By Baba Yusuf
A PDP stalwart, Chief Mike Onoja, has condemned the agitation for automatic ticket for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators to return to the National Assembly in 2015, describing it as “undemocratic and unfair.”
Onoja, who is aspiring to represent the people of Benue South Senatorial District in the Senate in 2015, said those calling for automatic ticket for serving senators “do not mean well for the people of Nigeria.”
He stated this yesterday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, stressing that he was in the race to give the people of Benue South Senatorial District quality representation.
He said the only basis for senators to be re-elected are their outstanding performance, adding that they should be bold enough to stand before their people to seek their mandate if they thought they had lived up to the people’s expectations.
He said: “The issue of automatic ticket is undemocratic. What the automatic ticket issue seeks to address is whether you performed well or not, automatically you should be given the ticket. It does not take into cognizance the performance of the particular senator. So, if a senator goes there and sleeps throughout the sessions then at the end of his tenure he goes to the President or PDP and say give us automatic ticket. It doesn’t work that way, you have to go to the people and seek their mandate. That’s number one, again there is zoning arrangement in so many of these states that if you serve for one or two terms, you should step aside let another zone take over from you. You cannot stay in Abuja and give somebody an automatic ticket without considering the wishes of the people. It is undemocratic, it is unfair and unthinkable. Your ticket should be based on your performance and then if the zoning in your own state still favours you, then you can go and seek the people‘s mandate for a re-election. That is why every four years you go to your people and renew your mandate so that people will ensure that you are performing. If you are not performing and you want an automatic ticket, it’s unfair, it’s undemocratic, it’s not practiced anywhere in the world.”