Wednesday, December 9, 2015

‘PDP Needs To Change Its Name’

What do you make of the Kogi State governorship election logjam?
It is purely lack of political understanding with respect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) stand. On the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I don't think I have much to say because they played their role well. Now that the issue has come, it is an unfortunate situation because of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu. Even the law has not envisaged something like this.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is insisting that its governorship candidate in Kogi, Captain Idris Wada is the winner of the election, arguing that Yahaya Bello of the APC can’t be winner. Will you say the PDP has a case?

No, it is wrong for the PDP to lay claim to this. There is nothing near this in the Electoral Act 2010, as amended or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If things come to worse, what could have happened is the need for the conduct of fresh elections. But if they had declared fresh election, there would have been a very serious legal lacuna because the 90 days would not be there as provided by the law for them to campaign. There would have been a vacuum.
Before the next election, the offices of the governor and the deputy governor would have been vacant. So, to avoid this unnecessary logjam, the right thing to do is to do the supplementary election where the APC is also given the opportunity to choose his candidate. So, the PDP is confused. I don't see any reason they should go to court to pray that Wada be declared winner of the election. The law recognises the APC better than the candidate because there is no independent candidature. So, the PDP is not being sensible and sensitive as to the reason they should go to court.

What is your impression about PDP's zoning of its 2019 presidential ticket to the North?
Anything done on illegality is illegality on its own. If some people are saying that Prince Uche Secondus still maintaining that position is illegal, then any decision taken by him is illegal. At the same time, are these people not confused? For now, the PDP is not in order; they are divided into three. One of the camps has sympathy for former President Goodluck Jonathan, one has sympathy for Secondus and his cohorts, while the other I think is headed by some of the governors and the Minority Leader. To me, for the PDP to rule at the centre again, they must change name and I want to talk like a political prophet.

I foresee very clearly today that the PDP at the end of the day will scatter. Some progressive elements will go out. The progressive elements will turn to another party. The APC too, so those people that are the progressive elements in the PDP and the APC will come together under the umbrella of another party before 2019. But we are talking about the PDP today, what about the APC. While Bola Tinubu has some people who are sympathetic to him, Buhari is also forming and building his own structure. Whether you like it or not, Atiku Abubakar is a giant and he cannot stay under the leadership of any of these two persons. So, he will stand on his own. So, the APC also will soon scatter and some of them will go and form another party. I assure you that before 2019, a mega party will come up from the PDP and the APC that will be stronger. But as at today, I think the PDP is badly mutilated.

The PDP recently held a national conference in Abuja as part of efforts to re-brand the party. Do you see the party bouncing back in 2019?
I don't think it was a PDP national conference. What happened incidentally was a factional PDP conference. Who was the substantive national chairman? Who was the substantive Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman? Where were some of the PDP governors, where was the former President Goodluck Jonathan? Who today is the leader of the party? People like Tony Anenih where were they?
Are you satisfied with the style of governance in your home state of Osun?
Well, the people representing us in the Senate and House of Representatives, I urge them to represent us well. If they fail in their representation, we won't allow anyone to take Osun State for a ride again particularly my federal constituency; Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency. We are expecting some of the promises somebody had made to be fulfilled.

What is your own assessment of the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari?
For now, I wouldn't know what to say because I have not seen any policy direction yet. But I can commend Mr. President for being upright in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency. He is fighting them and I want to give Mr. President kudos for doing that. But I don't know the economic direction.

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