OPEN LETTER TO PDP ZONING COMMITTEE MEMBERS.
My dear brothers,
Congratulations on being chosen as the 37 wise men by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party.
History beckons on each and every one of you to take a decision that will not only stabilise our party but also showcase the readiness of our party for the 2023 elections.
The choice before you today is between adhering to the principles of equity, fairness and natural justice or plainly focusing on the task of winning an election as an opposition party. Indeed, they are inseparable and none can be discarded for the other.
There have been arguments about the fairness of zoning to the south after eight years of the Buhari Presidency. There are also counter-arguments of the North having ruled for only two years and nine months out of 16 years of PDP in power and therefore deserves its own fair share of presidential candidacy after only two attempts(2007 and 2019) as opposed to the four by the south(1999,2003,2011 and 2015).
Notwithstanding the merits of either side of the divide, most Nigerians hold only one truth as self evident at this time of our political development: that in good conscience and for equity and fairness, it is really the turn of the South-East to produce the next President of Nigeria.
The South-east zone on its own has thrown up very quality candidates and in reality, no Nigerian can question the proven tract record of prudence and accountability of Mr Peter Obi in managing an economy or the leadership qualities in service delivery of Senator Pius Anyim. It is therefore clear that the South East of PDP deserves and is actually ready to deliver our country out of the present doldrums.
However, oftentimes, what is desirable may not be achievable and therefore there is need for the PDP to thread carefully and be sensitive on how to tackle the North where the All Progressives Congress (APC) controls 14 states as opposed to only four states by us. In 2015, we adopted sole candidacy and dampened the morale of members to openly campaign for the PDP.
The real argument therefore is that our party is built on the ideals of our founding fathers and that the principles of equity, fairness and natural justice appear non-negotiable at every stage of our development.
Even the argument that the preamble provides for zoning of offices cannot ignore the same preamble that stated:
‘ PROMPTED by a firm conviction that the enthronement of a moral social order will result in the spiritual regeneration of the nation.’
It may therefore appear inequitable, unfair and repugnant to natural justice for a decent and noble party like the PDP, having allowed individuals to campaign for such a long period with the attendant human and material cost, to undemocratically truncate their aspiration with zoning at this late hour.
Are we still enthroning a moral social order that will result in the spiritual regeneration of the nation or are we engaging in an act capable of breeding discontent, disharmony and disaffection by those unfairly disadvantaged by taking a good policy at a very late hour?
For the records, the 2019 zoning to the North was done well ahead of the primaries and no member from the South complained of having suffered untold hardship on that account.
THE PDP CANNOT APPEAR TO IMPUGN ON ITS MORAL SOCIAL ORDER AFTER SUCH AN EXTENSIVE AND MASSIVE REBRANDING.
We all witnessed the sad events of 2013 and 2014 where some of our founding members were encouraged to leave by outright denial of equal opportunities and other similar actions done with impunity of power. I remember the cases of Governor Ortom, Chief Banabas Gemade, Governor Tambuwal, ex-governors Wamako, Nyako and many orders.
Nothing should be done to appear to take us back to such a period of arrogance of power especially as we are in opposition.
We are faced with a ruling party that appear to be reorganising. They have taken good political hands from us and promoted them to the highest positions not minding any emotional blackmail.
Just this morning, the Presidency is already mocking us with complaints of our absorbing our former members. I believe the APC is actually frightened of the potency of our former leaders who have fully returned to our party. We should not play into the hands of conspiratorial tactics of our competition, the APC.
As a person who participated fully in organising our resistance at the height of the popularity of APC; one who suffered greatly at great human and material costs, including denial of my liberty and freedom, as the longest serving elected member of the National Executive Committee of the PDP in history and one who has served as Ex-officio Member of the NEC, Zonal Youth Leader, National Auditor, National Vice-Chairman and National Publicity Secretary, I plead that none of you should fall into the temptation of attempting to zone offices at this late hour.
THE LOYALTY TO THE IDEALS OF OUR GREAT PARTY AND COMMITMENT TO ITS SUCCESS SHOULD TRANSCEND THE TEMPTATION TO PANDER TO THE WISHES OF THOSE PROMOTING THIER PERSONAL AGENDA.
In conclusion, I plead that the only choice for equity, fairness, good conscience and natural justice to reign, is to allow all members the opportunity to contest without the moral burden of Zoning. Zoning can be done immediately after the elections.
Finally, what the PDP needs at this time is an electoral committee to prepare the party for the strategy and tactics of election management and not the distraction of zoning just to satisfy personal ambitions.
God Bless Our Great Party.
Chief Olisanumba Metuh.