Local Govt. Elections In Delta State: A Litmus Test For 2019•

Last Friday, I left the Event Center Asaba with renewed hopes and recharged enthusiasm for our great party,the PDP. The massive turn out,the array of political heavyweights,and the camaraderie at the stakeholders meeting showed,once again,the formidable capacity of the beautiful umbrella.Indeed it was soul lifting listening to the various leaders speak on why we must not trifle with the forthcoming local government elections.The need to avoid imposition of candidates; let the voice of the people prevail at the ballot.Speaker after speaker,they all appeared to agree that the ripples and fall-out of a defective council elections,could spill into the 2019 general elections, with very devastating consequences.

We must say that the remarks of the stakeholders were quite instructive.From what I have observed in recent times, there is a heightened expectation for the coming local government elections.I had thought the current poor financial position of the councils would have dampened enthusiasm for elections into that tier of government.On the contrary,the seriousness shown for this particular council election by leaders,aspirants and people across the different political parties has been remarkable.Accordingly, a major step toward consolidating our strength at the grassroots and setting a solid groundwork for 2019 is to allow popular candidates emerge during the PDP primaries for the local government polls. No more, "Oga say na me dey go." Let the people be the ones to determine the fate of every aspirant.

The governor himself, H.E. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, right there at the meeting, advised every leader desirous of projecting an aspirant to begin now to reach out to the voters in his constituency.That noble charge by the governor has not only lifted the spirits of many aspirants,but also reassured party men that indeed their votes would count.Any person aspiring for any position should go and test his popularity before the people.It will not only strengthen our hold on the grassroots but,more importantly,make our campaign easier in 2019. Today, in some quarters, many of us watch with regrets the ugly consequences of undermining the true choices of the people.I guess we have all learnt our lessons.The expected victory of PDP in 2019 general elections is too important to be endangered by unpopular decisions over candidates for council elections. Now that the resolution of our internal squabbles has re-energized our great party, let's take advantage of the renewed goodwill and put our best products in the market place.

By Felix Tony Nwaka