It is no longer news that virtually all the political parties have chosen the candidates that will be flying their respective flags in the upcoming general elections of 2019; what is news is that the PDP`s Convention held between 6th and 7th instant stood out as the new bride of our democracy.
Apart from the timing of the process which started behind schedule, this review would not have hesitated to call out to the best democracies in the world to prove that they could do it better.
In fact, the late take off eventually proved to be another important and strategic factor to testing the patience, resilience, resoluteness and commitment of the participants and thereby becoming a plus to the whole process.
There are no two ways about it; that exercise should be a thing of pride to all Nigerians and lovers of democracy. It has rekindled the hope of the electorates that we can always get things right if we are committed to doing so.
Therefore, it will be absolutely in order to say a very BIG THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS to the leadership of the party; members of the Convention Committees; the aspirants; the delegates; the security personnel; and every individual and group of persons that contributed to making that process a land mark event in the history of our democracy.
It is also noteworthy to congratulate all other parties for the successful conduct of their respective conventions and processes adopted in selecting/electing their flag bearers. You have all done well.
However, it is very important and necessary to mention that I picked on the PDP`s Convention amongst the lots because of its similarity to our usual process of voting in general elections.
I am not a party-man but a patriotic and an unrepentant advocate of democracy and good governance. I once registered for a party some years back during this Fourth Republic because of my love for Buhari and some
other true progressives;
but, the burning and unflinching patriotic tendencies in me overwhelmed my decision almost immediately and this resulted to its rescission and my opting to remain neutral for the best interest of our country and the citizenry.
I want to be seen and known for always
saying it as it is; and as it ought to be without fear, favour and biases. This is my little way of contributing my quota to the development of the polity.
Thus, the aim of this review is without prejudice to a particular political party or parties, individual or group of persons; it is meant to celebrate, encourage and support good and desirable conducts while also admonishing bad and undesirable conducts in our democratic processes.
Consequent upon the aforesaid, you will agree with me that good conducts are basic requirements for good governance and they beget enabling environments and developments; while bad conducts are requirements for bad governance and they beget chaotic environment and retrogression.
For every right thinking persons, the former should be our priority. It is based on this premise that I am constrained to put sentiments aside
as usual to commend the organizers and the partakers of that Convention for a job well done.
Though, I was only privileged to be one of the millions of people that watched the live telecast; the lessons from the exercise were overwhelmingly conspicuous.
At a point when the accreditation was taking much time, I became apprehensive and almost switched off the set but I had a change of heart and decided to continue watching and waiting to see
the magic that would play out.
Before, I knew it; it was noon of the following day. (I can say it without equivocation that, my toughest course at the university did not take such dedication and rapt attention from me).
The process was carried out in a manner that can be compared to one of the best conventions in the world. We may not appreciate the gains of that exercise now; but very soon it would be a positive reference point to other democracies in Africa and the world.
I am not surprised, that up till this moment, leadership of other political parties have not come out openly to commend and congratulate the PDP for a job well done because of the perception that nothing good can come out from a rival party.
That notwithstanding, I wish to advise the party to make arrangements for a repeat telecast preferably during the day time to give more people the opportunity to watch it and be guided on how to conduct ourselves as political parties, aspirants, electorates, security agents, independent observers and, umpires during elections.
Clean and clear copies of the video could also be made and circulated across the country as part of the party`s contribution towards sustaining our democracy. This is something we should all come together to support and encourage.
At this juncture, it is important to reiterate again that, this review is not meant to drum support for the party or any particular individual or group of persons in the forthcoming (2019) general elections but to draw the attention of the citizenry to the fact that
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK IN NIGERIA.
Another solid lesson I want us to learn from this exercise is the beauty of encouraging people to give a shot to their political ambitions or desires.
A lot of people had expected the large number of aspirants jostling for the presidential ticket will cause rancor at the end of the exercise; but, surprisingly, no single one of them has complained about the results (at least as at the time of writing) because the process was open, free, fair, transparent and credible.
If subsequent elections in the country are conducted likewise, the Election Petition Tribunals and other Courts will take a break from entertaining petitions and complaints of malpractices and other vices.
This is the level at which our democracy ought to be operating by now. It is disheartening that allegations of incidents of ballot box snatching; compromised security; intimidation of members of rival parties and voters; vote buying;
biased conducts by electoral umpires and security personnel; alteration of results; and, destruction of sensitive materials and documents to mention but a few always trailed every elections conducted in the country.
As I have posited elsewhere; it is a shame that after over 25 years we have not been able to replicate the June 12 legacy of the IBB`s administration.
This, Convention would have done the magic if not for the fact that it was narrower than a general election. However, the decent and orderly conducts of the participants during and after the exercise was another milestone in our democratic process and I stand to be corrected.
Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to read a trending news on social media of a
law maker reminding Nigerians of a time when 9 was greater than 16 in the process of an impeachment and that we are back to that era because such will play out in the National Assembly again.
The question is `are we supposed to be progressing or retrogressing? In as much as I cannot do anything to stop anybody or group of persons from satisfying their threats or carrying out the instructions of their leaders or political parties;
I can only remind them that they should ensure that they do all things in accordance to the provisions of the law (the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended) otherwise, it will be construed that the Constitution is no longer supreme and that Rule of Law is dead in our country. This will be an invitation to anarchy which could rubbish all the achievements of this administration since 2015.
Therefore, I am using this medium to advice our leaders to ensure that our situation does not deteriorate to that level.
We should have it at the back of our minds that whatever we do today will become history tomorrow. Let us do everything possible to be part of good history and legacies that will be bestowed to the coming generations.
We must join hands together to make our democracy work.