UNLESS the party’s constitution and the electoral laws are abided to in electing the most suitable candidates for the seats of the Edo Central senatorial district of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the House of Representatives, House of Assembly and other elective positions in the forthcoming elections, the party in the district is bound to experience avoidable internal crisis, which could spell doom for the party and make it to lose woefully to its opponents in all elections.
The greatest undoing of the party in the state, over which it has crash-landed and now play a second fiddle to its opponent, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), a newly established party, in the political scheme of Edo State, has been as a result of the same problem of double standards as orchestrated by a few stalwarts of the Edo Central PDP, who are always bent on having their way, against the will of majority of the party faithful and to the detriment of the party’s rules.
Instead of reinventing the party in the senatorial district and carrying out the needed surgical operations and damage control to stop the current dominance by the ACN, some of the key leaders of the party in Esan land continued to resort to old and unpopular methods of party control, whereas the party’s opponents in ACN and other less-fancied parties in the state have embraced the needed norms of collective engagement and popular choice.
The most recent of such ‘anomalies’ now playing out in the Edo Central senatorial district of the party is the suspicious move by a scanty cabal to impose their cronies as candidates in the elections, where those in the majority are genuinely calling for free and fair primaries.
Realistically, the imposition of candidates has not helped the party, but brought countless pains and defeats to it. Therefore, imposition has been seen as by the general party hierarchy as an ugly development which is not only divisive, but disastrous.
But key stakeholders of the party at the state and national level, including Chief Tony Anenih, a former minister and Board of Trustee (BOT) chairman of the party and leader of the party at his Edo Central senatorial constituency, have publicly professed a new PDP where things have to be done rightly.
To buttress this, Chief Anenih himself has recently publicly proclaimed to Edo Central party faithful, especially during the party’s stakeholders meeting held lately at his Benin City residence about his preference for a PDP where party rules have to be adhered to and primaries have to be conducted to elective positions.
Despite the admonition and standing of Chief Anenih, a section of the Edo Central PDP leadership are bent on undoing him, which incidentally is pitching them against majority of the Esan executives and members. And there exists a cabal that is devotedly cashing on their touted closeness to Chief Anenih (the Leader) to upturn his good intentions for the Esan PDP, in order to favour their selfish and narrow interest.
To this extent, Chief Anenih, a national leader of the party is under the undue pressure of the cabal to jettison his former position that the business of the PDP, Edo Central, should be carried out rightly.
Surprisingly, ‘the Leader’ was later to mellow down on his earlier tough stand on the imperative of primaries as he urged all at the party’s stakeholders’ gathering to go back home to appeal to members to return as automatic candidates the five lawmakers from the senatorial district who abruptly abandoned sitting following the last leadership crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly.
While the intention of Chief Anenih may be genuine, and to placate the five lawmakers for their losses, it however has set the stage for the cabal, the serving senator and House of Representatives members from the district to soon begin to spread the misinformation that Chief Anenih’s turn-around meant automatic tickets to the five lawmakers and their Abuja counterparts.
By Odion EJODAMEN , a political analyst, writes from Benin, Edo State.