Nigeria and politics of succession

By James Lukpata

Politics of succession in Nigeria has continued to inflict on our already battered democratic process and decaying institutions due to selfishness, sit-tied tendency and attempt by most incumbents to cover up for their wrongs while in office.

It has become a culture to annoint candidate vying for political offices in Nigeria. Some incumbents believe they need to protect their legacies by hand picking a candidate they can trust and know very well.

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But we have seen instances where such ‘hand-picked candidates’, after winning election, became boss of their own and start to flout the order of their godfathers.

Vivid examples include Kano, Zamfara, cross River, Imo and Lagos and currently Edo State. In spite of these scenarios playing up here and there, no lesson is learnt by our purported godfathers as they continue to do everything within their reach to crush and disqualify credible aspirants who would have salvaged the plight of the masses if elected.

Ordinarily, nothing is wrong with an incumbent supporting a candidate during an election but what is worrisome is the act of imposition usually done by godfathers and incumbents irrespective of protests from the electorates over perceived shortfalls of their choosen candidates.

Even in the United States of America during the last election where President Obama openly projected and supported Hillary Clinton as the flag bearer of the Democrats, it was after her nomination by the party but in our own clime an individual can assumed the position of a demi-god to super imposed others in the guise of either incumbency or godfatherism.

It is time leaders at all levels learned to do things in line with global best practices that can sustain their legacies for years after leaving office so that there won’t be any need to replace or hand-pick a candidate without due process as enshrined by various partys’ constitutions and that of the nation.

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Allowing a fair playing ground for direct primaries will definitely give room for the emergence of the most qualified candidate for a certain office thereby helping to renew hopes as well as stabilizing the system.

Cross River State must do the right thing and set the space during the forthcoming Northern Senatorial District bye-election.

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