Deputy Provost of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Dr. Jide Johnson on Monday backed the All Progressives Congress (APC) process of picking candidates for elective positions, saying that those aggrieved by the outcome ought to be accustomed to the style of the party.
Johnson, who was guest on a program THIS MORNING on TVC monitored by our correspondent, said since 1999, the APC had adopted a structure for deciding on the candidate to fly the party’s flag during elections, adding that those crying foul were once beneficiaries of such process.
Addressing issues raised by some respondents on the programme on the imposition of candidates for the Local Government elections, Johnson recalled the process by which the former Governor of the State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola as well as the incumbent Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode emerged amidst agitations from aggrieved aspirants.
“There is a way the APC, especially in Lagos have always decided on the party flagbearer and this process should not be alien to members of the party. The peculiarities of Lagos and the structure of the party are very key. Look at who has been Governor since 1999, you would see that there is a structure.
In the past, some candidates who were believed to be dark horses have emerged and we have seen how they performed excellently beyond expectation. There was a lot of acrimony, then they close ranks, a candidate emerges and life continues.
“Every party has its own structure of how things are done. In actual sense, for the progressive ideology, what is usually done even before the picking of candidate, they allow everybody come out and then do the search party and find out if such candidate can become the face of the party and represent the interest of the people. All these are done in the selection process.” he said.
Speaking on the crisis within the party structure in Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and calls by some members for the postponement of the election, the NIJ Chief said a protest in one local government was not enough to stop the elections from going on as scheduled.
“What LASIEC can do is to continue with the elections and ask aggrieved aspirants to seek redress after the elections. It is unconstitutional for the any court or any judge to change an election date. Only LASIEC has the power to fix and change date of an election,” he said.
He faulted those accusing LASIEC of conniving with political parties to impose candidates, saying the business of INEC is to observe the activities that is being carried out during party primaries and receive the nominated candidate of the party.
“People do not vote for the candidate by the electoral process, they vote for the party. The party is represented by their icon and symbol. It is the party that determines who gets the ticket. LASIEC has the validly nominated candidate. It is this candidate that becomes relevant,” he said.