2023; Group Lunches 'Operation Vote Credible Candidates' Not 'Political Party' Campaign In Ebonyi

By Celestine Okeh

A Non-Governmental Organization,  'Advocates for Good Citizenship and Peace' have lunched a campaign for electorates to vote credible candidates order than the bandwagon of voting political parties in the forthcoming general election in the Nigeria.

The National Coordinator of the Organisation, Barr Kelechi Mbam, in  a press conference, in Abakaiki on Tuesday said, the essence of the campaign was to ensure that people of questionable characters were not allowed on the corridors of power in the name of voting political party, especially now that Nigerians approach 2023 general election, where they would go to polls to elect another set of political leaders that will pilot the affirs of the country at all levels.

He observed that "the issue of placing political parties above individual pedigree is becoming overwhelming in our voting pattern. 

"A situation where a credible candidate fails election because he contested under a perceived smaller party has continued to deal with us negatively than ever. 

"On the other hand, where a credible candidate emerges from a majority political party there is no barrier for such a candidate to enjoy maximum support of his or her people.

"It is on the above backdrop that we have decided to launch a campaign for candidate based voting tagged: Na Person; No Be the party."

He said the organisation had earlier observed that "the prelude to this decisive moments have begun nationwide as different political parties have commenced sales of nomination forms."

By implication, according to him, "parties are expected to conduct their primary election to elect a candidate who will fly the party's flag in various elective positions.

"We have followed closely, the trend of things as it unfolds and we regret to observe that there is a dangerous fashion creeping into our political system. This deadly canker 'worm if unchecked, is capable of continuous enthronement of bad leaders in our polity."

Continuing, Barr Mbam said, it was designed to target the electorates both in urban and rural areas across Ebonyi State in particular and Nigeria in general and equally to alert various political parties on the need to consider credibility, acceptability and marketability as a sine-qua-non to the nomination of candidates for various elective positions.

The National Coordinator assured the commitment of the members of the Advocates for Good Citizenship and Peace to ensure the legacies and aspirations of their founding fathers shall not be in vain.

He said, as part of campaigning to ensure a continuous emergence of the credible candidates regardless of their political parties, the organisation had executed several programmes including press conferences, radio live programmes, reflection on candidates, signing a pact, online public voting and publication of result, research and verdict, reaching out with the citizens, among others. 

He further argued that "this campaign has become necessary because political parties of today have abandoned the art of presentation, promotion and implementation of the party manifesto. 

"The ideal practice is that candidates of political parties anchor on their party manifestoes while canvassing for votes and to derive their administrative policy from the party manifesto. Unfortunately and most regrettably, what is obtainable today, is individual aspirants or candidates presenting their manifest. 

"The logic therefore is, since parties no longer pursue party manifesto, it is no longer necessary for voters to consider political party in their choice of vote. Rather, they should look at the persons one after the other and vote them according to their pedigree and manifesto irrespective of political party leaning."

Mbam said, the non-political group believes that the level of its campaign would positively reshape the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State and Nigeria in general, since it speaks the mind of the people and with the instrumentalities of mass mobilization.

The group equally expressed dissatisfaction with any form of electoral violence, warning that all the electoral exercises against 2023 should be done within the ambit of the law, to ensure peace, unity and progress of the state and the country at large.

According to the National Director,  Advocates for Good Citizenship and Peace, which is an affiliate of SOMADAZ Foundation, have members and branches in the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, United States (US), South Africa, Lagos, Abuja among others the Nigeria States.

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