By Patriot Dantes Odogwu.

There is the need to draw the attention of Aides and Supporters of different candidates for Party Primaries to the fact that Primary Election is a family affair.

Probably, this understanding must have eluded majority, judging from the extent to which the seed of enmity has been sown through campaigns on social media.

The extent of hate posts and comments has become so alarming that all manner of childish comments and low level reasoning have pervaded the cyberspace of late.

Frankly, this show of shame has become very unbearing and disgusting, reading through their comments/posts on diverse platforms.

The mudslinging and uncouth vituperations leaves one wondering if these ones actually understand the term ‘campaign’. The ‘bad blood’ so far drawn threatens to pose a challenge to the Party that believes in cohesion in order to forge a formidable front in the actual election.

Projection of one’s choice which ought to be based on showcasing the strength of one’s principal, his antecedence and programme for the future has been sacrificed on the altar of rumours, religious intolerance, propaganda, lies, character assassination and name calling. I just hope that incompetence is not playing out among these Aides.

My fear is that if these ones are not called to order or actually pruned, the Party could become the ‘scape goat’ in the long run, while majority of them would scamper to the next available spot for stomach infrastructure.

How on else do they want to be called to order? At various fora, the leader of the Party in the State, H.E Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, has severally drawn their attention towards the need to maintain party cohesion while advancing the course of one’s principal and have cautioned some leaders to remain non-aligned for now.

At the recent meeting with party leaders and appointees, his words to LGA party chairmen, towards enhancing a healthy primary was- “Henceforth, Local government Party chairmen and their deputies in the 25 LGAs should never be found supporting any aspirant including accompanying them on pre-primary consultations and other forms of grassroots mobilization. All aspirants are valued stakeholders in our great party and it will not be proper to support some to the detriment of others”.

Continuing, he made this call to Aspirants- “We have the right to aspire for any political position but we should conduct ourselves in honourable ways in our campaigns. In campaigning, you talk about yourself, you don’t talk about others. I campaign with what I can do and what I want to do and let the electorate decide”. It therefore behoves on aspirants to checkmate their Aides and Supporters.

Furthermore, still trying to ensure a safe and smooth ‘campaign voyage’, he said- “Aspirants, please do not malign others so that we do not destroy ourselves before the elections, we are going to have free and fair Primaries and all party chairmen should work with us in that direction”.

With the above admonition, one is left to ask some questions, do aspirants still have respect for party structure? Do they relate and checkmate their aides and supporters? Do they believe in the party ideology and are poised to work for the growth of the party? Are their aides actually competent enough? Will in-fighting help in our drive towards stronger cohesion? So many questions indeed!

My candid advice to all and sundry is that we should see the good and stability of our great party as the overriding responsibility in our quest for political office.

To garner support for your principal, there should be regular interaction between aspirants and aides so that aides would be abreast with the programmes of their principal and discuss them intelligently.

We should remember that after the free and fair primaries, we all would remain loyal party members; as such, let’s wait a little to take the actual campaigns to the electorate.

Let’s avoid heating up the polity unnecessarily. We should desist from creating more enemies for our principals. It is a time to build bridges rather than break fences.

Please let’s avoid appearing rebellious; we should follow party decisions in projecting our candidates. It is a family affair and reactions to family issues should never pose a threat to the bonding and existence of our great family.

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