Hon. Charles Anike, the National President of Eastern Union (EU), a socio-political pressure group, has said that the continued crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the inability of the leaders to hold a successful National Conference to choose a new National Executive Council (NEC), show that the party leaders have not learnt any lessons from their ugly past experiences.
Hon. Anike, whose organisation fights for the interest of the Old Eastern Region, spoke exclusively to Independent from his Abuja base, stating that it was sad that the PDP leadership still believed in what he termed “senseless imposition and impunity, which hitherto bedeviled the rank and file of the party in the past.”
Anike, who was reacting to the recent botched Port Harcourt National Convention of PDP maintained that the ways and manner past National Chairmen of the party were removed and the inability to produce an acceptable replacement till date, showed that the party still lacked internal democracy.
He said: “The botched Port Harcourt National Convention of PDP provided another lesson to the members of the party. The outcome of 2015 Presidential election seemed to have left a scar on the party, but it has failed to leave a lesson on the members.
“The leaders of the PDP seem not to learn from the past. The party still believes in senseless imposition and impunity, which hitherto bedeviled the ranks and file of the party leadership in the past.
“Think of the ways and manner almost all their National Chairmen were removed. The party has shown that it lacks internal democracy. Its leadership still believes in imposition of candidates.’
Anike stressed that even if the zoning arrangement of the party could be considered as a way of removing tension and overheating the polity, micro zoning should have been be discouraged, lamenting that the party leadership has so far failed to find a way of resolving crisis internally without resorting to litigation.
He wondered why the PDP had always allowed one man’s interest and ambition to cause problems in the party, adding that the leaders seemed not to realise that the country and indeed Nigerian citizens had become more politically aware and enlightened, even as the citizens now know what they want.
Anike wondered why and how Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff was brought back to lead the PDP at a time the party needed a lot of credibility and sincere leadership which would enable it win back the confidence of Nigerians if the party really wanted to return to power in 2019.
On the allegation that Sheriff has a mission of destroying PDP, Anike asked: “Doesn’t a party as big as PDP have mode of selecting their leaders, especially in such a sensitive position as the party chairman? Who in Nigeria does not know that Ali Modu-Sheriff is an ANPP man turned APC?
“We can recall when Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was crying laud that the PDP was about to make the worse mistake of its life by trying to bring in Ali Modu Sheriff. But no one listened to him then. How can you bring in someone who just decamped from another political party to chair a party as big as PDP? The PDP is still towing the wrong steps even now.
“So, when people refuse to listen to the voice of reason, they should face the consequences of their actions and should not blame anyone. Those who are accusing the APC for their misfortune as far as Ali Modu Sheriff’s issue is concerned, should turn and look inward.”
He maintained that the PDP leadership created the opportunity for their present troubles and crisis, adding that Sheriff had every right to do whatever he wanted with the party because they invited him, adding that next time the party leaders should be careful in taking sensitive and vital decisions.
Anike wondered: “Does it mean that there were no capable members of PDP to lead the party as the time? Why Ali Modu Sheriff? How long did he stay as member of the party to warrant such appointment?”
On the conflicting judgments from the Federal High Courts, the Easter Union president described the development as very unfortunate, adding that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
Anike queried: “Why on earth should a Federal High Court judge accept or entertain a case already disposed of by another Federal High Court judge? This has shown a very bad precedent and has gone a long way to show that our judiciary needs serious reformation.
“Any compromising judge must be shown the way out as that would be a deterrent to others, considering that the judiciary is the hope of the common man.”
On the future of PDP, he stressed that presenting a candidate with a lot of question marks in 2019, would only mean that the leadership would be giving the All Progressives Congress (APC) the opportunity to continue to control the federal government.
“Even if the party decides to zone the 2019 presidential ticket to the north, micro zoning will work against the party. Within the PDP, we can still see some people with undaunted clean records, well experienced in governance and with national acceptability like the late Umar Musa Yar’ Adua.
“At least, we know there is someone like Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Kano State and former Minister of Education. With such personalities, there is no way PDP cannot return to power in 2019.
“But, if the party leaders trade their chance of returning to power in 2019, they should blame themselves, seeing that the present APC government has lost the support they once enjoyed. The PDP leaders must bear in mind that Nigerians now know what they want politically,” he stressed.