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Editorial: PDP Sells Council Areas to the Highest Bidder

by crossriverwatch admin

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The Peoples Democratic Party in Cross River State recently released the fees to be paid by aspirants vying for Chairmanship and Councilor position on the platform of the party in the September 21, 2013 Local Government elections in the state.

According to the party, aspirants for the position of chairman are expected to pick the intent form for Five Hundred Thousand Naira and the nomination form for the same position for One Million Naira. In the same vein, those aspiring to contest for councilor are expected to pick the intent form for One Hundred Thousand Naira and the nomination form for Three Hundred Thousand Naira.

Arguably, the intention of the party leadership would be either to raise money from the sale of expression of intent form or to make sure that it is not an all manner of people affair as hiking the fees for the forms could reduce the influx of people that will be contesting for the positions.

It is expected that the party could use the proceeds from the forms to support and execute the elections to ensure that her candidates come out victorious after the elections.

It was also alleged that the amount was jerked up by the party because of the Fifteen Million Naira worth of car that the state government gives to the elected council chairmen.

However, it has been observed that over the years, few persons that occupy prominent positions in the party especially the party chairmen use and spend the money realized from the sale of forms as personal money without any proper account to the party.

It is very pathetic that in the midst of serious poverty that ravages majority of the people of the state, the PDP has come up with those outrageous amounts, meaning that the highest bidder takes all.

This development is capable of preventing honest men and women with excellent credibility to aspire to serve the people of the state because they may have not amassed enough wealth to spend for mere expression of interest and the nomination form.

What this portrays is that only those who have the financial muscle irrespective of their credentials will be the people in the position to foot the bills which in itself portend danger especially at the grassroots level of administration.

Besides, this is an opportunity for the political godfathers to bankroll the election activities of some of the candidates with the hope of recouping their investments when the candidate comes into power.

It is sad that the party authorities could fix high fees for the forms because of the Fifteen Million Naira worth of vehicles that will be given to the chairmen.

It is very ludicrous that many people in the rural areas are living in abject poverty and a council chairman is given a vehicle worth several millions to ply even in some council area’s bad roads.

For those that may not have political godfathers but are desperate to find themselves in the council, they would not mind to take loans from the banks to finance their campaign and the money is paid back with the peoples resources.

Crossriverwatch is of the opinion that the decision by the party to hike the expression of intent and nomination forms will give room for the money bags to take over the finances of the council areas as they would like to reap it multiple folds any investment they make now.

We not only condemn the giving out of the council administration to the highest bidder, we also call on the party to bring down the fees so that competent and honest Cross Riverians who have the capability but lack the financial wherewithal will give themselves out for the service of their people.

We observe that the fees will bring in mediocres who have no credentials to pilot the affairs of the council but have the financial muscle to buy their way through because their opponents who possess better credentials do not have the money.

Crossriverwatch therefore calls on Governor Liyel Imoke to wade into the matter and ensure that those outrageous amounts are cut down and also put a mechanism in place to checkmate money bags with empty skulls from taking control of council administration.

Acting otherwise will retard development in the councils and deny the people the opportunity of electing quality leadership that can change their fortunes for good come September 21, 2013.

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