Delta 2023: The 2022 Electoral law. Voids Any Clandestine Power Rotation Arrangements
By Frank Iroroh
Few days ago, a group of meddlesome interlopers released a press statement proposing a decorative, clandestine procedure for the conduct of the 2022 PDP governorship primary, which they said was a solution to the senatorial power rotation imbroglio, unnecessarily created by some politicians in the state.
In their proposal, the group called for a stakeholders’ (Some traditional rulers and the leadership of PDP), retreat to formulate rules, guidelines in order to find lasting or permanent solution to what they called a complicated power zoning arrangement.
With the benefit of hindsight, we opposed the idea because it falls short of democratic norms and infringed on the constitutional rights of aspirants to participate in the electoral process, to vote and be voted for.
Our position has been vindicated by the just released 2022 electoral law. Section 84(3) of the law provides that: “a political party shall not impose nomination qualification or disqualification criteria, measures, or conditions on any aspirant or candidate for any election in its constitution, guidelines, or rules for nomination of candidates for elections, except as prescribed under sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 177 and 187 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).” This section rest the case for power rotation advocates who wanted to introduced undemocratic rules, guidelines, measures or criteria to bar some aspirants from contesting the 2022 Delta PDP guber primary.
Even when we look at the issues of consensus candidate which does not apply to this primary, election. Section 84(9a) of the electoral law provides that: “A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate”.
So in all, it will boils down to allowing all the aspirants determine their fate at the party’s primary, and at the end of the day, power rotation will start from the senatorial district which produces the Governor. This is the most logical way to handle the power rotation issue. It has worked before.
Politicians should encourage their candidates to prepare for the primary and stop creating unnecessary issues out of power rotation, likely to cause disaffection within the party and create tension in the state.