The PDP has been caught sleeping. These are exactly your words, when recently you insisted that Uche Secondus, the national chairman of the party has outlived his usefulness. What makes you think he has failed? Some persons will disagree with you?
I have taken a holistic view of the party and I discovered that as an opposition party, which ought to be in the forefront as the alternative voice for the voiceless and become a rallying point for contestation for power, has decidedly to be on the losing side. Members of PDP are therefore entering the All Progressives Congress (APC) that has become a monster.
Daniel, Dimije Bankole, Hon Yakubu Dogara and Governor David Umahi, quite a number of House of Representatives’ members as well as senators are decamping to the APC. If we are not careful, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is almost on his way out; so also is Governor Ayade of Cross River.
If you are having an opposition and you cannot resolve your issues such as internal squabbles, then how will you contest for power in 2023?
Going forward you need all these big names to be a rallying point. Whether you like it or not, our politics is heavily monetised. In politics, big money is a very dominant role. So for me, I have taken a very analytical introspection into the PDP and discovered that as an opposition party, it is much more than issuing statements every day long. Boring statement that Nigerians are tired of reading.
In the face of this suffering you don’t write long boring statement. Two three paragraph address the issue simple but a greater way out of it is for you to form what they call Shadow cabinet.
That reminds me of the Saraki’s reconciliation team. What has happened to that team? Has there been any progress?
Saraki’s activity to me is like a drop in the ocean. We need more than that. Just look at the strategies of the APC. The PDP set up eight or nine reconciliation members, APC set up 61. Just look at that; sixty-one persons in a contact mobilisation committee of APC and they inaugurated them. Whether they are relevant or not, as far as they are nominated on the committee they are seeing to be doing something.
When Governor Umahi was leaving, how many governors went there to stop him? This is politics’ we need more money and more people. We need more personalities because Nigerian politics is personality based.
We also need people to help to drive leadership at the local level, state government before you come to the national level.
In other words, you are saying Secondus does not have the leadership capacity to move the party on?
If we must make any reasonable impact in 2023, Secondus leadership should go now. In fact, the party should agree to have an ad-hoc arrangements for the purpose of winning elections. Let us set up this leadership but not this present one. But for you to think that this particular leadership; what are they doing? You have staff in Nasarawa State headquarters that are being owned two to three months’ salaries. You cannot pay your staff salaries and how many are they?
Your money come and you are not going to pay into the party’s account, you are going to pay it into somebody’s bank account. Is that the direction of an opposition party?
These are grave allegations. Are you suggesting a probe into the financial activities of the NWC?
Of course, and that is why they have carried out an audit. And in that audit, the result is damning and that is why they are carrying out all these paper reports because they will cause a lot of damage. So if you want to play an opposition, play a reasonable opposition, play opposition that is transparent. If you are accusing the APC of corruption and you have corruption in your party, is there any moral base? No! The Secondus and these present NWC members, some of them are good and they are ready to move the party forward but these others, I do not think they are ready to move the party forward.
Still on the leadership of Secondus because he appears to be the person at the centre of this discussion. After the 2015, which the PDP lost, there was a committee headed by Senator Ike Ekweremadu. I guess losing the 2019 election meant that the work of that committee did not really do much. After the 2019 general election the party did not take any practical step to bring cohesion to the party. What is your expectation from the new leadership you want to see?
The PDP leadership or let me say the owners of the party, need to sit down and say let us critically consider our weaknesses, strengths and our opportunities with respect to 2023 elections and how we can fortify our structures in the respective states. The zonal congresses are going on now, these are avenues for crisis. The South West congress, you know what happens between Governor Makinde and some other persons, former governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and all of that and we are aware of that.
If you have these crises and you are not able to carry along the interest of Governor Makinde, who is the only PDP governor in the South West, how would you think he will react? If Makinde decides to leave, you think he doesn’t have supporters that he will go with? Will that not be an issue for us? You now want APC to control Oyo. You need to critically carry out analysis in such a way that you know where your weaknesses are and you will see where you can beef up your strength and also address your weaknesses so that you will be a stronger contender for power.
From what you have said and from these issues you raised, have you engaged the elders of the party?
I do not need to engage anybody, I am thinking through you. Some people call me to say why are you washing our dirty linen in the public? There is nothing like dirty image. I am dealing with Nigerians.
In Nigeria, we always like to paper issues instead of speaking out so that we can take a holistic view and the process help the party to grow. When it comes to money, nobody will tell you that you are washing our dirty image in the public; they will clap for you but when it comes to bringing issues for the forefront to see, they will be raising series of queries.
So a lot of people called me that why are you doing this but I said what is it that I am doing? It is just a wake-up call that we should think differently.
This time around, we just want to move for a credible Nigerian as national chairman. Tell the person that this is what we want to do for the purpose of winning election and let us start the work.
What about the issue of zoning?
The issue of zoning for me is not the problem of the PDP. The problem of PDP now is how to get forward looking constructively. Set up a leadership that will help add value to the fortunes of the party. But the moment we miss that, it is like you are leaving the substance and chasing shadows.
The zoning we came up with is already threatening some people to decamp to APC. How has that helped you? If you want to return power to a certain section of the country, no problem but help to build the party first, let the party be viable and credible to be able to pursue the individual and collective efforts of the people.