Speaking from the two comers of the mouth: The tragedy of poor

internal democracy among the Parties!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Reports from several wards and local government council areas in Enugu state and from other states of the South East, where the Ward and State Congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria took place a couple of weeks ago, indicate a travesty of democracy, where Ward and other party Delegates and functionaries were arbitrarily hand -picked in accordance with the wishes and desires of the so-called Stakeholders and political godfathers. It beats our imagination that true democracy still eludes our country Nigeria.

It is indeed baffling that even after nearly seventeen years of unbroken succession and transition from one party to the other, a feat one would have thought is an index of an emerging democratic culture and practice, we are still fumbling with archaic ideas and practices of godfatherism in party politics. It is extremely painful today, in the light of the extreme poverty among the majority of the people coupled with its consequent sub- standard living conditions, to witness the volume of money and materials wasted in the so called congresses, even when the results of the congresses were largely written ever before the congresses could even begin.

Where are we going with this type of profligacy among our so called political leaders and stakeholders for the people? How long are we likely to put up with these forms of extreme abuse of power and authority among our political juggernauts? In fact, it is difficult to know whether our so-called political leaders are ever conscious of the legacies they are bound to put in place for the future generations of leaders of this country. I do not know whether these men and women in power today ever know that there is always a tomorrow that is certain to come.

One is not certain, whether they are ignorant of the history of power and how every form of abuse of power has always had very bitter consequences both for the victims and for the perpetrators.. Are they not able to learn from the experiences of other nations how best party politics could be fairly played? Or do we think that might will for ever remain right even in an emerging democratic dispensation? Let it be known that the situation cannot remain the same for a very long time. Lack of internal democracy among any political party in a democratic set-up is a dangerous phenomenon capable of derailing any democratic political process.

This too is dangerous. Human activities are largely governed by rules and regulations. Nature itself makes it evident that rules and regulations are essential if life is to be enhanced and prospered. We cannot do things the way we want without due recourse to existing norms and procedures. Take for instance a farmer who would want to plant his crops without due recourse to the weather and the seasons will be wasting both his time and his resources. He cannot plant most of his crop during the dry season unless he has the assurance of proper irrigation and adequate water supply for the required nutrients.

The same is true of politics. We cannot play politics in the art and forms injurious to the essence of the state. States are established for the welfare of the people. And party politics is not for its own sake. It is a process of service to the state for the people. And any form of double-standards spell doom for the polity. It is therefore anachronistic on the part of the so-called political godfathers to encourage chasing with the hare and pursuing with the hound.

To speak from both corners of the mouth, a practice ripe among them, is indeed a cankerworm that is capable of destroying our whole political ethos. As a result, the present crop of politicians and the so-called Stakeholders are advised to put on their thinking caps and know that you can fool a people for a time but not all the people all the time. The common people of this country have been severally fooled but the scenario cannot be allowed to continue. Enough is enough!



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