2023: Vote for party because of candidates, not candidates because of party

Gone are the days when party affiliations made us make foolish decisions like voting blindly for persons, only to end up, most times, weeping afterward in regret. That was when we voted for politically handicapped and incapacitated candidates simply because they belonged to certain parties.

This time, the forthcoming General Elections will be uniquely different. To start with, most popular aspirants who were dubiously schemed out of their party nominations, especially by the major parties have done the unexpected. Unlike in the past, they did not simply retire home or stage endless protests; rather, they have adopted other party platforms to pursue their aspirations to the end.

The point to note is that parties are mere vehicles for the actualization of political power. Therefore, though those alternative platforms may be unpopular at first sight, nevertheless, because of the popularity of those candidates, they will assume the toga of popularity and will eventually be attractively patronized. Yes, they will prosper because the purpose they serve is to ensure that the voice of the majority ignored by tyrannical parties is heard through them when victory is gotten at the polls during General Elections.

Accordingly, emphasis should be more on who is competent and has the pedigree. We need someone with obviously proven political leadership capacity and experience to rescue Akwa Ibom people from the current dehumanizing situation where hunger, poverty, lamentation, and discontentment are reigning supreme over the citizens.

The electorate do not need to stick to a party for the sake of mundane emotional attachment to the big names in them. Party logos are mere symbols, and how long someone has been fraternizing with a party is of no significance if there is no socio-economic impact. This time, we need a grassroots politician who cares about the plights of the people. Therefore, the next governor should not be by the imposition of a trainee or a stooge on the citizens.

When the candidate of a supposed popular party is unpopular, he or she automatically makes the party unpopular. Therefore, with unpopular candidates in some parties, especially in the PDP, it is time to shed sentimental attachment, and rather focus on the political value, achievements, and capacity of individuals for different offices. The voters need to embrace the party because of the quality of the candidates.

After all, it is not the party that will be the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, for instance, to take critical decisions to advance the welfare and wellbeing of the masses. It is solely the responsibility of the individual who sits as the Governor to order implementation, as we all have witnessed under Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

So hanging on to the popularity of any party makes no sense. It is who is contesting for the office of governor that really matters. This should be the cardinal concern of the electorate during this forthcoming election because parties are just mere platforms any popular aspirant can use to transit to where the majority desires him to be.

Consequently, if some popular aspirants are denied opportunity in PDP and they opt to contest in YPP, for instance, this new party should be embraced by the electorate for impactful leadership. Of course, for obvious reasons, not everyone will exit with the popular aspirant to the new party, but it is necessary to support and cast the votes for him from the parties they remain. That’s a healthy development.

In 2023, this is the kind of politics expected to play out generally in some states and at the federal level. And, considering the reasons behind this emerging voting pattern, it is not anti-party activity to throw votes to quality candidates outside one’s party, but it is the dynamics of democratic politics. Democracy gives the power of popular choice to the masses, the voters, and not the parties. Parties are just the assemblage of the individual voters. So, they hold the right to ensure the emergence of popular candidates earlier frustrated during crooked nomination processes in their former parties.

This strategy is okay so that next time tenets of internal democracy will be respected and sanity restored by the party leadership. This is the best way to checkmate political aggressors to ensure that the majority get their way over few powerful controllers of party machinery who impose candidates for their selfish interests. Indeed, voting in this unique manner will be a painful lesson to political dictators.

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