The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State has called for psychiatric tests and higher academic qualification for gubernatorial candidates in the country.
The party chairman, Dan Orbih, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the National Assembly should review the relevant laws and raise the qualification requirement for the aspirants.
He said there must be a certified and verifiable medical certificate that “must have given aspirants clean bill of health to contest”.
“This is to ascertain their mental and psychological state of health,” Mr. Orbih said.
Mr. Orbih said the suggestion was necessary because of the negative attitude and conduct of some sitting governors, especially on issues that bothered on the lives of the people.
“Seriously speaking, the conduct of some governors and their approach to issues concerning lives of the people they govern leaves room for doubt about their mental state of health”, he said.
The chairman also said that National Assembly “needed to review and up the academic qualifications for the office of the governor to bring respect and decorum to that exalted office.
“We have today a situation where some of the governors form the habit of using unguarded comments in the face of criticism”.
He said that any political office holder who did not have the capacity and temperament to tolerate objective criticism is not fit to be so addressed as governor.
“The beauty of democracy is the freedom of speech and association. In democracy, criticism is viewed as one of the many tools for correcting perceived maladministration by a sitting governor”, he said.
On the 2015 general elections and the 2016 governorship poll in the state, Mr. Orbih said the party would be just and fair to every card-carrying member vying for any position.
He also reassured party members that the state executive members would give all eligible aspirants equal opportunity, to test their popularity and strength at the primaries.
“The party will not adopt the policy of harmonisation but will conduct a free and fair primary as required by law.
“We are determined and have resolved to do the right things the right way, different from the old practice – the policy of selection”, Mr. Orbih said.
He dismissed insinuations that the rate of defection of members from other parties to the PDP would cause its disintegration.
“It will make us become stronger and a more formidable party to form the next government come 2016”, he said.
On the voter registration, Orbih appealed to INEC to allot more registration time, to capture eligible voters who had attained the required age since the last exercise in 2007.