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Voters at an election: the right people should be chosen through the right process

As the countdown towards the conduct of the governorship election in Anambra State continues, political parties have also entered the final phase of the process to choose their nominees through their primaries. This stage is usually fraught with frenetic activity, intra-party squabbles and sometimes violence. This last feature was experienced at the recent primary of the United Progressive Party, UPP, in Awka, in which a delegate died while protesting the exclusion of some people from the list. His death came as a result of inhalation of teargas emissions after the police fired teargas to control the unruly crowd. The death of the party man is very unfortunate and we condole with the family and party members in their moment of grief. However, while it is not our intention to dictate to parties how they should operate, we will not hesitate to enjoin them to abhor those things that normally trigger misunderstanding and violence. They can achieve this by strictly adhering to the letters of their party’s constitutions and guidelines, especially during this important period. Anambra State has enjoyed relative peace for a long time now and every peace loving person wants this situation to linger. The days when Anambra was known for violent and ill-tempered politicking are happily gone and no one wants that era to return. It is our considered view that badly done primaries will disturb the polity and will likely flow into the election proper. This, we do not want. That is why we implore parties to insist on the right and proper procedure at all times to eliminate such rancorous situations. The aim of party primaries, in this case, guber, is to choose the right people who will manage the affairs of the state. Every party should ensure therefore, that only their best emerge and through a credible process to boot. It is clear that credible primaries will brook no opposition and products of such will give the electorate a good pool of choices to make. The impending governorship election in Anambra State is an important one and no one wants processes that will throw up bad choices. The political parties owe it a duty to make this to happen. They should also refuse the influence of moneybags whose stock in trade is to buy votes with money from their godfathers, only to hold the state to ransom later. These people are moving about now with their money, preying on the gluttony of people. We thus urge those involved in picking candidates to look beyond their stomach to the future by choosing credible people that will make their tomorrow better. But in doing this, violence should be eschewed.

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