By Emeka Samuel, Uyo
A former Minister of Lands and Housing, Chief Nduese Essien has expressed has said that major political parties in the country are on the verge of collapse.
Essien made this known in Eket yesterday when the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and former Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe consulted him to support his governorship ambition.
He noted that in 1999 people won elections on merit as the military supervised it, and allowed rules and regulations systems to operate, unlike today when parties no longer abide by their principles but have been allowed to operate on the whims and caprices of emergent owners.
Essien who is a former member of the House of Representatives described as sad the current situation where each party now has an owner, and the owner decides who does what, stressing that the country could not continue like that.
“Let me use this opportunity to alert all of us that the major political parties are on the verge of collapse throughout the country. The gradual persistent erosion of political cultures in the parties since 2003 has led them to the situation they have found themselves today.
“Parties no longer abide by their principles, rules and regulations, but have been allowed to operate on the whims and caprices of the emergent owners. The organs of authority direction, and coordination have become extinct.
“This is responsible for the multifarous harvest of court cases after each primaries election and the calamities which often befall these parties. Political parties were not run the way they are being run now in 1999 when we came out to contest election. Whoever won elections then, won it on merit.
“But from 2003 few people will just sit somewhere, write names and announce. Indiscipline, disorder and outright impunity has a terminal point. This terminal point has been reached by major parties, thus enabling the small parties without structures to cause them a stir and the current panic for relevance and positions.
“There is a revolution in the offing-a spontaneous protest against the numerous wrong ways of doing things.The current situation is a call to return to the basics and the time is now. The big parties may have to give in 2023 for a restart of our democratic experience.” He said.
He commended Akpanudoedehe for showing how politics should be played by visiting stakeholders who do not belong to his political party to inform of his desire to contest as governor of the State in 2023.
“This is good politics and the right way to play it. Politics is not supposed to be played in rigidly compartmentalised platforms devoid of entry and exit of members.
“Once nomination has been won within the party, the candidates are free to canvass for support across board because if elected you will become the Governor of the entire state and not of the political party. I commend your determination and persistence to be governor of the state since 2011
“As a politician and with a sound intellectual base of a PhD, you are indeed eminently qualified to be Governor. However, at a stage, you should consider stepping aside to be a kingmaker, playing advisory role which is most needed in the fast deteriorating democratic practice base on party politics”
He listed some outstanding demands of Eket people to include establishment of Akwa Ibom Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commissíon, Delineation of local government area boundaries and resuscitation, development of Qua River Hotels in Eket, and establishment of a befitting Low density Housing Estate, among few others.
Earlier in a remark the governorship Akpanudoedehe, noted that he joined the NNPP platform to actualise his visions for Akwa Ibom, noting that he decided to Chief Essien because of his relevance in Akwa Ibom politics and as the political leader of Eket Senatorial district.
He assured that if voted into office, Akwa Ibom Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commissíon would be established without delay, and appealed to Essien to support him to win in Eket.