Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, who was the Acting Deputy National Chairman of the recently dissolved National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has berated the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led PDP for disrespecting President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians.
He was reacting to the crises rocking the ruling party just as he dismissed the notion that the PDP is factionalized because according to him, the action of the G-7 governors, who staged a walk out on the PDP special national convention in August, is inconsequential.
“In a family as big as ours, if certain persons walk out, even though they may be governors, to me, it doesn’t affect the family because it’s a big family. PDP is a party that has come to stay.
“I want to also caution that those who don’t respect the president are showing disdain for Nigerians. You cannot have the president of a country seated in a convention and you walk out. That was a bad behaviour and Nigerians must tell them off.
“So, I don’t believe that we have a faction. We have disagreements which the party in its usual manner will solve and people should understand that the PDP has come to stay. So, you must not show disrespect to the president of a country by walking out because by doing so you offend Nigerians who gave him the mandate.”
He reminded the aggrieved governors that the office of the president is an office they hope to occupy one day and should show respect for it.
“How will the governors feel if the local government chairmen walked out on them at a ceremony in their states? They will not like it”, he added.
While expressing optimism that issues raised by the Baraje-led PDP will be addressed and the interested parties will abide by whatever agreements reached, Mr. Nwuche noted that under normal circumstances, the attempt by the group to split the party would have ordinarily earned them a suspension or expulsion as the case maybe.
“But in this case, our elders have intervened in the crisis and they have agreed that everybody should sheathe their swords”, he stated.
On the clamour for power to return to the North, the former deputy speaker blamed the political structure in the country which emphasizes power rotation rather than quality of governance. This, he said, is a hindrance to the country’s progress.
According to him, “Our structure is faulty and must be addressed. It is a hindrance to our progress. That is what we should look at and not the issue of where power goes.
“If power goes to the North or comes to the South, there is no guarantee that a southerner will or a northerner will benefit under his own brother’s leadership. There is no guarantee that even the masses from there will fare better. The only guarantee will be if we have the country restructured and governance becomes more meaningful to the masses and our energies are released for production; that is when you can talk about people’s lives becoming better.”
On the recent forceful closure of the secretariat of ‘New PDP’ in Rivers State by the police, Mr. Nwuche said the law enforcement agency must be commended for doing what he termed a ‘marvellous job’ of protecting lives and property.
He argued that if the group had been allowed to operate in the state, “there will be mayhem and lives may be lost in the process. So, what the police have done is to avert a crisis by ensuring that the status quo ordered by the court is maintained.”
Still on the closure, he stated “If you are 24 Governors in a party with other stakeholders that are over 20 million, and you say some of you have left, you can’t appropriate the name of the party and put up a flag. That is anarchy.
“Therefore, the police intervention is justifiable and should be commended because what they have done is to prevent a breakdown of law and order because those people who are in the majority can decide to go and confront those people who are with their flag somewhere else. You can imagine what will happen in that situation.”
The former federal legislator, who is from Rivers State, also shed more light on the primary cause of the political crises in the state and the solution.
He said, “I think the crisis is internal and it has to do with the stakeholders of the PDP in the state, who felt aggrieved at the manner of governance and lack of communication by those who are in power. That is the primary fuel for this crisis. Whatever that happened, can be an addition to it but that is the primary cause of the problem in Rivers State.”
He added that no matter how popular Governor Rotimi Amaechi thinks he is, he cannot be in every local government at a time.
“There are stakeholders who worked for him to become governor of the state and it is only a matter of honour that when you get to a position, you should consult those who worked for you to get there. That is the idea of politics. They all have followers, who anticipate that they should have an input in governance. But where only one man governs a state by himself after you have secured a joint victory, it’s a recipe for the kind of issues they have in the state.”