Some people said imposition cost PDP in Anambra State but I laughed. How? How can? PDP has not won APGA since it relinquished power to it between 2003-2005 at the tribunals to get back at Chris Ngige. In the last election, no person fielded by APC or PDP would have made a difference. The reason is that those who failed to get the ticket would either sit bye and watch or connive, compromise or make a deal with APGA.
Fact is every party gives ticket to whom they wish. They may narrow their choice down to 3 candidates, but a party ultimately decides who flies its banners in an election. In USA the Democratic Party were hell bent on Hilary. They used the party machinery to deliver Hillary Clinton ahead of the popular challenger. In the Republican party, the party did everything possible to use their internal machinery to stop Donald Trump. But the other candidates couldn’t withstand his popular appeal amongst voters, hence the gamble that paid off with the Hillary Clinton slip up.
Here in Nigeria it is no different. APC deliberately swung their ticket to older septuagenarian Buhari because their calculation was to leverage on his integrity and wild acceptability in the north to win. In doing so they abandoned younger and progressive candidates like Atiku, Kwakwaso et al. Peter Obi imposed Obiano an outsider. To acheive that he caused the disqualification of his now beautiful bride Oseloka Obaze. In Ekiti, PDP was resolute on returning Fayose and nothing stopped them. Tinubu did not chose Fashola and Ambode by fair polls, but they won and they became successes in government. Governor Wike was chosen even against zoning and he won and is a success. I can go on and on and on.
A party decides who runs for it in an election. A party has a way of using its machinery to stop an unwanted candidate or deliver the candidate of choice. How they manage the fallout is entirely a different kettle of fish.
In Anambra, PDP ran to the new man and more sane Peter Obi to steer away from the Offor-Chris Ubah-Ifeanyi Ubah Ego wars. Anambra PDP is so bad that PDP submits three sets of names for the last National Assembly elections, INEC screened all the three groups. Upon winning, the former PDP National leadership could not say who were the authentic candidates they sent to INEC. INEC on their part didn’t have courage to say who were the authentic Anambra National Assembly candidates. All because of monies paid in hard currencies. It finally boiled down to the Supreme Court.
PDP took a gamble in Peter Obi. They felt he could bring renewed impetousity and organization to the party. Yet the same games played out. Those PDP chieftains who lost out worked for APGA. That has been the shape of the elections for Anambra PDP for over 10 years now.
Nobody can manage Anambra PDP. A sitting former southeast governor tried it and paid heavy price for it. They are a loose cannons. No matter the candidate that won, even in a free and fair primaries, others would work against him by supporting APGA. It was the same in-fighting that made Athur Eze, Tony Nwoye, Ekwunife, Senator Andy Ubah defect to APC. Yet their defection didnt reduce the list of gladiators and power mongers in Anambra PDP.
This is Nigeria where someone loses the ticket and gets bitter. Unless you enter into a compromise to pay off his expenses and further pay some upon winning, they are likely to swing to the opponent. Matured politicians who support a candidate that defeated them at the primaries wholeheartedly are few in our polity.
What happened in Anambra last Saturday was not new. It has been happening. for the past 12 years and may continue to happen. APGA is the beneficiary of their confusion and battle that started in 2003 after they stopped then Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju for a second term.
Kissinger Ikeokwu is a lawyer and a political trend analyst.