pointing to the fact that Nigerians are yet to learn from the pitfalls of the past and appreciate the true essence of democracy. The 4th republic is now more than 21 years old and instead of our democratic institutions getting better; we are now being confronted with “new normals” in a collective pretentious bid to elect those that will take over the reins of government in 2023.
All eyes are focused on the two major political parties, APC and PDP. Peter Obi, formerly of PDP resigned and is now the Presidential candidate of the Labour party. The primaries of the Labour party went smoothly and not much was heard of the open display of moral decadence by the delegates. However, we cannot say the same of the PDP that held its primaries for their aspirants who are vying for the offices of the President, governor and other positions. News from the various states of the federation are replete with vote-buying and capture of delegates with the use of the United States of America dollars. The naira wept. It was a dollar rain in Abuja that had never been seen before. To the discerning, it was obvious that the politicians (probably in connivance with dishonest bankers) had mopped up enough dollars preparatory to the party primaries. What a demented set of people!!
Meanwhile, the serious-minded industrialists, manufacturers and genuine businessmen were going through the harrowing torture of buying dollars in the black market at more than N620 to a dollar’ consequentially causing a sharp increase in the prices of manufactured and imported products that affect the everyday man.
It was reported that the EFCC personnel were on ground at the venue of the PDP primaries but no one has heard of any arrest by the EFCC or any report of investigation of how the aspirants were able to acquire these huge foreign exchange and how much tax they have paid to justify possessing such sums. The Money Laundering Act ought to be put to proper use.
If the dollarisation of party primaries is not checked and quickly too, it will ruin the economy, as the monies are not invested in productive ventures. It will be very difficult for a poor man to be elected or appointed a delegate (of course most of the delegates were just handpicked by godfathers and it was alleged that even delegates lobbied to be appointed or “elected” as delegates). The events of the past few days confirmed that the delegates are part of the educated elite, the wealthy and enlightened Nigerians. These are the same set of human beings that sold their conscience and the future of their children just for a pot of porridge. What moral justification will they now have to criticize the aspirants that bribed them if they win the general election and ended up being worse? If this class of persons can easily be swayed by monetary considerations, then Nigeria’s future is very bleak because we now seem to have more thieves outside waiting to take over from those in power, so that they can continue the looting and mismanagement of the economy. Apparently, leadership is no longer the cause only problem in Nigeria. Both leadership and followership have connived together to complete the ruination of Nigeria. Good governance can never come from such a jaundiced process.
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