Last year, when the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih advocated for an automatic ticket for President Good Luck Jonathan in the next year’s Presidential Election, the opinion of Nigerians were divided on the matter! While some applauded Chief Anenih for that novel idea in the largest political party in Africa, others tongue lashed him for expressing an opinion he is entitled to! Those who supported an automatic ticket for President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan said it would be another milestone for the ruling party and our fledgling democracy if the motion by Chief Anenih is adopted. But those who opposed the idea said it would be undemocratic for the party to give automatic ticket to President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan! However, in this piece, I will be doing the cost-benefit analysis of giving automatic ticket to the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by the ruling People’s Democratic Party to contest the next year’s Presidential Election in Nigeria.
There is no gain denying the fact that party primary creates unnecessary riples and wrecking division among the party faithfuls, which most times lead to protest votes during the general elections! For example, based on our own political experience here in Nigeria, it is an oddity for the incumbent president of a country and the leader of the ruling party to go for primary election and lose the election! Hence, it is an utopian believe we cannot exercise in the current democratic odyssey in Nigeria. Please don’t call me a pessimist because the views I express here are products of painstaking researches I have conducted! Therefore, the baloney been peddled or been hypothesized by some political delusionists cannot hold water in the emerging political realities in the country. To buttress my point further so as to escape any emigramic onslaught, let me cite some exculpatory political realities in America, the place we copied our Presidential System of Government from. First, in 1976, when the incumbent United States President, Gerald Ford encountered a tough primary battle from Ronald Reagan, though Mr. Ford defeated Mr. Reagan, but, because of the much energy and resources expended on party primary alone, President Gerald Ford and his Republican Party lost the general election. Also, in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter went in to a bitter part primary with Ted Kennedy, though Mr. Carter defeated Mr. Kennedy, but, at the general election, President Carter and his Democratic Party lost the election. Finally, in 1992, when President George Bush senior went in to party primary with Mr. Pat Buchanan, though Mr. Bush won the primary, but, he lost in the general election to Bill Clinton! So, when the various party stakeholders saw the devastating effects subjecting incumbent presidents to another round of party primary was having on the entire party apparatus as well as diminishing the chances of the ruling party from retaining its ruling status, they stopped subjecting incumbent presidents to another round of party primary. That was why former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush junior and current President Barrack Obama were not subjected to another round of party primaries by their respective parties, but were all given automatic tickets when they indicated interest in going for second term which they all won and retained the ruling status of their respective parties. So, Chief Tony Anenih, a man I call “The Living Oracle” is right when he advocated for the replica of what happened in our role model democratic nation here in Nigeria, by asking for an automatic ticket for incumbent President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan in the next year’s Presidential Election in the country.
Beside all the hunkum-bunkum by cynics, Chief Anenih is also right because, if a tenant is in a house, and the landlord of the house wants to sell the house, nicety demands that, the landlord should first of all ask the tenant if he is interested in buying the house. If he says yes, he wants to buy the house, then there is no need inviting outsiders to come and bid for the house let alone selling the house to them! Based on this analogy, Chief Anenih is absolutely right by advocating for an automatic ticket for President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan Azikiwe (GEJA) in 2015.
Similarly, another convincing reason the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should not hesitate in giving automatic ticket to President Jonathan is because, this will be the first time in the history of the “Umbrella” when the ruling party would be seriously challenged by merged political parties now known as the All Progressives Congress (APC). So, if the PDP had been conducting primary elections for incumbent presidents when the party had clear cut majority in more than 24 states, it should make a volte-face now that it controls only 18 states of the federation, while the APC control’s 16 states and the remaining two states belongs to the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) respectively. This is because, the electoral law says a presidential candidate must win at least two third (2/3) of the total vote cast, before he can be declared the winner of the election. Hence, the (2/3) of the 36 states of the federation is 24. This means that, the PDP must win in 24 states, whereas the party is only controlling 18 states presently. Therefore, the wisdom in Tony Anenih’s call for an automatic ticket for President Good Luck Jonathan is not about the personality called “Jonathan”, but it’s about the future of PDP and its ruling status, coupled also with the inglorious effects it would have on the vision, mission and passion of the party as well as the founding fathers and leaders of the party at all levels of governance! For instance, can a landlord in Abuja afford to withstand the shock and the shame of losing his land lordship status to people who control and reign supreme in Lagos State? This type of ugly situation is what Chief Tony Anenih, the “Living Oracle” is trying to prevent by calling for an automatic ticket for President Jonathan!
In the same vein, giving an automatic ticket to President Good Luck Jonathan would bring cornucopia of blessings to the ruling PDP! This is because, when the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would be busy tackling the challenges their presidential primary would present, the PDP and President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan had already settled down mapping out and implementing the winning strategies for the election. This is one the proven strategies President Barrack Obama used in defeating his Republican rival, Mitt Romney in the 2012 US Presidential Election which Mr. Obama ran as an incumbent President.
Based on the foregoing, I strongly believe that President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan deserves the automatic ticket of the ruling party as an incumbent President and leader of the party. Therefore, in the absence of any contrary opinion, I hereby second the motion moved by Chief Anenih for an automatic ticket for President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan Azikiwe (GEJA)!
Written By Edwin E. Uhara
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