'Oshiomhole deserves vice-presidential ticket of APC'
Mr. Odaro Omoregie is a chieftain of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State and a member of the Publicity Committee in Oshiomhole's Campaign Organization in 2012.
In this interview, he urges General Muhammadu Buhari to jettison his presidential ambition in the interest of the party, just as he declares that Governor Adams Oshiomhole's leadership in Edo will guarantee victory for the APC in future elections in the state. Excerpts:
How optimistic are you that the APC will form the Federal Government in 2015?
You need to deploy wisdom when you play politics. It is becoming clearer by the day that there is a conspiracy from the PDP in trying to jettison this new wind that is taking over the country now, the APC. They tried to thwart the registration but it did not work; and even today we are aware that there are groups working seriously to divide the APC by supporting certain elements as candidates.
I think internally we should have a new brand of leadership in the APC. For APC to continue to enjoy the support of the public, they should be able to bring out their best candidates and they must be young men and women. With the rumours going round now that people like General Buhari want to run for President, we are also hearing that Tambuwal is joining the APC, we must ensure that we bring in new breed of politicians different from the PDP style.
The APC governors are doing well and I believe some of them are also qualified to fly the presidential flag of the party. Some of them could also be Vice-President, people like Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who is doing very well in Edo state. We are believing that the APC can choose Oshiomhole as vice-president, then get somebody who will be generally accepted from the North as President.
Buhari's presidential ambition
I know General Buhari very well, and I know that he is a man of integrity and man of his words. So if there is an arrangement that he should step aside with Tinubu so as to have an acceptable candidate, I think he will honour that. But don't forget he is a man with broad based support and most of his supporters would want to see him rule this country once again.
But we will not give our support on emotional ground; I believe we must do what is best for the party to be able to kick out PDP from power. We really need the new breed to take over the leadership of Nigeria and that is what APC should focus on. Buhari has exhibited leadership both as a military president and a civilian, but I think the APC arrangement now will necessitate him to become a statesman or a national leader of the party and play advisory role to ensure that younger people are brought into the system.
I believe he will honour the agreement but I know that some persons will push him but I know he should be wiser than that because for the APC to defeat the PDP, the leaders must make painful sacrifices. Nigerians will appreciate him more now if he stays at the back ground and assist the party to grow.
I am very optimistic about that. It is only in Nigeria that we don't remember that election is a game of numbers and performance. If you go back to the last 14 years of the PDP government, the impact has been minimal, if you want to compare the revenue of the Federal Government with the development we are seeing, there is nothing to write home about.
Jonathan was our hope when he became President but if you look at what we are getting today Yar'Adua's administration was even better. There is so much insecurity, poor road network, lack of steady power, poverty, unemployment, nothing is working. So I don't think the PDP slogan of being the largest party in Africa will go beyond 2015, they will be defeated across board because they have failed the people.
Edo State APC
I don't think we still have PDP in Edo; it is only on the pages of newspaper you hear comments as if they still exist here. But if you look across the state, in local governments, state Assembly, the PDP is no where and I believe we will finally bury them in the 2015 National Assembly election.
That is why I laughed when I read the former chairman of Owan West Local Asekhame saying that APC will not survive in Edo, he is day dreaming. I think what he is supposed to say is that the PDP might disintegrate into a different name both in Nigeria and Edo. The last local government election in Edo gave a clear picture of what the people want and gone are the days where rigging was acceptable because of the lack of awareness of the electorate.