Ebonyi State governor Umahi recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), likewise Senator Abbo in Adamawa State, even Zamfara State Governor Mattawale has also threatened to dump the PDP for the APC. What is the effect of this defection to your party?
There is no cause for alarm, Umahi is an ungrateful governor, he won governoship election two times on the platform of the PDP due to the support members of the party gave to him, the support also facilitated him winning the party primaries, after he has ruled the state for more than five years, he now considered joining another political party, he is an ungrateful person.
Well, there are other people from the APC that will join the PDP within the next two months. Some governors of APC controlled states will soon join the PDP. So, people should not be bothered about the defection.
For anybody that has a good dream for Nigeria, it is only in the PDP such dream can be actualised.
Look at what the country has been subjected to in the last five years, insecurity is on the increase, insurgents kill human beings like animals, the economy is not improving, as at now a Dollar exchanges for N500. For the 16 years the PDP ruled the country, things were not as bad as this. We in PDP are not disturbed by the defection, what I know is that Umahi will be disgraced.
There is the feeling that Chief Uche Secondus is not really in charge of the party affairs, that it is Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike that calls the shot in the party, what have you got to say about this?
Wike is one of the committed members of the party, Secondus remains the National Chairman of the party and nobody is contesting that position with him. He is doing well and tackles the APC, I feel some people are scheming to replace him, that is why they embark on campaign of calumny, but Secondus deserves a second term.
Do you think the party will support him going for a second term?
Yes, the party will support him, because he is doing fine, under his leadership our party won Edo State Governorship election, we also got back Bayelsa State through legal tusssle. Secondus is doing a very good job. It is the ruling party that is creating confusion in the PDP. The APC is doing everything to whittle the power of the opposition.
There is the feeling that those of you in the opposition party are not living up to expectation in discharge your responsibility?
We are living up to expectation, we only change our strategy because the ruling party has deviced means of using the anti-graft agency to harass our members. That is the style they adopt to co-opt our members into their party. That is what they did to Godswill Akpabio, Musiliu Obanikoro and others.
Anybody levelled with allegation of corruption, eventually ends up joining the APC that is where they harbour many of these politicians with corruption allegation.
That is what the APC has been doing, but either they want it or not PDP will win the 2023 presidential election, because Nigerians are not happy with the way things are in the country,they are not happy with the present administration.
The issue is, if Zamfara State governor makes good his threat, that means your party will lose two sitting governors within a short space of time, there is the feeling that, that may lead to the disintegration of your party and it may have adverse effect on it in 2023 general elections.
I don’t believe so, just as some people are leaving PDP for the APC, so also are people leaving APC for the PDP. In the next two months, you will see influx of APC members into the PDP including state governors.
Not until they carry out their plan to join your party, nobody will believe you.
You just hold on, hang on to it, you will see what will happen in this country.Apart from people coming to join the PDP, Nigerians are not happy with the current administration.
You claim your party is intact, but even in the South West, there is more division, the other time a reconciliation Committee was set up to reconcile aggrieved members in the geo political zone.Ayo Fayose kicked against it and set up his own reconciliation Committee, what have you got to say to this?
We are in charge, Fayose is a stubborn politician, at the same time he has been very consistent despite his disagreement with the party hirrachy. He has his way of getting things done.
With this development,you being one of the founding fathers of the party,what step have you taken to ensure peace reign in the party, and make it stronger?
You know Nigeria is a very big country,and we all came from different homes,we were not brought up the same way.There is tendency to have different characters and different attitude.The party National Chairman Secondus is doing a very good job.We also have some powerful,honest and loyal PDP governors.They are working very hard to make the party viral,and some people from the APC are coming to join us soon.
Take for example Ogun State will fall for the PDP in 2023.Also the issue in Bauchi State has been sorted out.when Dogara defected,we have already filled the vacuum he created,and we will surely win the state.
There is the impression that some of the problems you have in the PDP are self inflicted,there is the feeling that Neysom Wike created many of these problems because he wants to run for the presidential race,so he wants to push out some of the PDP governors to create a way for Wike/Tambuwal joint presidential ticket in 2023.What is your position on this?
Wike alone does not constitute the PDP, he is just a member,only him can’t be taken to be representing the PDP. That is one fact we must be conversant with, #only him can’t organise the party convention.
There was a time he insisted the party convention should hold in his state,the convention was held in his state and the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar defeated his preferred candidate.
If it is a matter of Wike controlling the party, forget that,that is impossible.Wike can’t claim he has the whole party structure under him.I know he has loyalty of some state governors, that does not translate to having the party structure under his control.
One observes that in the Second Republic, the issue of defection from one political party to the other was not as rampant as we have it now,what has gone wrong that defection is now rampant?
We are not yet matured.
Will you say those who participated in the Second Republic politics were more matured than those who are in politics now?
What I will say is that you should watch out for the PDP coming back. We are coming back in a very big way,we shall surprise many on the outcome of the 2023 election.Nigerians now know better because the impression the APC gave the public was that the PDP created a lot of problem when it was in power, why can’t they solve the problem for the five years they have been in government or improve on what they met on ground.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power for 16 years, Nigerians never complained of hunger.Within the five years the APC is in government, it has borrowed too much money.To offset the debt will take years.Maybe they thought Nigerians will still vote them in 2023, Nigerians won’t vote APC, you will see what will happen.