WHY WE WANT ABIA GOV BACK IN PDP â€“ NWODO
At a reception held in his honour in Abuja,, Nwodo said Orji was only a victim of the injustices meted out to some members of the party by the erstwhile leadership of the PDP, and argued that the governor did not dump the ruling party out of his own volition.
Nwodo's explanation came, even as a factional leader of the All Profressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the party which Orji joined recently, lambasted the PDP leadership for initiating moves to bring Orji back to the party which he left in 2007.
The PDP national chairman, alongside Governors Martins Elechi (Ebonyi); Chief Ikedi Ohakim (Imo) and Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, Deputy Governor of Enugu State, was in Government House, Umuahia last week to hold talks with Gov. Orji on the possibility of his returning to the PDP.
Orji's predecessor in office, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, with whom the governor decamped from the PDP to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in 2007 had returned to the PDP.
'We were in Abia State to ask Governor Orji to come back to the PDP. This is because we want all the prominent Igbos to join us in this political movement. That was precisely why we went there to recover our missing rib, Governor Orji.
Accusing the erstwhile leadership of the party of running a closed system, he said: 'We did not want even our members to continue to be members of the party. This is too bad. We even made this part of our constitution, that those who have not stayed up to two years would not be cleared to contest party primaries or hold any post in the party, no matter how well their people love him or her.'
Describing this as undemocratic and unacceptable, Nwodo noted that as a result of 'this bad policy', some members of the party had gone on 'self-exile' from a political party they helped in founding.
'Immediately I became the PDP National Chairman, I decided that this must change and I then set about the task that I will be the one to champion this change and restore normalcy.
'As for Governor Orji, I then set out to invite all our leaders from the five states in the South-East zone especially as our people told me it is difficult to reconcile all the warring parties in the zone. What happens in other places is that they easily reconcile and queue behind the winner but for us, we entrench our animosities and carry it like a baggage.
'I also discovered that those who were sent in the past to reconcile feuding parties in the South-East zone made matters worse. They went there with empty bags but ended up filling them with money. They never achieved any mission for which they were sent there.
'I then decided that I will have to do it myself and also to prove to the other zones that I am serious about restoring peace to the party. That was why we went to Abia to try to bring back this our brother who was forced out of the party back to the PDP,' Nwodo stressed.
According to him, due to the undemocratic pattern of electing leaders of the party at virtually all levels and non-conduct of free and fair primaries, the best candidates in the PDP fold never emerged as the party's candidates.
He said: 'The votes don't count, the elected people behave with impunity. They have no respect for the electorate; they don't care about them. That is why we are poised to change all these now in the PDP.'
Nwodo said that some so-called political godfathers bought note books on which they decided to convert to membership register and decide whose names to include on such registers or not, saying that such is not the spirit for founding the PDP.
In order to correct the anomalies, he said, the party had concluded plans with five reputable banks to begin an on-line fresh registration of party members, saying once an individual wishes to be a member of the party, nobody would stop such a person from registering. he noted that the processes had been computerised and would remain on-line.
This, according to him, will enable interested members to register as members of our party, whether ward executives or the so-called godfathers like it or not. PDP belongs to the people; we must tear down the walls; we must liberate the people; we must ensure they become free.
Meanwhile, there were indications that Orji might have have tactically declined the offers made by the high-powered PDP team that went to woo him to join the party last Friday.
Though Nwodo himself told journalists that issues bothering on questions of his integrity; moral standing and the need to consult with his primary constituency; the State House of Assembly members and in particular the alleged chastisement of Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu who is the Chairman of the Board of trustees of his new party; All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) prevailed on him not to join the PDP immediately he was approached.