Your party, PDP, recently suffered heavy defeat in Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections and pundits have blamed the incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson for its woes in Bayelsa State. What is your view on this?
Bayelsa was a disaster foretold. Mind you, I schooled in old Rivers State and I have many friends in Rivers and Bayelsa states, who are high ranking members of PDP. One of them was the chairman of Rivers State PDP Gubernatorial Primary Election of 2019. The Bayelsa political arrangement favours Chief Timi Alaibe as consensus PDP gubernatorial candidate. He was supported by the party hierarchy and being from Southern Ijaw, somebody who connects to the grassroots, a mass mobiliser, he had impacted on the lives of the populace positively while holding political office as NNDC helmsman. Governor Seriake Dickson was accused of lacking in those qualities. Most Bayelsa would rather describe the governor as being arrogant and highhanded.
Maybe, he has suddenly forgotten that one stoops to conquer. The electoral process itself was undermined, not free and fair. That the election was militarised and the electoral body and security personnel compromised was an open secret. Unfortunately, the electoral gains and progress made between 1999- 2015 has been eroded and sacrificed on the altar of clannishness by men of little mind, where professors cannot do their jobs professorially and failing to honour the past in other to inspire the future. It is a bitter lesson. I think you listened to the so-called Bayelsa governor-elect after meeting with his father at Aso Rock. With his statements and first unofficial assignment, you should use your tongue to count your teeth.
But, the ruling APC would rather accuse the PDP of unnecessarily overheating the polity. It is unfortunate that those men of content and character that Nigerians looked up to in the past that spoke truth to power had been compromised. The civil society is in comatose, religious leaders, Christians and Muslims, have been monetized. Where is the formidable National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) of old? Do you remember the Kano Resident Electoral Commissioner that was burnt to ashes with his family after the 2015 presidential election who asked question about the bogus result of APC? Do you remember the murder of NYSC members in Northern Nigeria after 2011 presidential election? Do you remember the statement that baboons would soak in blood prior to presidential election 2015? Do you remember the issue of international observers going back with body bags after 2019 election? Do you remember the havoc of Osun 2018 gubernatorial election? Do you consider Ekiti orgy of violence in 2018 gubernatorial election? What about Kano and Rivers State 2019 gubernatorial violence? Recently, the Kogi PDP Woman Leader, Mrs Acheju Abuh, was burnt to death by suspected APC members after rigging themselves into office in an exercise that does not qualify for semblance of an election. We are gradually moving to state of anarchy where might is right. What do all these tell you about the APC as a party?
The Appeal Court recently declared the PDP candidate for the Ekiti South Senatorial District ,Chief Abiodun Olujimi, the actual winner of the February 23 National Assembly election. What is the implication of this?
The implications of Senator Olujimi’s victory to the psyche and political reawakening of PDP in Ekiti State is enormous and cannot be spelt out in this interview. However, Olujimi’s victory has restored hope, re-energised the party and handed over the party back to the people that own it .That is the masses. Senator Olujimi being our political Mother Teresa who does not consider ones gender and senatorial zones, spreads Love to everyone and no one ever comes to her without leaving happier. Her victory has made it possible for the majority of PDP members in Ekiti State to find their voices and political compass. Let us sum it up by considering Ezekiel 37:1-14. That Biblical injunction can be likened to Olujimi’s victory and Ekiti State PDP. Ekiti State PDP’s dry bones have risen again.
But, Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Governor Ayo Fayose was recently quoted to have said that Olujimi’s victory meant little or nothing to the future of the PDP in Ekiti. What is your take on this?
I think there is an inbuilt answer in your question. Because you clearly identified Lere Olayinka as media aide of ex-Governor Fayose and by political arithmetic, the emergence of Sen. Olujimi in the 9th Assembly has dwarfed and altered Fayose’s political arrangements and calculations in Ekiti State. So, how do you expect Lere and his paymaster to be happy? The opinion expressed on Olujimi’s victory was not that of Lere, but of his maste. By the way, there was no acknowledgment or congratulations from their camp to celebrate this woman of virtue, Sentor Biodun Olujimi, on her electoral victory and the only elected officer of PDP extraction in Ekiti State for that matter. That tells the kind of people of small minds we are dealing with. Nevertheless, the party, PDP, is greater than any individual.
Gboyega Oguntunwase, the PDP chairman in Ekiti, has promised to rebuild the party by instilling discipline and stop imposition of candidates. How would you react to this?
It is awesome to hear such postulations from the chairman and the entire State Working Committee. It gladdens the heart of the numerous members across board. This has even encouraged active participation from docile members and re-energises every rank and file. That Barrister Oguntuase has embraced repositioning of the party is a welcome development. Whereas indiscipline has been the bane of PDP in the past, we fail to adjust to the dynamics of politics and life, because, some of those who found themselves in position of authority and power do not have political antecedents which can guide and keep them on track.
PDP cannot attempt to impose anybody in the forthcoming congress. Let every aspirants market themselves, highlight their unique selling points, their political antecedents and majorly, how they plan to move the party from Egypt for members to adjudge. Whoever emerges will surely be a rallying point for all members and will not be serving somebody’s else vested interest, because the party is bigger than individuals.
The last administration of Ayo Fayose seemed to have let many of the PDP chieftains down and many had to leave the party .What steps would you suggest to bring the defectors back to the fold?
Mind you the aggrieved members that either defected or sat on the fence are those who had benefited, either by appointments or elective positions in the past from the party, either at local, state or national levels. They left and became tenants in their new abode and imagine the kind of shameful and degrading treatments they were being subjected to. However, we call on our leaders, fathers, mothers, men and women of good intentions that left and abandoned the ship in the days of Pharaoh. They should remember the Holy Bible, James1:17, John 10:10 & Ps 37:11. Let us join hands with the political patriots and rebuild PDP Ark of Noah (Hadis Safinah Nuh). PDP as a party in government of Ekiti brought monumental developments that is visible and tangible, with the present political meteorology its safer for them to return to their political family the umbrella is big and strong enough to protect and accommodate them.