Ezeemo advocates for party internal democracy
Ezeemo advocates for party internal democracy
By Emenike Daniel
As the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State draws closer, the gubernatorial hopeful under the Peoples’ Progressive Alliance, Godwin Chukwunaenye Ezeemo, has emphasized the need for internal democracy in political parties as a prerequisite for ensuring democratic leadership in Nigeria.
Ezeemo stated this in an interactive session with Journalists in Awka, Anambra state, he however observed that party politics is the basic unit in the election of political leadership of a people and therefore the existence or absence of internal democracy goes a long way to determine whether democratic principles and practices would be religiously applied by the leaders.
He also noted that party values, politics and leadership structure in country, stating that Nigerians hardly have value for parties and are only interested in the money they make, and not on how the ideology of their party survives.
He observed that involvement in party activities are usually done haphazardly or as a means of livelihood and not as an ideology that should be driven to benefit everybody.
The gubernatorial hopeful observed that there is lack of internal party discipline and that most Nigerian political parties lack the moral authority necessary for preserving the values of the party because the leadership of the party is usually the people in political positions at the particular time and their family members, close associates.
He frowned at the situation whereby incumbent party holders sanction the decision of the parties and approve candidates for election, most times without considering the opinion of the party’s stakeholders. This, he attributed to the enormous amount of money these political office holders command, as well as the way the party leadership is structured to favour them and silence opposition.
He said that this structure creates the unhealthy situation whereby political office holders become demigods and dictators to be appeased before one attains any position in the party. Ezeemo expressed concern that people hardly oppose this status quo and even compromise any step in to oppose.
“This structure makes the incumbent the sole owner of the party who owes nobody any apology or explanation except for other elites of similar socio-economic level in the party,” he said
Attributed the chronic and worsening situation of the socio-political system of the country to joining political parties because of the popularity of the party, Ezeemo advised the electorate to consider the core values of a party and the level of adherence to the values before joining such party.
He encouraged party members to reject any “Trojan horse” gifts from the party and ensure that their conscience and value system to judge their decisions. He charged party executive committees to desist from selling their consciences for money and eschew being biased and disinterested in the candidates that present themselves.
He also advocated for a legislative act against the “cash and carry” delegate system practiced in party primary elections and encouraged aspirants to elective positions to submit themselves to party members’ objective scrutiny and appropriate elections and certification.
He said that this paradigm shift would go a long way in ensuring improved compliance to party values, policies, transparent party primaries, improved internal discipline and party loyalty, active participation of members, improved leadership recruitment, development and mentorship system, reduced corrupt enrichment and political aggrandizement, reduced decamping of political party holders and sycophants, reduced political violence and speculative politics and ultimately a rapid turn-around of politics in Nigeria for the betterment of every Tom, Dick and Harry.
Reacting to questions, Ezeemo reiterated his resolve to change the position of Anambra State presently and would never settle for less as is being speculated in some quarters. “I have been approached severally to stand down for a deputy governorship position by the previous administration which he vehemently turned down.
In his words; “I want Anambrarians and Nigerians to know that what we need in our politics today are politicians and political parties that are interested in providing the basics for everybody. We don’t want to make only 10 per cent of the people happy but 90 per cent.
“My coming to be the governor of Anambra State is not borne out of ambition but passion; the desire to help my black brothers who have been subjected to so much oppression by themselves. A leader should be a servant.
“I have not come to use violence, to deceive or use violence. I have come to give our people the very best they never had. I am powered by my trust in God not arms.”