Party Politics, the structure and the candidate

By Njoku SaintJerry A.

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“One single ward in a LGA could harbour between 250 Polling Units to as high as about 1000 polling Units, when you divide that by the Number of Wards in the LGA, you will understand why the Political Analysts are worried about Labour Party and Mr. Peter Obi’s ‘No structures’ and ‘No Shishi’ mantra”

I listened to a heated conversation from a zoom meeting anchored by BBC Igbo between certain groups of persons featuring prominent party leaders from PDP, APC and another person probably speaking for Labour Party (LP) from the tone of her argument.
In the discussion, the other man, a known APC Chieftain of Southeast origin, resident in Lagos, had mocked the young woman speaking for Labour Party, that the party do not have any known structure to win general elections in Nigeria, “Show your structure” he sneered.

Repeatedly I have observed similar incidence across various platforms by individuals acclaimed to be political analyst, party pundits and professionals mocking the Labour Party and its candidates as having no ‘structure’ to win any general elections, making a mockery of the ‘Obidient Movement’ as bunch of internet based electorates that will soon fizzle out as the heat of the election campaign begin to gather momentum.

The ’Obidient Movement’ a group of young voters, some, who will be participating in the Nigeria electoral activities for the first time in their young lives are a growing crowd of frustrated young people, deprived, neglected, thriving in a very unfortunate environmental situation spearheaded by the traditional politicians with virtually no single amenities to support any meaningful choice of life but subjected to a miserable and bleak future, have found a credible avenue to vent their anger and frustrations at the system that has been entrenched for a long time to keep the populace in a bondage of an endless cycle of deprivation in other to manipulate, abuse and rule the people at will.

“They decided en-mass to align with the man whose antecedents mirrored the long-time expectations of not only the young people but the Nigerian populace.”

The young people, suddenly have found a model politician to align with, a man that speak out the pains and frustrations of the Nigerian people, a man with track records of competence in managing the people and public resources entrusted under his care. They decided en-mass to align with the man whose antecedents mirrored the long-time expectations of not only the young people but the Nigerian populace.

Unfortunately the man cannot represent and lead the people for a better Nigeria of hope for all without the platform of a registered and functional political party with a national spread of party agents and supporters and this is where the problem and mockery of the ‘Obidient Movement’ and its leader Mr. Peter Obi and its party, the Labour Party having no structure has emanated.

“Abia state has about 4,062 Polling units (PU) while Lagos has over 13,000 Polling Units, On the day of election, these polling units will require the presence of Party agents in company of INEC officers, the security forces and you, the voter to monitor the outcome of votes cast.”

Mr. Peter Obi has defied all odds to abandon a political behemoth, one time addressed as the largest political party in Africa, the PDP to a relatively unknown worker’s party with no known position at any level of government since 2015 except one or two Councillorship positions, a move considered by party pundits as ‘Dead on arrival.’

“With no structure, let me see how Mr. Peter Obi will win at the Presidential elections” sneered one of the speakers at the Zoom Meeting.

“Now what is the ‘Structure’ and why is it creating such a confusing scenario and why is mainstream Nigeria politicians and other political parties JITTERY or bothered at the purported failure of Labour Party at the polls for having no structure.

Now what is the ‘Structure’ and why is it creating such a confusing scenario and why is mainstream Nigeria politicians and other political parties bothered or excited at the purported failure of Labour Party at the polls for having no structure.
Perhaps the ‘Obidient Movement’ is yet to grasp the idea of structures, political structures to be realistic, let me make it simple;
Abia state has about 4,062 Polling units (PU) while Lagos has over 13,000 Polling Units, On the day of election, these polling units will require the presence of Party agents in company of INEC officers, the security forces and you, the voter to monitor the outcome of votes cast.
You cannot be assigned to any polling units to monitor voters’ activities unless you are authorized by a party and you cannot be authorized by any party unless you are a member of that party and duly accredited to represent the party at any of these thousands of polling units in the state.  
One single ward in a LGA could harbour between 250 Polling Units to as high as about 1000 polling Units, when you divide that by the Number of Wards in the LGA, you will understand why the Political Analysts are worried about Labour Party and Mr. Peter Obi’s ‘No structures’ and ‘No Shishi’ mantra because to provide personnel for these PU’s require proper accreditation and financing.

As a state party executive, I have witnessed many members of the ‘Obidient Movement’ courageous enough to walk into the party office to declare their support for the candidate of Peter Obi for President whereas they’re not duly registered Party Member either at the state, LGA, or Wards, they’re simply registered voters but not useful to the party.
Although this is not a criterion to vote for candidate of your choice in the elections, this is where ‘the structures’ are built upon.

“Make extra efforts to align with the Party that has given Mr. Peter Obi the platform to lead Nigerians to a better brighter future of hope from the ruins and failures it has found itself. – This is where the structure lies”

For this reason, I am going to make a passionate plea to all members of the ‘Obidient Movement’ to make extra efforts to align with the Party that has given Mr. Peter Obi the platform to lead Nigerians to a better brighter future of hope from the ruins and failures it has found itself.
This is where the structure lies, the party agents that will be assigned to the over hundreds of thousands of the PU across the nation are the first known structures that will work effortlessly and fight for the victory of the candidates at the voting center then the followers who form the traditional structures influenced by the pedigree of the candidate positioned by the Political Party are extended structures.

“A good name”, the Holy book teaches, “is better than riches”
This is one of the greatest strengths of the Peter Obi candidature and the platform he chose to fly his candidacy – a Political party of the working masses who have been at the receiving end of all the government poor policies and Mal-administration, there could have been no better choice than Labour Party therefore let all groups and persons who are committed to the ‘Obidient Movement’ both at State, LGA and Ward level identify with the Party Logo and Party structure in the same speed and enthusiasm ascribed to the personality, Perter Obi because on election day Mr. Peter Obi’s head will not be printed on the Ballot paper but the Logo of Labour Party.

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