Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
As preparations ahead of 2023 general elections are beginning to gather momentum, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Mr. Ben Adaji has advised the party to stay clear of imposition of candidates for the position of leadership if the party is retain power.
Adaji who gave the advice on Thursday while speaking to newsmen in Jalingo explained that his experience in the past where some members were denied participation in the primaries after the purchase of expression and intent forms was capable of causing crisis that would destroy the party in future.
The Chieftain who contested in 2015 and 2019 for the Ankpa/Omala/Olomaboro Federal constituency in Kogi State noted that the same imposing of candidates and neglect on the part of party leadership caused the fall of the PDP which was the largest political party in the country that lost to the APC in 2015.
According to him, if the APC will do same as the PDP, then the party should get ready to face the consequences in subsequent general election and advised the party to allow the members to choose their leaders at all levels as well as allow candidates to test their popularity.
Adaji who called on the youth to resist any attempt to use them as thugs ahead of the 2023 elections advised the party to be weary of some people rushing into its fold now as some of those decamping could be agents sent to destroy the fortunes of the party.
“We want the APC to be different from PDP in all its conducts having emerged through opposition to defeat PDP. For APC to have snatched power from PDP, the largest political party in Africa, that means people look at the party as better alternative to the PDP.
“The APC must therefore be very careful in carrying out all its activities by ensuring justice and fair play in all processes that would produce the leadership of the party at all levels.
“Can you imagine that in 2019, I purchased nomination form for N4 million to contest for the House of Representatives in Kogi State, on the day of the primary elections I was chased out of the venue and later someone said to be government candidate was imposed on us.
“Despite the injustice and ill treatment I remain in the party and worked for the success of the party in all the elections but was never rewarded with any appointment either in Kogi state or at the Federal level.
“I advise the party officials at all levels to provide a level playing ground for aspirants to test their popularity because without justice, the party should be ready to contend with stiff resistance and crisis because candidates will not accept to be shortchanged anymore.
“We expect the APC to correct the imbalances that caused the fall of the PDP and build on those mistakes to consolidate on its continuous existence. We also caution the APC to be weary of the new entrants as some of them might have contributed significantly to the woes of their former parties and may wish to perpetriate the same evil acts in their new party.
The veteran journalists and political scholar noted that the problems of political parties are not peculiar to the APC but it should allow justice to prevail so as to give the party the uniqueness as a model for internal democracy.