One of the contestants for the office of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and founder, DAAR Communications, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has said that the south eastern part of the country had been highly marginalised in the helm of affairs.
Dokpesi was speaking at the state PDP headquarters in Umuahia when he came to solicit for the assistance of the state faithful in the forth-coming congress of the party in Port Harcourt, stating that the APC-led government was not providing the conducive environment for people to maximise their potentials.
He said that the PDP made lots of mistakes in the last congress which made them to lose the April 2015 general elections as a fault of theirs. He regretted that the party had been branded as most corrupt, while its members are termed “corrupt and useless”, stating that in spite of that, that today, the country was faced with high cost of everything, even kerosene.
“We cannot sit by for the country to decline. We want to give them purposeful light and win in 2019 elections”, the High Chief said, and thanked the state PDP for being behind the state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in his fight to retain his seat. “PDP needs to be rebuilt and re-branded. We will use our own way to rebrand the party”, he said, and pleaded to be elected so as to enthrone a party where its members would be useful. Dokpesi said that the PDP was blessed with enough competent and capable people, stating that he was one of the people aspiring and the best amongst all. On the factionalization of the party from the ward to the national level, he assured that there was nothing to fear as “what we have is a group of persons who you can count with your fingers are those with Amodu Sheriff.
They are different from those who are 99% of the PDP original and founding members who are under the 12 governors under the Markafi-led caretaker committee. “A few disgruntled persons who have access to the media are expressing and venting their anger on the party and the courts of the land have clearly stated that they had no standing and very clear that they’re all out to foment trouble and pose challenges to the party”, he said, assuring that the founding members of the party would definitely ensure that the party re-positioned itself from the 17th of August this year. On if the Dasukigate allegation against him would be a distraction if he eventually emerges as the National Chairman of the party, Dokpesi said no, stating that the matter was still in court, and that the accuser must have to prove his case, pointing out that they had not.
Answering questions on his public condemnation of Jonathan over second tenure, while the former President was in office, even as a PDP member, and which made critics to say he was not a team leader, the DAAR Communication founder said that at that time in 2010, it was a contest within the party, stating that his position was very clear that the party had a zoning principle and that he had discussed with Jonathan who told him that he wanted to complete the term that remained of his predecessor in office, disclosing that Jonathan then was put under pressure.
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“President Jonathan is a complete gentleman, a very God-fearing person, at heart; he is one of the pride of this nation. Unfortunately, when you get into an office, you have people with their own different agenda mounting unnecessary pressure on you. “Ordinarily, he is one of the finest men you deal with. At that point in time, I said let us stand clearly by the principle”, he stated. Explaining why he wanted to be a party chairman instead of a senator or governor, he said that given his age, he should be giving space to the younger ones.
“I had told myself that I would retire at the age of 60 years but because of the transition going on in broadcasting that time, the Board pleaded with me that I should wait and I waited until I was 63 and gave way to the younger ones”. He said: “I want to see a president who is not above 45 years, young people who are able, energetic, and brilliant and have all the contact to be able to win. I have played my own role, let the younger one be given the opportunity”. The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, Chief Johnson Onuigo, commended the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmed Markafi for zoning the National Chairmanship of the party to the south, stating that Raymond Dokpesi had proved his worth in the party. Onuigbo described the state as peaceful, “but not without some prodigal sons”, noting that the father is ready to receive them. He assured Dokpesi that the state was intact, while Ikpeazu is the Governor, advising him that he had a “role to play in terms of reading the news, so that the world would hear”.