Monthly Archives: September 2013
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The overriding reason for establishing our organization was,, and is to build bridges of unity for peace and development to be achieved in Nigeria. Our gratitude thus goes out to all of you who participate with online submissions, comments and private messages of support.
In recognition of the need for peace in the world, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/37 of the United Nations General Assembly and the first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
19 Years later in 2001, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.
We, members and executives of Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria have taken this gesture a step further by celebrating peace overtures and supporting discussions aimed at promoting peace and development in Nigeria on a daily basis, more so with the recent upsurge of violence in certain parts of our dear country.
We enjoin you to look forward to our celebration of peace next month as we keep you updated on our planned activities.
Thank you for giving development a chance in Nigeria as we celebrate International Day of Peace.
16 September 2013
By Olu Adekunle Snr. – Public Affairs Commentator
to democratic principles, is a task that is only achievable by a generous dose of divine favor. Otherwise, it is at best an uphill task that seldom meets with success.
My assertion is based mainly on the premise that the incorporation of several ethnic groups into a single political entity means bringing together the basic problem of conflict, which stems as a result of man’s varied wants, perceptions, opinions and insatiable nature. Group loyalties often supercede the established concept of a common identity thereby undermining the collective interests of a multi-ethnic society or nation.
Nigeria as a nation where political, ethnic and religious interests are guarded jealously is such a society where governance under a democratic setting is often tasked to the limit. Our history is replete with instances where sentiments have been whipped up in the direction of these three groupings, with the ultimate aim of exerting influence on the outcome of whatever may be the issue of the day.
Like every other society upon the face of the earth, Nigeria too has passed through phases of change in the quest to fulfill our collective needs. Some argue that these changes have not been for the benefit of the common man, while others believe that only those in the corridors of power have gained; but what the heck, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. The truth of the matter as has been evident before us is that the masses have almost always been preoccupied with the struggle for daily survival and could not be bothered by much else. At least that was the case before 1999.
In her 53 years of independence, Nigeria has been ruled by both civilians and the military with the latter intervening mostly on the purported basis of misrule by the former. The period of military rule ( spanning a greater part of the 53 years) is best remembered as an era where widespread corruption and conscious effort to undermine due process, the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in government were the order of the day.
With the death of General Sanni Abacha former Nigerian Head Of State, Nigerians rightly rejected the military and opted instead for a return to democratic rule where the people would be free to decide for themselves who would govern and represent them at all levels of government. This agitation became a reality on May 29, 1999.
It was the expectation that democracy would increase the role of the ordinary people in the system and ultimately provide them the much touted ‘dividends of democracy’.
Fourteen years after in 2013, this is undoubtedly Nigeria’s longest romance with democratic rule. Whether it has met with expectations is a matter for future discourse. However, at this juncture and in view of the drama playing out at the higher levels of the polity, one is compelled to call to question the ambitions of our leaders and the role of political parties which in one way or another affect the political stability.
It is my thinking that the task of leaders is to help societies. They are expected to provide direction of effort towards achieving society’s goals. Leaders are also expected to bring out the best in all of us. As history has clearly shown,
a society without talented and committed leaders will retrogress or at best remain stagnant. This is most true of Nigeria where many of our civilian as well as military leaders, are selfishly caught up in the pursuit of personal goals at the expense of the national interest.
The scarcity of selfless, non-corrupt and committed leaders has contributed to the sociopolitical and economic predicaments facing Nigeria today. Although we cannot expect to have an endless succession of great and extraordinary leaders, recent events have shown that most of those in leadership positions across the country today are yet to fully understand what leadership and representation are all about. They seem bent on extinguishing the light of democracy shinning in Nigeria. They seem incapable of settling the political and economic crises that periodically confront us.
The recent crisis engulfing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is a good example of the lack of virtue on the part of most of our so-called leaders. Though the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has in many people’s opinions performed creditably, it seems an irony of sorts to find that his greatest critics and detractors are found within the party fold. Several Governors led by former Vice President Atiku recently disconnected themselves from the main PDP and went ahead to create what is now known as the New PDP.
Though only flimsy and generally unclear reasons were given for such an extreme move on the part of Atiku and his group, altercations between both factions only succeeded in heating the polity to alarming proportions. Nigerians now more politically enlightened than ever were initially shocked by the development. They however quickly adjusted and in what I call an unbiased assessment of the situation, concluded that Atiku and his fellow travelers were a disgruntled lot whose grievance stemmed from perceived obstacles in the way of their selfish pursuits.
In order to prevent the country from being torn apart by attendant sentiments, many stakeholders in the Nigerian project including past leaders and the leadership of various democratic institutions have waded into the matter. Three weeks on, the conflict is yet to be resolved. The Atiku group have however issued conditions for a truce which are at best laughable and indicative of the fact that men of means in this country can hold the entire country to ransom at their leisure. It also calls to question the place of the politician and the party in sustaining political stability or otherwise in Nigeria.
Political parties are by all standards one of the most outstanding and distinguishing elements of modern government and are reputed as the drivers of democracy. In other words, democracy is unthinkable in the absence of viable political parties. They are also expected to participate in the political socialization of electorates, contribute to the accumulation of political power, facilitate recruitment of political leadership, and serve as a unifying force in a divided polity.
After a review of current trends in party activities especially the PDP and Atiku debacle, I believe that some politicians and political parties have become more of a liability than an asset in the country’s quest for political stability.
TO BE CONTINUED.
“President Good-luck Jonathan should ignore all these frustrated,expired political antelopes who call themselves new PDP and concentrate on his existing transformation exercise which is going on in the nation. Nigerian’s recognise PDP as the largest party in country and not new PDP. It is a shame the people who have failed the country in their various responsibility in moving the nation forward are now coming back to obstruct the dividends of democracy Nigerians are experiencing. These people have failed the nation at large and Nigerians recognise their antics based on their antecedents in destabilising the nation.
Come 2015, the citizens of the country will decide on who to become their President and not these elements of corruption who have failed in their respective states in delivering proper dividends of democracy to their people. They can not convince the masses as they have disappointed them due to their dubious character. They can not convince even the smallest person in their community to come out and vote not to talk of telling them who to vote for. Some have even been suspended from PDP at their ward level. Imagine if PDP in the ward level that is the smallest level of the party can suspend them, then what impact can they render to the national level of the party other than causing confusion.
They have just one vote and I believe, with the developmental strides of President Good-luck Jonathan, Nigerians will not hesitate to give him a certificate of return through the ballot box. PDP is one umbrella and the leadership of the party should act according to what is enshrined in the party constitution in addressing membership misconduct. No member of PDP is above the constitution of the party. i have one question for the PDP…..a child that has been suspended from school,what is he still going to do there, when appointments of prefects is on going?”
Atoni Azi, Political and Social Commentator
RE: RIVERS SINKING INTO ANARCHY
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR AMAECHI
May God’s grace and good health be multiplied to you.
I was alarmed to no end to read the above caption in the TheNation (Monday, September 9, 2013). My dear Governor, for three whole weeks I had mulled over the idea of writing you an open letter on the current drift in the governance of our dear Rivers state under your watch. I was a bit wary about writing to you, lest I be accused of writing under the instigation of “Abuja Politicians” or “Oga and Madam at the top from Aso Rock.” I am now at liberty to express my views on the very issue you are quoted to have raised in the media.
Sir I wrote an open letter to you 4 years ago on the colossal verbal barrage you had unleashed on the irrepressible Okrika people and their highly cosmopolitan-Kalabari brothers. I am happy to say that at the moment, whatever recriminations or xenophobia you may harbour against them is no longer exhibited in that raw and vengeful manner we observed then. Thank you Sir. I also made it clear in that piece that in-spite of my misgivings I had to admire your pluck, adroitness and political savvy in the way you blind-sided the formidable Odili political machinery to set up a platform of your own, upon which you rode all the way to Brick House.
Permit me, Your Excellency to say bravo to you on the many road projects you have undertaken in the state. The new schools are icons in an apt aesthetic learning environment. I can assure you that decades after your tenure, no one can forget the fact that AMAECHI WAS HERE. Again my Governor, I say bravo!
I am compelled at this point, to bring to your notice, in case you have missed the glaring fact that Rivers State is, in your own words sinking into anarchy because of YOU. By your own words and actions, you have begun to tear down what you helped to build up.
This is how:
KNOWLEDGE OF TIMES AND SEASONS: The word of God tells us “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl 3:11. KJV).Is this the time to be standing side by side with a few “Northern Governors” whose clear demand is that the presidency of Nigeria should be plucked from the South-South back to the core North? Is that what you (ChibuikeAmaechi) want at this time? Have you at this time become a “Northern Governor”? Even those who believed you were fighting for “justice” against the Presidency which was “witch hunting” you, merely because you won the NGF election, are beginning to wonder. Is this the time to identify with Atiku, Tambuwal, Nyako, Kwakwanso, Lamido, Aliyu and Wamakko? At this time and in this season of anomy President Goodluck Jonathan is discussing peace with “New PDP” and reaching out to resolve disputes. Are you also doing the same here in Rivers State? For you is this a time for peace or more war?
KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR PLACE AND HONOUR.As governor of Rivers state, you are our light, our father and leader. You are the symbol of our collective existence and the repository and exhibitor of our honour. I have in the last 6 years of your administration continued to wonder if you have acknowledge of your place in history and the honour due your high office. I know you do crave the image and reputation of a man who is “fearless” and ”frank”. Others may rather see you as lacking in reverence, ill-tempered and brash; hardly the virtues expected in a leader. Sadly Sir, you have failed to see the nobility of manner and edified elocution due your high office.
Truly assert that any governor of Rivers state should rank in dignity with any African leader at the least!
WHAT ABOUT ABE, PETERSIDE, LLOYD AND OTHERS? My dear Governor, do you realize how carelessly you have frittered away the political chances and careers of those who have stood by you? You have immunity, but do they? Will you not spare a thought for Senator Magnus Abe, Congressman Dakuku Peterside and other allies of yours who may be nursing political ambitions for 2015? How will your current endless battles in and outside the state affect their chances? You enjoyed 8 uninterrupted years as speaker of the RSHA under former Governor Odili. However within 6 years of your own tenure as Governor, first RSHA was embroiled in a contrived “AUSTRALIAN SEX SCANDAL”. Next the former Speaker Tonye Harry got the boot. Now Otelamaba Dan Amachree the new speaker has no house to preside over! Where Sir, is your staunch Ally Hon Chidi Lloyd? Your ADC, ASP Debewari Seimokumoh has since been declared a “deserter” from the police force. For him there will never be the completion of a glorious career and a commendable retirement. Your CSO, Tony Iwelu’s career is also aborted. From the former Rivers state PDP Exco led by Ake, to NGF, only God knows what else has suffered an inglorious desolation because of their association with you. Please look back and see the wasted careers you are leaving in your wake!
In case you have not realized it, I have to point out to you that you lasted longer in politics until you became governor because though Odili fought more and harder battles, He knew when to fight and when to make peace. He never risked the careers and future prospects of his men. That, my Dear Governor is the mark of a leader of men. These days you are ensconced in Abuja fighting to impeach President Jonathan or stop his perceived 2015 bid. It seems you have become an “Abuja politician” yourself. Your Excellency, your place is here with us your people. Return home and put your house in order. At least you will agree with me that the governmental institutions and political associates of your Northern-Governor-friends are intact.
RIVERS STATE IS DRIFTING. Rivers state has become rudderless and as you rightly pointed out anarchy has slipped into our land. It has nothing to do with President Jonathan, his wife, Wike, Obuah or Mbu. As you said years ago in one of your expansive moments, The buck stops of your table. You must, at this time, muster the moral fibre and courage to retrace your steps and make peace in your state (Rivers).Now is the time to reverse the current state of ennui. Again I wonder how you as a governor will work with the National Assembly as the new legislative arm of Rivers state government. Please resist the temptation to consider with glee that now you and Mr President work with the
Senate and House of Representatives as their chief executives. Just ponder how you can pass you fiscal demands through a National legislature not elected by Rivers people. How can you pay civil servant salaries more regularly and on time? Our dear state is paying a heavy price for this crisis. For example which investor foreign or local will come to a state which its own governor says is sinking into anarchy? Should the interest and cooperate survival of 7 million people be sacrificed for one man’s interest? RIVERS STATE SINKING INTO ANARCHY? Well there is only one man I know who swore an oath, with a Bible in his hands to fix it. You!
Thank You my dear Governor
I remain yours truly
VICTOR BURUBO, Pst.
- [Gist] :Presidency, G-7 Meeting Deadlock Over Amaechi (2hotblog.com)
- PDP expels Amaechi’s 14 commissioners (tawwabbalogun.wordpress.com)
LEST WE FORGET,IT WAS A POLITICAL COUP AT THAT PDP CONVENTION!
Because of August 31,2013,the political landscape shall never be the same again,not after the walk out by the Baraje faction of the PDP at the just concluded PDP Convention at Eagle Square.Take it or leave it against all expectations the unexpected happened with such clinical precision and in tandem with a well orchestrated plan which didn’t just start at the Eagle Square;so where was the intelligence apparatchik, which failed woefully to envision that this kind of development was in the offing? Did the PDP egg heads in Wadata also lack the ability to see that critical security in-depth analysis should have made out that the various developments,formation of PDM,the undercurrents of threats inside the party from Nyako’s Adamawa to Rivers, to Anambra, to those in Wadata Complex, all pointed out that all was not well, and that the party was going to Eagle Square with a liability baggage,where loyalty would be a major determinant of peaceful conduct of the event.
Be it as it may however,what makes interesting focus is the undeniable fact that the President was made a sitting duck,oblivious that there was a caving in of his political platform,a structure he must need to actualise his intentions in the presidential race for 2015. Not even the presidential intelligence muzzle could sniff out that Yar’adua Centre had been booked for an after Convention gathering of the party’s big wigs by whatever identity:snooping further will make for more intel that could alert the President that a counter move was in progress,which will need follow up and identification of the prevailing threat and potential to upset his expectations;to have prior intel makes it possible for him to re-strategise; cant we all see that after all the clear indications that prior to the day some members of the PDP had been traversing the length and breath of Nigeria on a purported journey of consultations,the President need not lack intelligence feelers, indicating that any slight misdemeanor or a semblance of it, will turn out badly,especially if any manipulation at the convention was suspected by these members!
It likely is an innocent conjecture but I still see the New PDP, Baraje’s faction as a well articulated group of the mainstream PDP,who had a plan and kept it close to their chest as a plan ‘B’,just in case;they clinically executed their plan as a political coup d’etat,a novelty,but to great effect,and an avoidable situation if those watching the President’s back and that of the biggest political party,did their intelligence gathering and speculative analysis more effectively than the usual every day snooping and sniffing!From all indications more political analysis and its marriage into the security and architecture has become very necessary in today’s political dispensation,if democracy indeed must be protected by the intelligence community as in other climes.
- PDP, G-5 Peace Mission And Issues At Stake (ebijeisrael.wordpress.com)
- [Gist] :Why we shunned PDP’s post-convention dinner (2hotblog.com)
That E K Clark apology!
Chief E. K. Clark may not be the most popular politician in the country. There are people who dread him for his harsh criticisms. They do everything to avoid him.
Clark could hound anybody no matter how well or highly placed. He is the old man of Nigerian politics and sometimes the politicians don’t know what to do with him or how to face him. He is blunt and could be rash.
There are also those who revere him. He fights a course that he believes in and in doing so he doesn’t give a hoot about diplomacy. There are those who hold him in high esteem for that.
Yet, there are those who feel he exceeds bounds in seeming unwarranted attacks on those who oppose his views. Recently, his attacks on those opposed to another term for President Goodluck Jonathan were so blunt that many likened his position to a declaration of war.
*Chief Edwin Clark
At the early stage of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan’s tenure, Chief E. K Clark caused the man sleepless nights. The respect Uduaghan continued to accord him did not change the fighter in him. But that’s Clark for you. Doggedness has become his virtue and many admire his guts especially when he attacks people in public office.
Last Friday in Warri, Clark had prepared to unleash some salvo on Sule Lamido, the governor of Jigawa State whom he said had criticised him two days earlier. The platform was to be the closing ceremony of the E.K Clark National Wrestling Championship at the beautiful Brown Hill Event Centre. 24 States were in attendance.
It was a good platform to make a political statement and Lamido was to get some bashing. But immediately he stepped into the hall the bout announced was between a wrestler from Jigawa and another from Delta. Clark froze.
Lamido had sponsored the Jigawa contingent to participate in an event in his honour. He froze. Sports has played its role as unifier and right there before him he felt the great impact of sports.
He became emotional. He had to sheath his sword and immediately turned to an apostle of peace. He was overwhelmed by the power of sports and urged all Nigerians to embrace peace and be united.
He said that nothing could unify Nigeria more than sports and encouraged the development of sports in the country. The atmosphere at the Brown Hill Centre so touched him that he apologised to Nigerians over any statement he made in the past that hurt anybody or appeared to heat up the polity.
Delta sponsored the event in his honour and the ever sports loving governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan was beside him. He looked at him and pleaded with the governor to forgive him for any wrong he might have done him in the past. For Clark, Nigeria must be one indivisible nation where politicians should play by the rules and allow peace to reign.
I want to quote Clark copiously from his speech for us to appreciate the importance of sports and perhaps a new Chief Edwin Clark:
“There is one thing I always tell Nigerians, that Delta state is the home of sports. In those days in Warri province, we produced the best athletes, best footballers, the best in all categories of sports, but we went down for some time and some states took over from us until we changed and started winning and winning and we will continue to win.
To you the Governor of Delta State, I express my profound gratitude for the honour done to me by this championship and on my right (turning to Hon Victor Ochei) the speaker of Delta State House of Assembly I wish to express my gratitude. He is my son, his father was my very good friend and uncle and I used to call him ‘Osualili’. His father used to be a top man in those good days.
“I am a politician and I love sports and I say that the only thing that can bring this country closer and closer together as a united entity is Sports. Your excellency, the day we (Super Eagles) played against Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa I fell sick by force.
As I watched the match, I was moving from one end of my room to another until the goal was scored and Nigeria won. I became well again immediately. So, if we encourage sporting activities, half of the job of keeping Nigeria together would have been done. It will be easier.
“Two days ago, the governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Lamido spoke about me and criticized me in his state. I said I will also come to my Delta state and criticize him and I said today, I will criticize him here. But when I came here this morning, the bout that was taking place was between Jigawa and Delta.
So, immediately I had to sheath my sword. I felt that if the governor of Jigawa state could sponsor his wrestling contingent to this championship, then, there was no reason to launch the attack on him. Politicians believe in the image of Nigeria but for their personal interest and for their political esteem things happen.
“I will like to use this opportunity to apologise to all Nigerians that if by any of my statements, I made reference to anything that will threaten the unity of this our great country, I apologise. Forgive me.
I am now 86. I will do anything that will unite this country and so, I am also appealing to my other politicians to emphasize those things that will keep this country together. We have nothing to gain by threatening the unity of this country. By January 1, 2014, Nigeria will be celebrating its 100 years of existence as a country. Nigeria is a large country.
It’s like when Elephants meet and are together, there is more and enough for everyone. You will take your own and go and another person will come and take his own and go. Today, somebody is in and tomorrow, somebody is out, so what are we fighting for?
So, I am appealing to all Nigerians, to all politicians that we should emphasize on those things that will bind us together. ( Again, turning to governor Uduaghan) And your excellency, I come back to you, forgive me.
If I have said anything that caused you some embarrassment, you are my son, forgive me. I say to all Deltans, we have only one government, one governor, His excellency Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. Let’s support him.
Finally, I will like to express my profound gratitude to all the athletes from the 24 states taking part in this competition. May God be with you all.
“As a politician, I must not forget, we need a National Conference. You can’t stop us from talking. I am appealing to Mr President that we need a National Conference where we will all come together and talk about ourselves and not making statements outside. Nigeria needs it because we must touch the places it pinches this country.”
There’s nothing more to add to the call for peace and development of sports in Nigeria. The elder statesman has spoken. I hope the authorities heard him.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2013.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, last Saturday held a Special Convention at the Eagle Square in Abuja as ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to fill up the vacant positions in the National Working Committee of the Party. Though what was supposed to be a mini- Convention itturned out to be a grand occasion which had in attendance the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Senate President- David Mark, the Speaker-Hon. Tambuwal, the National Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman BOT, Chief Tony Anenih and other Party Chieftains from the different states.
As it turned out, top on the agenda was the election, however some of those aggrieved in the Party chose to use the occasion to express their displeasure with the Party leaders and ultimately staged a walk- out. Voting had barely started when the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar whose name has become synonymous with ” opposition ” led a walk-out with seven governors of Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Adamawa, Rivers, Kwara, Sokoto states. They headed for the Yaradua Centre where they addressed their supporters on the reasons why they decided to rebel against the Tukur-led PDP. It was the former National Secretary of the Party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje from Kwara State who spoke on why they had chosen to be become renegades. He was later appointed the Chairman of the new faction while the former Deputy to Bamanga Tukur, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja was appointed the Deputy Chairman, while Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the controversial National Secretary was appointed the substantive secretary of the new group.
While, the President has maintained a stance of not meddling with the affairs of the Party as it affects who emerges as a candidate or wins the general election, the group of ” dissidents” who have not hidden their desperation to occupy the exalted seat of the Presidency, failed to exhaust all avenues for truce and like the masquerade that dances naked decided to embark on yet another suicide mission and an exercise that will amount to futility.
What Atiku and his co travelers are doing is not strange in politics where those who have lost out of power tend to form an opposition within. It is part of the process that will strengthen the internal democracy of the PDP as well as other political parties.
When the news of the newly registered PDM filtered in through the media, Atiku and some of his men were quick to deny their involvement in the registration of the new party, but from the action of the new group, it is evident that he is not ready to change his style of politicking. Though, his intentions are yet not clear, but going by his antecedents, it is clear that he is pursuing his ambition with an accurate velocity like a dysfunctional locomotive. He has just scripted the drama that is playing out and like the game of chess, it is not expected that the President and his handlers will keep mum especially if the President intends to seek re- election.
In whose interest is Atiku playing this time around? When he mobilized against his Principal, Olusegun Obasanjo’s rumored third term ambition, he eventually lost out to a less ambitious Umaru Yaradua. He left to form the Action Congress of Nigeria with the likes of Bola Ahmed Tinubu who later became the greatest beneficiary of the party leaving Atiku agin wounded and badly bruised as he sought his way back to PDP in tears, a move which also led to the exit of Okwy Nwodo, who became the victim. With the abysmal fall of Nwodo, Atiku remained to continue his bloated ambition of becoming President. In spite of the earlier reports that the North would rally behind a candidate of Northern extraction, President Jonathan yet emerged victorious. Atiku failed, but not without his followers losing again.
While the build up to 2015, the former President who is seen as the leader of the new group again has become restive and is playing the same old style of politics. Unfortunately, he is again misleading those who have allowed their desperation to becloud their sense of reasoning to understand that he is only pursuing his own agenda under the guise of entrenching discipline and justice in the Party.
President Jonathan is already on top of the situation as he has decided to meet with the governors including some of those who staged a walk-out. In all, the crisis would be resolved and only those who want to heat up the polity would form the opposition that does not exist in the real sense.
Written by Christie James
A public commentator
The PDP held its National convention amidst fears of violence and physical attacks from disgruntled elements either in the opposition or within the party structure itself. Politics is a bed of strange fellows as the saying goes , so one should always expect in-house squabbles at any time.
The security for the convention was however water tight. Kudos must be given to the Nigeria Police Force for their professional conduct before and during the event. As it turned out, all security fears were allayed and checked , including the arrest of suspected trouble makers with inciting posters and planned demonstrations to create chaos at the venue.
With regards to the convention proper which was broadcast live to the nation, somethings stuck out showing citizens exactly why the PDP wins general elections in the long run. The party is truly the most democratic of all paraded before us. Take the case of the office of the National Secretary which has a pending court case. The party did not present the office for contest showing respect to the laws courts, despite the fact the a characters involved in the court case petition (Oyinlola) have now been officially identified with a parallel faction of the PDP which has formed a new party. Secondly, Governor Amaechi was again announced as suspended by the party thereby bringing closure to insinuations and suggestions that he was a force to reckon with in the general party structure. His suspension and therefore non participation at the convention further show the insignificance of recalcitrance in a properly organized political structure.
The second interesting observation was the planned walk out by some state Governors. Led by Atiku Abubakar, the G5 Governors including others,
Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Rivers, Niger, Adamawa, and Kwara displayed what can only be described as exposing the problem with the PDP. Atiku Abubakar once defected to the ACN, then back to the PDP and now by all indications , he is heading off to the PDM. The questions that begs answer is this. Would it not be appropriate for Atiku Abubakar to leave the party and found his own party rather than create confusion among Nigerians? What is his plan? He obviously still nurses a Presidential ambition and it is best that he exits the PDP and allow it focus on the business of managing Nigeria`s affairs. It is clearly obvious now that the challenges of the Government of President Jonathan are not only external, but more so, internal wrangling and hustle for power.
The third and most interesting observation at the convention is the powerful speech by President Jonathan. In a rare moment of display of leadership as expected from the leader of the most populous black nation, he threw the gauntlet down and challenged his critics with bold assertions of his administrations successes and focus since inception. He stated his administrations achievements to include improvement in telecoms, agriculture, aviation, transportation, roads, water resources, and education. Furthermore, taking a swipe at what turned out to be defectors and destabilizing elements in the Party and indeed the opposition, he stated,
”We must insist on defending Nigeria from those who threaten her in words and deeds. We are a nation in God’s hands and we must keep it so. Before I leave, let me ask our party men and women one fundamental question and I need the answer yes or no. As a party, have we changed our name? No. As a party, have we changed our logo? No. As a party, have we changed our slogan? No. As a party, have we changed our motto? No. As a party, have we changed our vision? No. No shaking.”
It will be recalled that President Jonathan`s administration drew a new and higher bench mark for stewardship in Nigeria by presenting a Mid Term Report in May 2013. Till this day, the opposition, critics and citizens in general have no been able to fault the facts presented in the report. This is even as The President asked that everyone set up their scores sheets using their own standards. This quite simply shows Nigeria has moved forward with the Transformation Agenda Train. What is hampering some progress is the blatant abuse of freedoms as enshrined in the constitution. Freedom of speech has been abused steadily especially by elders in the polity who have shown a lot of immaturity with their unguarded utterances in the recent past. Their deliberate attempts to undermine the office of the President is indeed reprehensible and belittles the status of ”elder” bestowed on them by the public.
As the convention continues today, we all watch with interest as we witness the official torch bearers of our Democracy, the PDP, display maturity , openness and decorum at their convention. One can only hope that the opposition and other same minor parties will take a cue from this convention which reminds one of the excellent convention of the Democratic party in America that ushered in President Obama.
At the end of the day it is ”we” the good citizens of Nigeria who will be affected by political maneuvering and administration by Government. It is therefore expedient that we keep a close eye on all political parties, identifying those who present candidates who have shown proven loyalty to their peers and party. These are the most likely people Nigerian`s will entrust with higher office come any elections.
Ejiro Eghagha, Author, Social commentator
- Bamanga calls Atiku, others treacherous: -Says parallel faction is illegal (mienpamo.wordpress.com)
- PDP Splits; Atiku, Amaechi And 6 other Governors Form New Faction (naijanerds.com)