By BASSEY ITA
At last, September 28,2022 is here. The date for which Political Parties are mandated by law to commence campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections is finally at the door.
The reality that has dawned with it is that the campaigns will go on as scheduled whether a party is interested and ready or not.
The time has also come to know and differentiate between the Contenders and Pretenders. For it has always been on record that those who Contend will end the battle in their destined office with every amount of seriousness,but those who Pretend would treat it with kid gloves ending in Law Courts,and the difference is in the results that will speak in the final analysis.
Serious Contenders would leave nothing to chance to ensure that there carry the day. But Pretenders would be nursing the thought of litigations after the elections proper.
Interestingly,the All Progressives Congress appears poised to take the lead at the forthcoming polls going by its show of capacity, strength and strategic planning skills.
The party’s alleged “marriage of strange bed fellows” as taunted by the opposition does not in any way obliterate its chances of victory.
What the opposition does not however know of the governing party is that it is on a fast lane to unite, unify and integrate the various tendencies and interests as against predictions that divided loyalty will mar its chances of victory.
Certainly,the stakeholders realise the inherent danger in losing any seat in the elections to the opposition.
If for example,they mortgage the chances of winning the Presidency but desire the Governorship in their kitty, that would mean putting undue pressure on the Governor in such a manner that will demystify his capacity and strength to cater for the needs of the large Army of party men and women.
Additionally,it would mean a restructuring of the political calculus of the state which also entails that the governance process would be affected at some points for the state to align with the centre.
This would therefore mean that so many opportunities would be elusive until things fall in line with new realities.
Should the party also covet the Presidency and Governorship but lose any Senatorial or House of Representatives Seats,there is still a terrible lacuna in the governance process especially at the state level. The Governor would be left at the mercy of opposition parties who would take advantage of their control of the national echelon to drag and delay the accomplishment of so many fortunes and goodwill pertaining the state.
It is even more dangerous or terrible to allow the opposition take a greater percentage of membership of the House of Assembly. It would be suicidal for the Governor to attempt to play politics with development indices to the advantage of his party only.
A shylock Assembly leadership would severally attempt to pull the rug off the feat of the Governor,and may even force him to deviate from initial idea and concept of running the state.
These arguments may spark some form of debate though,but the truth remains that when the chips are down the Politician in every public officer then will play out and book makers will definitely bring to mind that all that have been put down here have manifested or come to past.
In 1999,the exchange of ‘fisticuffs’ between the Donald Duke led PDP Government and the APP(later ANPP) controlled House of Assembly almost laid aground the governance of the state. In fact, for the most part of the Duke’s first term,it was one threat of impeachment or another. It was a case of misplaced priority; a squabble which affected the political economy of the state.
The House of Assembly suffered leadership change at some points perhaps because of the ‘ability’ of the Government to assert itself.
The House was torn against itself and all else is today history.
The APC is or should be oblivious of these reality. In fact,banking on media hype that the ruling party’s division is its bane and might likely cost it the 2023 polls is a clear case of hallucination coming from the opposition if it is not at all a matter of consolation for their inability to gather and put selves together for victory.
Incidentally,the large Army of APC members should also realise that the 2023 polls will not take the shape of the previous. With the advent of the BVAS technology,the ruling party must review its strategy in a manner that focuses more on grassroots impact as against the peripheral campaigns.Party members alone may not give the party the desired results,No! not now that the strength of the opposition has received a huge muscle size with the emergence of the “Obidient” factor as well.
Conclusively,it is trite to mention that against all odds the APC will exhibit the spirit of victory during the elections,a spirit that appears like a big masquerade;which makes its debut only when the event is big.
That spirit is the uncompromising attitude that naturally unites rival party members and speaks through their actions saying: “my party’s victory first before anything else”. That spirit is what will win for the APC!
BASSEY ITA,SSA to Governor Ben Ayade on Research and Political Orientation,writes in from Calabar.