I have watched and read with keen interest the debate around the propriety of either 3rd or 4th term ambition of some elected members of the national assembly in Edo state either in APC or the PDP but of interest to me is that of the APC.
The APC in Edo state has multiple issues confronting it either we accept this and face it and resolve it or we bury our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and pretend that all is well.
It is a well known truism that elected members of the national and state assemblies can seek for unlimited number of terms for elections under our democratic system.
However local dynamics and several other factors can either support or truncate such mission.
But the key underlying issues that we, as stakeholders should not loss sight of are the following ;
1. Party Unity and discipline
2. Party funding
3. leadership sincerity and transparency.
4. Reward system for loyalty and sacrifice
I wont dwelt much on item 3 because those are issues that will be dealt with at a much more higher level at the appropriate time.
On those who are going about blackmailing the party for automatic ticket please let us sit down and ask ourselves questions.
Who really deserve automatic ticket?
There are different levels of sacrifices made by and for the party by members across board, there are those who were not inaugurated by the government into the house of assembly.
There are those who resigned from plum political appointments and state assignments to stick with the party when the governor decided to ditch the APC and fight our leaders dirty.
There are those who have been stepped down of their aspirations several times due to numerous factors.
There are those elected councilors and commissioners who were removed or suspended from office without pay owing to their allegiance to the APC.
So the question is how do you categorize the level of sacrifices and how do you prioritize the level of compensation?
I have my views and my views remains that only free and fair primaries for all aspirants will save the party. Anything short of this is dangerous for the party and our electoral fortune.
2020 election in Edo state came and has gone, but so much took place. We were defeated in the 7 LGAS in Edo south and Edo central and we lost one LGA in Edo north? Have we investigated the factors that led to this abysmal perfomance? Was there a post election audit? What is the outcome of the exercise?
Was monies diverted?
Who diverted it?
Has disciplinary measures been taken against those who sabotaged our chances in these LGAs?
What are their reasons for working against the party at the time?
Have those issues been resolved?
We must ask these questions because 2023 is by the corner and if steps are not taken to nip these incidences of persons hijacking party resources for their personal gains it will definitely repeat itself again.
The issues at stake are far beyond the quest for party ticket irrespective of term(s) we must have a party first.
For me and most party members we must as a party find a way to reward loyalty and commitment to party ideals, mission and goals.
On party cohesion and unity, how have relevant organs of the party met in line with our constitution?
How are the units coordinated? How regular are ward meetings and others?
Do we rely on one or two money bags for funding?
What are the sustainable ways of funding the party to strengthen leadership principles and the urge to stand for and by the truth?
The forthcoming primaries of the party will be watched with keen interest by all and sundry, the laws governing the conduct are well spelt out under the electoral act, the sections of the law have been activated. There is no hide and seek.
I urge you all to keep faith with the party, continue to be loyal, committed and responsible in our campaigns for the ticket.
APC remains the party to beat but as the Bible says let those who think they standeth take heed lets they fall.
Let us remember we have a strong opposition in the state (by the way the governor and the PDP doesn’t think we have the capacity to match them) hence we need popular candidates that have a history and record of perfomance.
2023 elections will present a different outlook compared to the trajectories of the past. We must be watchful therefore.
As I said in previous interactions with my coordinators, my campaign will continue to be issue based and therefore I expect others to do same.
Taiwo F. Akerele
APC house of representatives aspirant for Akoko Edo federal constituency.