Getting Ready for 2015 Elections: Criteria for Representations!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

2015 General election is at the corner. The party primaries are about to begin. It is the time the various political parties select their reputable candidates for the various elective political offices. Individuals who do not belong to any political party can as well present themselves for electron.

But what are the criteria for such presentation or selection of a candidate within the forum of a political party? What does a party consider as important in the choice of its candidates for a general election into an important public office? Do party membership and loyalty only qualify a candidate for the public office? Does party loyalty not amount to sycophancy and god fatherism within the party?

For instance, how do we measure and quantify objectively party loyalty among several candidates of different political extractions? Is party loyalty not a cover- up- word within the confines of the political party and among the party caucus to institute the cult of hypocrisy and political mediocrity? Does party loyalty not amount to being in the good books of one god father or the other in the party?

Must the candidate be in the good books of one god father or the other against the general interest of the people? Does the weight of one's pocket and the volume of one's connections with Aso Rock or Rock Aso or even with the Lion building at Enugu become a reasonable condition for one's candidature? Let it be said loudly that the political parties are free to present their candidates for elections.

Yet they must listen to the voice of the people, whose sacred mandate the candidates for elections are anxiously seeking. The sacred mandate of representation does not belong to the party alone. It belongs ultimately to the people. It is the onus of the people, therefore to articulate its criteria of representation.

Among the criteria for a' good representation of the people is the fear of God. Does a candidate believe in God? Experience has shown and it is true, that if one does not have the fear of God, one would not have the respect for human beings. One would also lack. the needed wisdom for service and sense of good stewardship. Representation is nothing but selfless service to the people.

In order to serve well, the content of character of the candidate must be ascertained; does the candidate possess any sense of self-worth and dignity? Has the candidate any credible pedigree and antecedents? Had one the opportunity of public service before now; what has one done for the people? If not, what are the motivations and the likelihood that one would serve?

And what are the evident prospects for the future? Does the candidate have a plan of action, manifestoes and strategies for the realization of the plans? It is taken for granted that any candidate for service would be minimally educated to understand the processes of governance and service delivery in a democratic set up. Besides, has the candidate any job before now, that is to say, whether this candidate has a stable source of income or will he or she depend solely on the state?

In the same way, has the same candidate a stable family? Otherwise how will he or she be able to promote essential family values if one has no credible family image and name? What of one's general visions for the state? These and a few other criteria will put a candidate in good stead for good representation of the people.

But before then, the several sectors of the society, the church and all men and women of good will are expected to rise up in an active watch. The sacred mandate of the people must not be stolen by charlatans while the majority of the people are asleep and politically disorientated. The time between the party primaries and the actual elections calls for proper articulation of the people's charter of demands; the criteria for good and functional representation!

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