The Peoples Democratic Party has blasted the Action Congress of Nigeria over the procedure it adopted in selecting a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association as its candidate for the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State.
Reacting to the emergence of Mr. Rotimi as the opposition party’s candidate through a consensus arrangement, the PDP said it was unfortunate that internal democracy was still alien to the ACN that parades itself as the champion of democracy.
“The Action Congress of Nigeria has once more demonstrated it’s inability to imbibe basic democratic practices,” the PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, said in a statement. “This is a party that consistently preaches strict adherence to the tenets of democracy, yet is engaging in acts that deepen the culture of electoral impunity.”
Mr Metuh said it was unfortunate that a leading opposition party such as the ACN could disregard due process and engage in such practices of dictatorship that could have negative consequences on the growth of democracy.
The statement said, “The lack of due process leading to the emergence of the ACN gubernatorial candidate in Ondo State is a window into the internal workings of the ACN.
“The hand-picking of Mr. Akeredolu by the leadership of the party in Lagos, far away from Akure, can neither substitute nor equalize a free and fair congress where the most popular aspirant would have emerged. Wherever and whenever the decision of a tiny clique disqualifies the wish of the majority, democracy has indeed been truncated.”
“It is very clear that close to thirty aspirants who were jostling for the ticket were denied the opportunity to test their popularity against Akeredolu. Who then contested against him and who voted? In what congress did he emerge and who were the delegates? Where did it take place and when?
The PDP further said it was not surprised at the turn of events in the ACN since the party had not left Nigerians in any doubt of its preference for clique tyranny. It however said the impunity with which the party justifies this democratic aberration should be of serious concern to all Nigerians .
“It is on record that the ACN has never held any popular congress either for the election of its officers or for its candidates for various elections. In 2011 general elections, all it’s candidates were chosen in a room in Lagos while it’s National Convention earlier in 2010 in Benin was a mockery of democracy. We are rather concerned that other smaller opposition parties may begin to copy the ACN as a model in opposition politics.”
According to the PDP, even if the ACN eventually bow to pressure and decide to conduct an open congress for its Ondo gubernatorial flag bearer, it would still be an exercise in futility since its leaders had zeroed their mind on Mr. Akeredolu.
“The congress is bound to produce a pre-determined result,” the ruling party said.