RECIPROCATE IGBO SUPPORT, PDP CHIEFTAIN TASKS JONATHAN
South-East and zoning
My position in the first place is that issue of the National Chairmanship is not part of what the South East needs or want. It is the prerogative of the South East to complete their tenure as the national Chairman of PDP which would end in March 2012. So, it is not a matter of whether the South-East wants national chairman or not. It is a fact the national chairmanship of the PDP is still in the South-East. It is yet to be removed from the South-East.
So, the South-East will take their rightful position of national chairman and still preside over the caucus that will determine who gets what in Nigeria vis-a-vis the PDP. So, people who are talking about the speakership, or deputy president or president of the Senate are completely missing the point. The fact is that it is by right the South-East that should preside over who gets what. God has made it so. And nobody would take it away from us.
The only thing is that our people did not appreciate this problem that was why there was no agitation, because of our total believe in the presidency of President Goodluck Jonathan. We didn't want to agitate and say that the removal of Nwodo makes it imperative that a replacement must come up immediately. We didn't want to be seen as those trying to destabilize the polity.
That was why the South-East did not put any serious agitation. But now that the election has been fought and won and Jonathan is the president, he would do the needful by activating the machinery of the party to first of all appoint a national chairman of the party to complete the tenure of Ogbulafor and Nwodo and whatever else that would be right of the South-East as a section that did very well in the election. The fact the PDP National Chairman would come from the South-East does not preclude the South-East from producing either the speaker or the president of the senate or whatever. But first of all we must be given our rightful position in the ruling party which we have laboured for.
If it does not materialize before May 29, we will see it as part of the efforts to marginalize the South-East again. There is no reason why that issue would not be resolved before May 29. Because the National Working Committee of the PDP shirking in its responsibility , that is why we are calling on the president to make his views known. Outside it, it is a question of the NWC of the party seeking a nomination from the people of the zone, as to who they want to complete this tenure. And the NWC presents same to the NEC. It does not take any length of time. It won't take more than three days. One notice of meeting will take care of things.
The national caucus, BoT, the NEC, so the fact that national chairman is not in place is part of the reason why it is still shaky what goes to which zone. You must have to start from the basics. Which is to say the National Chairman of the party must be determined. Who is Bello representing? Bello going there as the acting National Chairman, is he representing the South-East? Or are we not entitled to be part of the decision making process in this country. There is nobody from the South-East who is in the NWC, which is the body that will be taking the decision concerning the government.
Representation to the party
The question you should ask yourself is because this is politics, who are the pay masters of those people who sit in the caucus of the party. We have come to a situation, when we are hearing all sought of things. We hear the governors don't want the chairman, the legislators don't want the chairman. Is it because Mr A or B don't want a particular position that was is rightly the right of a particular zone be thrown away. With all due respect, even if the governors of South-East don't want the National Chairman of the PDP to come from this zone will not stop the South-East from producing another chairman. Because that is what is there in black and white. It is matters of human management that who so ever will become the National Chairman will now navigate the rough waters that the governors are sceptical because of what have happen in the past.
It will now be his duty to make sure that his brothers who are the governors are brought on board and made to be comfortable, because something has happened that made the governors and some leaders of the party to be reticent. And mark you, the national chairman of a party outside the president is the highest political officer in a country. He takes precedent over any other politician; because as the chairman of the ruling party, he presides over the caucus of the party where the president is a member. So you find out that some people who we are expecting to convoke the meeting to select the national chairman are only not doing that because the law of natural selection is that you have to be that selfless fellow, who will convoke that assembly that will throw up an entity who will be higher than him.
So, part of the problem is that those whose responsibility it is to put the pressure that will ensure that the South East gets the national chairman found out that they will not become the direct beneficiaries of such a position , therefore they are indifferent.
Where does that leave the South-East?
The South-East is God's own territory. And God in his infinite mercy and wisdom will find a way to make sure that the South-East is not short-changed. So, the position of the South-East will be taken care off. And taken care in such a way that people will start to wonder how it happened.
I can tell you one thing- Mr President is a thorough bred technocrat, who saw what happened, who knew what happened and how it happened. Who can honestly say that the South eastern part of this country took up the gauntlet to make him the president? We are not equivocal about it. We are not apologetic. And we went ahead to actualize it by the quantum of votes that was recorded from the South-East both at home and in the diaspora. So, I believe that it is payback time for the president to show the good faith and I know he will.