Imo Guber: The Challenges Before Labour Party
Over the last few weeks, there has been pressure on me from several quarters to openly align with one or another of the many gubernatorial aspirants on the Labour Party platform and I have deliberately parried that temptation, preferring instead to wait until the Party concludes her primaries. One has to understand that the political situation in Imo State is precarious, and more than mere political interests should be contemplated before throwing your support to anyone. Being the only viable alternative vehicle that can produce a governor of the people, major stakeholders, partisans and patriots must be circumspect in their speeches and actions in order to ensure that this vehicle’s tyres are not deflated and the vehicle grounded before a candidate emerges.
The APC administration in Imo State does not delude itself about its chances in the governorship election. They know that Imolites do not have any confidence in them, and they will lose out in any election that is reasonably free and fair. They are therefore channeling all their resources to some extrajudicial, fraudulent, violent and even criminal measures in order to have any chance of retaining power in the State.
To avoid the pitfalls of the PDP in the State, the Labour Party must be deliberate in ensuring that the processes leading to the nomination of its flag-bearer are transparent and without legal and procedural loopholes that might be exploited by the APC to both discredit it’s candidate or potentially disqualify such candidate.
The accusations from several quarters about the APC having planted moles as aspirants in the Labour Party must be taken seriously. However, suspicion of someone being a mole should not form a fair ground to disqualify such a candidate. I would prefer that all the candidates are allowed to go to the polls and the one that gets the highest number of votes from delegates be nominated. However, if any candidate must be disqualified, the reason for such disqualification must be both cogent and verifiable.
Those who planted moles as aspirants in the Party might have done that to give these fake aspirants the locus to sue the Party and the eventual flag-bearer should they fail to follow the guidelines set out for the primaries. This is not completely ruling out the possibility that they might as well attempt to hijack the primaries and foist one of their moles or a weak aspirant as the candidate. Some members of the PDP NWC were accused of playing such game in Lagos, where they allegedly collected money from the APC and handed over their governorship ticket to a weak candidate.
The organisers of the primary election must also pay special attention to security arrangements during the primaries, because given the APC well-known proclivity for violence and other devious methods, it won’t be surprising to see thugs invade the primary election venue to disrupt it. It appears that the only security agency that is a little responsible and restrained and efforts should be made to engage the services of the Army to maintain orderliness at the venue of the primary election. Relying on the Police may be a very risky choice because it is difficult separating the Police in Imo State from political thugs.
The Labour Party might as well be the last hope of Ndi Imo to retake their State, and the ability of those charged with the responsibility of conducting this primary election to ensure that the votes of the delegates count and the delegates’ own ability to make a credible choice devoid of personal interest will determine if Imo will return to the people or will remain the trading bay of some dangerous cabals in Abuja.