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2023: Our hope lies with the delegates

2023: Our hope lies with the delegates

If you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria or abroad, let me tell you our reality for the next 5 years: In the next 10 days, less than 10,000 (0.00004%) Nigerians will come together in different groups and select a few who would contest in 2023, our next President will be from that few.

Delegates at presidential primaries have always been influenced to vote by three factors, the factors are Political networks built over a while, Money and lastly, and Public perception. It often happens that most leaders of the party which serve as gatekeepers of delegates consider the third factor and deploy the first and second factors to achieve their objective.

I have been a bit amused that people have narrowed the outcome of primaries to the second factor alone. If it was solely by that, the outcome of the PDP primaries in 1998/99 or 2010/11, or even 2018/19 would have been different. No candidate is going to win with money alone.

In 2018/19 people knew that a certain guest arrived in Port Harcourt the night before the primaries, and carried a message that altered the outcome completely. And the message was not about money.

Even with money, aspirants have to be strategic. You have got to be speaking to the right people, otherwise, you’ll enter one chance & give money to people who are not even delegates. Or to delegates who will take your money and vote for someone else.

The third factor is always key. I will add a rider – it is also closely allied to political exigencies. Key questions are asked – what is the public saying? How does it favor the nation? Who do you think can win the elections? 

The quality of the outcome of their deliberations may not be on the desired scale but it is always there. And have based their choice of who to support at the primaries on that poll – no matter how much they are offered by others.

Another inconvenient truth the uninitiated do not like to hear is that, when Delegates vote on Convention day, they will not be voting out of any altruistic fervor to please you. No. Many will be voting as their leaders ask them or as their pecuniary interests dictate. This is a fact.

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You do not need to be too concerned with the politicking involved with too many plots and twists over the next ten days. The best thing to do is to hold your peace until the primaries have been concluded.

What I am trying to say is: Even though less than ten thousand people will choose a few for us, we can still make a statement on the lesser evil with our votes. If you have your Permanent Voters Card (PVC), you will most likely be among the majority who will elect one of the SELECTED to rule us for the next four years.

For clarity, These delegates will give us ‘lemons’ regardless of what we want or what is good for us, it is now up to us to make lemonades from that lemon by choosing the lesser of the two evils. Two people can never be equally hopeless or wicked or clueless, less pick the lesser.

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