A former lawmaker and commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Sampson Ekong has said what Nigeria needs is a disciplined political behaviour devoid of rigging, sentiments and all forms of electoral malpractices.
Ekong, who stated this in an interaction with newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, while commenting on the ongoing debate on direct or indirect primary elections, said both processes could be abused if there was no strong and disciplined political institution, as well as internal democracy.
He reasoned that which ever model a political party wants to adopt, what was paramount was the entrenchment of true democracy since it was still the same players.
According to him, “Whether direct or indirect primaries, the focus is the players. My take is that the players must demonstrate discipline. Are they not the same people? Unless there is sacrifice, discipline, upholding tenets of democracy and not running after opportunity, shunning rigging and accepting the notion of mandate in its purest form, we are not making any headway.
“Democracy must be allowed to succeed by supporting free and fair party primaries, the general election. In Nigeria, the desperation to access power is what is heating up the polity.
“Enough of the political talks, let’s go to work by doing the right thing. The players must demonstrate disciplined political behaviour.”
“A faulty electoral process is a disaster to the norms, it is a drawback to development . But it is reassuring that steps are being taken to sanitize the arena, a true internal party politics sets the tone for the bigger arena in the general election” he said
He added, “Both direct and indirect party primaries can be abused. We need to build strong institutions, once you have these strong institutions and disciplined political culture, democracy will be safer and the arena will be more exciting.”
The former commissioner who commended the state government for diversifying the economy of the State, said the Governor had made the State a safe haven for investors.