The imposition of candidates in the democratic era

Imposition of candidates in the poltical system

The imposition of candidates before an election has been an occurrence in the Nigerian political system since ages-partly due to the military regime of following the command structure. There is usually no democratic process involved in the military system of government that was the form of government in this country for decades before the advent of democracy-hence, godfatherism was the order of the day.

There is still confusion out there in the political space whether Nigeria still runs a military or democratic system of government. It appears to me that it is a democratic government but the workings still look like that of the military. When the military decided to relinquish power in 1999 for civilians to take leadership position in this country, there were lots of skeptics who believed that it would be short lived (democracy). This believe paved way for retired military officers who presented themselves for political offices and eventually won. The 1999 constitution was hurriedly drafted and became a law-Nigerians are still grappling with its numerous defects because the main creators of the constitution have the thinking a military.

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The People’s Democratic Party that took leadership position from 1999-2015 were embroiled in one litigation or the other as a result of imposition of candidates by some party leaders. The same is also said of the All Progressive Congress as the national leader of the party in the person of Bola Tinubu, have been accused of imposition in the past. All these various imposition (godfatherism) does not align with the principle or tenets of democracy. I might add that majority of party litigation stem from the issue of imposition of candidates-litigation that are inconclusive in most cases.

The recent imposition of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State as the candidate for the upcoming governorship election by the current governor Ayodele Fayose is another example of the commando style that leaders have adopted to govern. The political parties have laws and internal mechanisms that are put in place to elect any candidate gunning for a position and to ensure equity and fairness; it will do well for the party mechanisms to be followed. I see why political office holders cross carpet from one party to the other because of nepotism.

Why would a governor or a party leader want to impose a candidate over others seeking the same political position-I bet the answer to that question will be speculative. To gain political relevance, ensure that their tracks are covered, to clean whatever mess they have made while in power, the competency of the imposed candidate, to further enrich themselves, to foster continuity, are some of the reasons why many thinks that imposition by these leaders is never an option.

There are delegates that vote for candidates when parties hold congress at the national, state, local and ward levels. These are the game changers that the candidates are supposed to sell their ideas to, and not to some godfathers somewhere who imposes candidates-it does not reflect the true position of the party and to some extent does not give room for grass root politics/politicians.

Kindly make your comments or share the subject above. Thank you.

Photo Credit: informationnigeria

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