Edo 2024: Nomination Forms and Quandary of Party Tickets
By Elempe Dele.
The social media, billboards, radio and television stations are freight like forming palm wines with appealing messages to delegates and voters in Edo State as the primaries that will culminate to the election in September draws closer daily. ‘Send me, Homeboy, I be your guy, Hope Agenda, The Promise Keeper, Ready to Serve, Good Morning Edo, I am the Venture, Fresh Hope, His Mandate We Stand…’
On several social media platforms, like sabre rattling, you will see these sibling campaign slogans mechanising your eyes to seizure – almost to the mantle of visual epilepsy.
The political aura is charged with messages to convince the electorates, some to malign aspirants, some to dissuade voters while others form the bulk of very incredible political humour that makes one giggle rather than laugh aloud.
What runs inside the minds of some politicians can never be discerned by psychologists.
No studies of these group’s mental states, perceptions, emotions, social conditions and political behaviour can determine what runs through their minds. Any of such charge towards inquiry would be futile.
So on this basis, from my little non-contact experiment, observation, and interpretation of how these group of politicians take the issue of pre curing the nomination forms of their respective parties, I have made some social construct to classify aspirants I have so far observed: the Genuine Aspirant, Not So Genuine Aspirant and Ingenuine Aspirant.
My classification is not based on obtaining the nomination form – far from it. For most politicians, especially the career types, fifty million Naira is a hip pocket change. My categorization is wholly based on the possibility of winning the party’s ticket in the coming weeks.
Winning party ticket is not a matter of luck like kalokalo game, it is a maze – with twists and turns. It consist of carefully carried out plans, marshalled with funds, structured with vision, subterfuge, strategic thinking, trade by barter, horse-trading, negotiations, subterranean conducts…
The Ingenuine Aspirants will obtain the fifty million Naira forms or its party equivalence and then enter their house thereafter as if it became dawn on them that they have made a mistake throwing away that pocket money. You know how it feels when you alight from a taxi to find out your wallet is gone! You do not know whether to cry or to laugh after so much insults from the driver.
You go home crestfallen. The Ingenuine Aspirant has no reason to throw away his funds except for the sole reason of negotiation after the primaries. Even these days, that ploy hardly works. It is an old people’s trick.
The ingenuine Aspirant wont be able to go round the 18 Local Government Areas, LGAs, canvassing for delegate’s votes because he knows he cannot win.
His tactics is to design as much soft copies of graphic works as possible where he will periodically be sending virtually through proxies, announcing his, ‘Send Me’ emotions to only those who are on the social media space. His media group consist of between 2 to 3 paid individuals, he solicits for volunteers to make up his required numbers.
The Not So Genuine Aspirant picks his form although he is not so confident of winning because through self defeatism, he thinks some aspirants are more likely to win than him either because of their popularity or on the basis of the funds in their possessions. On these basis, and perhaps more, he looses self-esteem.
He is like a dough-eyed virgin sweating before the betrothed. Yes, he has some funds, support groups and political base, but he feels within himself that they will not be enough to challenge some other frontrunners. He will have to think very cautiously how much he will be using to support kola and drinks in every LGA he goes. Five million, ten million, fifteen million…?
He multiplies the agreed sum with 18 and checks his bank account and with donors. The figures are not adding up…or encouraging. He knows he can win elections all things being equal but he realizes too that all things are not never equal when it comes to the delegate issue.
It is easier to be the president of United States of America than to be a delegate in Nigeria. He will have to think how much he can raise to accommodate delegates, pay for their feeding and transport, as well factor in what they will go home with. He calculates roughly over two to three thousand delegates.
The figures makes his palm sweat in the cold of his dark room. He looks through the window for no reason except out of apprehension.
He takes the risk the next day by his first visit outside his constituency after he had openly declared his intention to run under rented weak canopies and chairs. Even when sycophants are urging him with Your Excellency, as usual, he is not so sure inside one of the jeeps in his not too large convoy meandering through bad roads of uncertainty.
The Genuine Aspirant knows he will win the primaries as he has everything perfectly going on for him. He has a paid structure working effectively within his party. His nomination form fee is part of the token he will give to his party – he has given more than that to stakeholders, he will continue to give. When they see him, they smile. What he will give to party faithfuls in each LGA has been budgeted for – that is not a problem.
Major stakeholders and opinion leaders are well taken care of, so they are in synchrony with him. He is looking and planning how best his known delegates will be cared for during the indirect primary.
They will be accommodated in the best hotels, eat continental food and have something good enough for their transport and appreciation.
So those who fall within this last category of aspirants in the several parties will be those who will likely face each other after the primaries…the rest will either collapse their structures into these or go away as bad losers. The choice will now be theirs to make then.