December 4, 2023

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As Political Activities Gather Momentum

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It is that time again, when politicians have to do those things that they know how best to do-going from place to place to preach and seek support from the electorate. It starts from the various political parties, where office seekers would want to do all in their power to secure their party’s ticket.

This time, the only snag is that the coast is still hazy as to the modality that would be used in selecting candidates for the various elections. The President, Muhammadu Buhari has withheld consent and has refused to sign the emended Electoral Act.

On their part, the National Assembly is yet to veto the bill and pass same into law as stipulated in the constitution. But regardless, political activities have started and the atmosphere is gradually changing.

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One thing that people dread, in times like this, is violence, either during campaigns or during elections. More often than not, politicians tend to show their weight by trying to undo their opponents.

They do so by show of brute force sometimes. Whenever this happens, sometimes lives are lost. And this is what would have happened on Sunday, December 19, at Abi Local Government Area, when the local government was reported to have attempted to stop a gubernatorial aspirant from the PDP, Senator Sandy Onor, from entering his local government to consult leaders of the PDP concerning his aspiration.

The council chairman, known popularly as Farathon, was said to have warned the PDP campaigners not to dare enter his local government for the consultative visit. Until recently, the chairman was a member of the PDP and only defected when the governor, Prof Ben Ayade decided to leave the PDP. In fact, the chairman won his election under the banner of the PDP.

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What would have led to bloodshed was averted when leaders of the PDP decided to draw the attention of security agents to the threat to peace. At the end of the day, the PDP leaders had their meeting and there was no skirmish.

But that development pointed to one thing: there are still politicians who do not believe that politics is kind of sports-there must always be winners and losers, and that everybody must not belong to the same club.

We are quick to advise politicians to remember that violence in politics, or any other endeavour for that matter, does nobody any good. If the PDP chieftains had decided to adopt the approach of war with the council chairman, perhaps people would have either been killed or wounded.

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It is our firm belief, that politics and political activities must not always be violent. That era ought to have gone. Or, what would anybody gain, if lives are lost because of politics?

We urge all political office seekers and their followers to learn to play the game decently and peacefully. It makes no sense to kill or maim people just because you want to govern. There must be a change of approach as the processes for the 2023 elections get underway.

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