2019 Poll: Between Endorsement and Internal Democracy

Nigeria News takes a look at the internal democracy, endorsement of candidates as political parties prepare to organize primaries.

It will take a while for internal democracy to grow once those who should stand up to be counted remain quiet. Today, the noise about the endorsement of aspirants for various political posts is becoming louder than the primaries that should naturally produce them.

Two-term Governors are searching for successors that could cover their asses when they leave office. It does not matter how incompetent, so far the aspirants can protect some loots, the outgoing governors are ready to endorse them.  

Nevertheless, some of these stooges had turned out to be good leaders who eventually exposed their predecessors’ corrupt practices while in office. Except in Kwara State where Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed had protected the interest of his predecessor, Bukola Saraki, many past state governors had regretted endorsing their successors.

It took a lot of night dwellings and interventions of Lagos political elites for the former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to get a return ticket for the second term after he had had problems with his former boss and predecessor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Towards the end of Tinubu’s second term tenure, no fewer than 20 aspirants wanted his seat but he could only endorse his Chief of Staff, Mr Fashola.

Fashola’s endorsement broke the Action Congress into factions but the foresightedness of Tinubu to transform the AC to Action Congress of Nigeria saved the party.

Tinubu and Fashola had disagreed on some salient issues that nearly caused Fashola the second term in office.

It would be recalled that former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso endorsed his successor, Abdullahi Ganduje.  As at today, Kwankwaso and Ganduje are archrivals in the most populous northern state despite that the former endorsed the latter.

In Akwa Ibom State, the incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel and his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio are two parallel lines. Akpabio once said that he regretted imposing Emmanuel on Akwa Ibom.

Akpabio had since defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, just because he could not enjoy the loyalty of Emmanuel anymore.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, though a national leader of the APC will rather trust Vice President Osinbajo instead of Fashola. This has been the trend among governors and their successors.

As a matter of fact, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had criticized all his successors despite that he endorsed them. Severally, he had blamed himself for endorsing his successors.

As the country is warming up to another general election, many of the aspirants are seeking endorsements from their outgoing governors while internal democracy is suffering.     

Some of us do not have the wherewithal to contend with these enemies of democracy masquerading as an endorsement. It is not bad anyway to endorse a candidate but it must not take the place of primaries.

Many of these aspirants now run from pillars to posts seeking political bigwigs to endorse them rather than intensifying effort to win in the forthcoming party primaries. That is the more reasons, almost all the APC governors do not support the direct primary by the party but would always prefer the delegates option.

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