Politics

Oshiomhole truly deserves help!

Only few in the country will dispute Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s place in the hall of fame in the Nigerian labour movement. As a labour activist, he successfully mobilised workers to pursue collective goals of the working class. APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole It is in that light that one can mark out his positive marks in the evolving crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC over the mode of selection of candidates of the party in the forthcoming general election. Arguably, this crisis could well be the best thing to come out of the political space in recent years. The APC as a registered political party submits to the provisions of the Electoral Act in the nomination of its candidates for elective offices. The act stipulates that candidates for elections must emerge through democratic means. Section 87 of the subsisting Electoral Act (2010) specifically stipulates that candidates for elections from the State Houses of Assembly to the office of President must emerge either through direct or indirect primaries in the political parties. Only in the case of councillorships does the Act specifically stipulate that the selection of candidates should be by direct primaries at the ward level. The ward level is indeed, the base of all political activities where political muscles are developed.Oshiomhole.png When politicians say that all politics is local, they refer to the turf war that happens at the ward level where strongmen face off one another in determining who produces the ward executives and delegates that go on to make the selection of candidates at the various levels. The network of associates a politician is able to weave at the ward level is what combines to give him or her the famed structure that politicians often brag about. So when a politician talks about structure, he or she is often talking of the influence he has on the party at the crucial ward level. Once a structure is set up the politician has to regularly maintain it. The maintenance of structure in simple language means servicing all those in the structure with funds and patronages. In the APC, once the structure is set up at the ward level, the same set of people form the bulk of those who go on to nominate candidates for every set of election till they leave office. That is the reason why blood was shed during the recent congresses of the APC across the states. These ward executives or delegates become prized “commodities” who often go to the highest bidder. Billions are spent to buy them over or sustain them by those who desire political office, especially at the governorship level. It is alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki after seeing how much Oshiomhole spent on sustaining the structure has now come to hate politicians in Edo State. “I have paid you for your vote and support, so what do you need more from me,” the governor is said to have muttered as he redirects political patronage towards governance. His predecessor, that is, Oshiomhole who was directly involved may have now decided to take the bull by the horn by addressing the corruption that flows from the indirect primaries that breeds the dissonance in our politics today.

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