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Anambra Guber – How PDP can avoid past mistakes

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To officers of our great party, at both national and state levels, revered decision makers, opinion moulders, who are truly motivated by genuine interests to reposition the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, we acknowledge all your efforts in the present crusade to reclaim and reactivate the dreams of our founding fathers.

We agree with Pablo Picasso at this time that, “everything we can imagine is real.” Our best hopes, aspirations, and imaginations for our great party can still become real and achievable if we decide to take only the best decisions and do only the best things. We can either experience the gains that will come if we discipline ourselves and do only the best things or the regret that will follow our fractured decisions and poor judgments.

This is the right time to exorcise the internal demons that have made us caricatures of ourselves. If we are able to deal with the demons, the victory of our party on November 6 will almost become certain, because the only party that can defeat us in this year’s election is the PDP, ourselves. If we allow the same demons that have over the years, only made us the best things that never happened, to continue to attack us, then come November 6, we will only still remain the best thing that never happened, the best party that never won the Anambra governorship election since 2003. I am sure this is not what we want in this year’s election.

No time is more auspicious than now, for us to determine to take those decisions that will take all of us and our great party to the exact level we want to be. The courage to take the right decisions this year, without fear or favour, especially as it concerns who becomes our party’s standard-bearer in this year’s Anambra governorship election, will distinguish our party as a truly great party.

It was Benjamin Hardy who said that “unsuccessful people make their decisions based on their current situations. Successful people make their decisions based on where they want to be.” If we all want to win this year’s governorship election, our best decisions will not be based on who we want to please or acquiesce to, but on obeying court decisions and doing the right things.

In 2007, our party won the Anambra governorship election with an emphatic landslide, yet again, the horrors of our poor judgment in 2003 reverberated and kicked us out of office. In 2010, the chicanery of favouritism and mindless vendetta ensured we didn’t field our best candidate and we lost again.

The same thing happened in 2013 and 2017. In all these elections, no party defeated us. We defeated ourselves because of our poor judgments and wrong decisions. Now, unfortunately, we are at it again, lending ourselves to reactionary forces, which will, in turn, destabilize the party and make us mere paper tigers in the coming election. Certain individuals are tipping the party to make the wrong choice again, and when this happens the party will become again the best party that never won the governorship election. How can we forget yesterday so easily?

The candidate we wrongly chose in 2003 has dumped our party a long time ago and has become today a Minister in the APC government.

Our wrong choice in 2010 has also dumped our party and has presently become the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and will run against our own candidate in this year’s election. Our choice in 2013 also dumped our party and in fact, contested against our own candidate in 2017, as the flagbearer of the APC.

How did we find ourselves in this quagmire? How has the mighty fallen so low, that we no longer care to reckon with loyalty? It was said that even all the King’s horseman could not put Humpty – Dumpty together again. But we, in the PDP Renaissance Group believe that we do not need special services to put our great party together again.

All we need is the courage to do the right thing and to desist from our traditional acts of impunity, which propels us to abuse court processes and procedures and to disrespect and impugn court orders and judgments with unbelievable impunity. This treacherous highway will only lead us again into the valley of disgrace.

This is not who we are and not who we want to be in this year’s election. We are still the greatest and largest party in the state and therefore, we should stop allowing reactionary forces and overtly ambitious elements to stop using us to achieve private interests and ambitions. Our party is too powerful to be too weak and too sophisticated to be so naive. Our party’s ticket should be for those relevantly experienced members of our party, who have remained with our party, in good times and in bad times. Party members have shown unflinching loyalty and unambiguous commitment to the peace and progress of the party.

This is why all true PDP members should become worried by our party’s recent inglorious harvest of impunity. Disrespect of court orders and judgments, especially in a democratic dispensation, is a condemnable resort to lawlessness. Are this lawlessness and impunitive judicial activism part of the dreams and visions of the founding fathers of the party? What is the gain in disrespecting and maligning competent Courts of Justice and showcasing ourselves as a lawless group? This impunity only encourages chaos in the party and erodes the electoral chances of the party.

A subsisting court order recognized Sir Chukwudi Umeaba and his Committee as the authentic structure of the party in Anambra State and ordered the party to henceforth deal with them in all party matters. The electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. wrote a duly signed letter to the party, advising it to comply with the court judgment. On the strength of the court judgment and INEC’s letter, Sir Chukwudi Umeaba’s Committee conducted a primary election on Saturday 26th June 2021 at St. Paul University playground in Awka. However, in the cantankerous habit of our party, a parallel primary election was also held at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, in contemptuous disobedience of court judgment and court orders and also in disregard of INEC’s advice.

The parallel primary election was an affront on law and order, especially the subsisting order of a competent Court. This was premeditated impunity that was orchestrated to distract attention from the legitimate and law-backed primary election that was held at St. Paul University playground. Is this not a plan to waste time, energy and resources, that should be gainfully channeled towards the party’s campaign, on endless and financially sapping court rendezvous?

Our inability to shun impunity is becoming a tradition that taints every action of the party with bias and favouritism. For instance, some aspirants withdrew from the parallel primary election on the allegation of disenchantment. Governorship primary elections produce candidates for the main governorship elections. In conformity with democratic principles, relevant laws provide that members of a political party will elect representatives in a Congress to be known as Delegates.

These representatives of the members of the party who are known as Delegates will, in turn, elect the flagbearer of their party.

Therefore, a governorship primary election is an election by the people and for the people. This was what happened at St. Paul University playground, where over six hundred Delegates voted and the winner, Senator Ugochukwu Uba scored 275 votes. In contrast, at the parallel primary election which was held at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, the winner, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo scored 62 votes. Dr. Obiorah Okonkwo who came second scored 58 votes while Senator Uche Ekwunife who came third scored 44 votes.

In a state with 326 wards, it is unbelievable that a governorship candidate can emerge with mere 62 votes. The real party delegates were sidelined for selection by a few rather than election by all.

Shall we continue to destroy our own electoral chances by pandering to lawlessness, favouritism, and mediocrity and succumbing cheaply to manipulations that are inimical to the fortunes of the party? Is it not time we muster the courage to deal with the vicissitudes of our electoral failures?

The primary election which was held at St. Paul University playground and won by Senator Ugochukwu Uba with 275 votes was backed by the orders and judgments of a competent court of Justice and our party was advised by INEC to comply with the judgment.

* Dr. Mckizit Ukadike, President, The PDP Renaissance Group, wrote from Awka

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