Senator Ike Ekweremadu has a serious task ahead of him as he has been appointed as the chairman of the PDP electoral committee to conduct a primary election of the party for the 2020 gubernatorial election.
The PDP has been out of power since 2016 when it lost in the governorship election that was won convincingly by Rotimi Akeredolu and the All Progresives Congress.
When the PDP produced its candidate in 2016 for the said election, there were some allegations that the then governor Olusegun Mimiko imposed a candidate on the party. There were grievances among the PDP stalwarts and some defected to the All Progresives Congress (APC) because they were not comfortable.
But Mr. Agboola Ajayi has been having a running political battle with his principal, Rotimi Akeredolu over some differences including the 2020 governorship election.
The good news is that Mr. Ajayi is back in the same PDP and he is seeking the PDP ticket. He has been firm in his bid to get the ticket to contest against the incumbent governor Akeredolu. Not only that Mr. Eyitayo Jegede is also seeking to get the PDP ticket for the second time so that he can actualise his ambition.
This is why Ike Ekweremadu and his committee have to be very careful with the manner in which they will conduct the primary election. There are two giants vying for the PDP ticket: Agboola Ajayi and Eyitayo Jegede. And Senator Ike Ekweremadu hand his committee have to put in their best.
One, Ekweremadu and his committee need to make some decisions. One of the most important decisions is the pattern or mode of election to use to elect a candidate.
There are actually two ways to choose a candidate. A party can use direct or indirect primary election. It depends on how the party wants it. But for transparency and accountability and to carry each of the candidates along, the PDP should first make a wide range consultation on the most viable and realistic method of voting.
This is very important because if Ike Ekweremadu and his electoral committee imposes a method on the party, defection to the APC is imminent. The PDP may become weaker if the party fails to consult party chieftains anf bigwigs before it concludes on the mode to use.
The coronavirus pandemic may not allow the PDP to conduct the direct primary election. This is because large gatherings of people are still banned and all party members have to participate in the direct primary.
If the party wants to use the indirect pattern of election, it should ensure all the candidates give their consents, hence Ike Ekweremadu and the committee will record success.
Another thing is that the committee headed by Ike Ekweremadu has to avoid all forms of irregularities. The party needs to conduct a very transparent and valid primary election that is acceptable to both the candidates and the party members.
The PDP stands a better chance to win the 2020 election it it puts its own house in order and allows equality and fair playing ground.
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