PDP CHAIRMANSHIP :South – South Group Drums Support for South – West Candidacy

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Dr Isaac Osifo

THE South South Patriotism Front ’ (SSPF) has  called on patriots of the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria,leaders and members of the People Democratic Party PDP in the South-South; to  on the choice of the National Chairman of PDP, in the scheduled 9th December, 2017 National convention of the PDP.

Read full text of the statement :

PRESS RELEASE
BY THE ‘SOUTH SOUTH PATRIOTIC FRONT’ (SSPF) ON THE PDP 2017 NATIONAL CONVENTION AND THE CHOICE OF A NATIONAL CHAIRMAN.
5th December, 2017

We are delighted to address all patriots of the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria, the leaders and members of the PDP in the South-South; through this press release on the choice of the National Chairman of PDP, in the scheduled 9th December, 2017 National convention of the PDP.

The PDP 2017 National Convention is clearly significant in the political development of Nigeria. All Nigerians with good conscience including the SSPF are keenly interested in the outcome Of the National Convention. There is no gain saying the obvious that the success of the convention will relax the present anxiety of Nigerians, create hope and foundation for the survival of democracy and sustainable development in Nigeria.

The leaders of PDP, members of PDP and the delegates for the convention must appreciate this fact, and should not disappoint the high expectations of Nigerians. No one is bigger than the Party. Let’s be wiser by doing what will make the Party win in the next General elections. We should therefore uphold the PDP winning formula which is built on the principle of zoning and fairness to all.

The choice of the National Chairman of PDP and the politics of zoning to the South of Nigeria or micro-zoning is already arresting the attention and concern of patriotic Nigerians. It is on this premise that the SSPF is stepping forward to advice on the urgent need for a reasonable choice and to warn on the pitfalls of personal interest. This is the time for all PDP leaders and delegates to pursue collective national interest and focus on the gains of the rational choice of a PDP National Chairman from the South-West geo-political zone of Nigeria. The resilience of a nation or a political party is highly determined by its ability to learn from history.

The PDP is not short of seasoned and experienced political leaders. The lesson from the history of the past and the application of common sense will make the decision simple and reasonable at this point in the emergence of a new PDP. The SSPF humbly appeal to the leaders and delegates of the PDP from the South-South to support the choice of a National Chairman from the South-West.

The controversy and the complex politics of the Zoning of the National Chairman to the South of Nigeria, or micro-zoning to a particular geo-political zone in the South is at this point in time unnecessary and highly distasteful complex politics. The SSPF disagree with the complex politics and the unnecessary controversy.
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The support of the SSPF for the election of the PDP National Chairman from the South West is not suggestive that the chairmanship aspirants from the South-South are not qualified. The National Chairmanship aspirants from the South-South are highly qualified. They are eminent Nigerians who have played active role, and are still committed to the growth of PDP and true democracy in Nigeria. However, at this point in our political history, the South-West Zone is the most appropriate zone to produce the National Chairman of PDP as common sense teaches us to strengthen the 6-State zone that is very vital, where we are presently politically most weak, with ONLY a State Governor, with the least members of the community of elected representatives as LGA Chairmen, minority in the membership of their various States Assemblies and the NASS.

Every law has its intention. Civilized nations, Associations, individuals and political parties obey both the letters and the intention of the law. If a statutory law is ambiguous, the resolution of the conflict arising from the ambiguity is by obedience of the intention of the law. If it is argued that the National Chairman was not micro-zoned to any of the geo-political zone in the South of Nigeria, why are there no aspirants from the South-East of Nigeria? Are there no qualified aspirants from the South-East? There are many qualified aspirants from the South-East. The non-application from the South-East can only be explained by civilized and patriotic behaviour of the knowledge and acceptance of the intention of zoning. The SSPF respectfully appreciate the knowledge and behaviour of the South-East geo-political zone, and humbly request the south-south political leaders and the Chairmanship aspirants to cultivate the understanding of the South East and support the choice of the National Chairman from the South-West.

This press release of the SSPF is a response to the wide range of consultations with the PDP leaders and delegates from the South-South and the patriotic Nigerians in the South-South. Majority of them strongly believe in the reasonability of South-West producing the National Chairman of PDP at this point in time.

The PDP leaders and delegates for the national convention should avoid the erroneous impression that the PDP convention is solely the business of the delegates. The convention is the concern of the PDP members, patriotic Nigerians and the intentional community interested in the internal democracy of PDP and expected electoral victory in the 2019 general elections. The choice of the National chairman will constitute a major index of the political behaviour of PDP leaders and members.

Parochial political behaviour as expressed in the pursuit of narrow personal interest will be a liability on the PDP. Participant political behaviour that will be determined by the broad mindedness of the PDP leaders and delegates and the positive National character of the PDP by the election of a National Chairman from the South-West will attract more people into the PDP and further energise the Nigerian electorates in their desire to elect PDP candidates in the 2019 general elections.
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Our great leader, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, the hero of Nigeria Democracy and an icon of democracy in Africa has demonstrated quality leadership in Nigeria; and he remains an unending factor in the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria. The SSPF strongly hold that the indelible achievements of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and his leadership of PDP will provide sufficient rallying point for all South-South Patriots, PDP leaders and members in the South-South.

The Governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Wike democratic struggles have received national and international support. His patriotic intervention in the attempted unconstitutional invasion of the houses of Judges and his efforts towards a free and fair elections in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general cannot be undermined by any reasonable Nigerian. It is on this note that the SSPF commend Chief Nyesom Wike and appeal to him and other PDP governors in the South-south to give the necessary support to former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to sustain the democratic leadership and protect the interest of the South-South in the politics and government of Nigeria.

The National Chairman of a political party is not the most important position in a party-government. We are experienced enough to know that the South-South will occupy a key position in the Nigerian government if we are patriotic, committed and believe that the PDP will form the next Federal Government in 2019. Our focus should be on the strategy to win in the 2019 General elections. This is where the South West is most suitable for the position of the National Chairman.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP governors in the South-South already provide a sufficient rallying point for the party and mobilisation of the good will of the Nigerian voters. It will be a political miscalculation to leave out the entire South-west geo-political zone, a zone that is known for its political vibrancy in Nigeria.

The National Chairmanship of the PDP is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The sacrifice on the part of the PDP leadership of the South, in supporting a National Chairman from the South-West will be an additional means to an end that is desired by all South-South patriots in particular and Nigerians in general. The PDP members alone cannot determine the next President of Nigeria in the 2019 Presidential election. The Nigerian electorates will determine the outcome of 2019 general elections. The strategy for the attraction of the support of Nigerian electorates will be by the internal democracy of PDP, none imposition, reasonable decisions, and the national character of the PDP.

The South-West and its vibrant politically enlightened electorates deserve a National Chairman that will provide sufficient rallying point for the PDP. The APC government under the leadership of President Mohammed Buhari has failed Nigerians. It is obvious that Nigerians are anxiously waiting to vote out President Buhari and his APC deceitful government in Nigeria in the next general elections.

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However, this should not be taken for granted because the final decision of the electorates will be anchored on the outcome of the 2017 PDP National Convention, who is the National Chairman, the political character of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee, internal democracy and the organisations of the PDP, how does the internal democracy and organisation impact on the State, LGA and the Ward levels of the party, no imposition of candidates, no elective ticket racketeering, free and fair primaries to elect credible candidates, etc.

The driver of all these winning variables as outlined above and the starting point will be a support of the intention of the zoning to produce the National Chairman from the South-West and the election of a credible National Chairman with democratic credentials that are acceptable to the National and international community.

The SSPF humbly appeal to the elders and leaders of the PDP to urgently intervene and to understand that the choice of National Chairman from the South-West will enhance the acceptance of PDP by Nigerians and attract more reasonable men and women into the party.

At this crucial time in our efforts to reposition our party, PDP should strive to remain a truly NATIONAL political party. Political leaders from the South-South should avoid tendencies that will degenerate the party into a ZONAL party.

We cannot afford to be ignorant of the interest and calculations of the ruling party to tacitly work for the mistakes of our ambitions to pursue narrow interest. The insistence on this, i.e. ignoring South West which is a visible geo-political zone in Nigeria, will only confirm the insinuations of the possibility of the ruling party playing a remote role in the affirmation of a deliberate political mistake that will clearly disadvantage the PDP in the 2019 General elections..

The PDP elders, leaders and delegates cannot afford to disappoint the eagerness of Nigerian electorates to elect PDP Presidential candidate and other PDP candidates in the 2019 General election, and support the efforts of the PDP for a true democracy and sustainable national development.

Thank you all.

Long-Live ‘South South Patriotic Front’ (SSPF)
Long-Live South-South geopolitical zone
Long-live PDP
Long- Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dr Isaiah Osifo
Co-ordinator.

Tom Ossai
Mobilization Secretary

Jimmy Udoh
General Secretary

Dr. I. Osifo is the former Chief of Staff to the Edo State Governor; and Lecturer in the Department of Political Science & Public Administration, Igbinedion University, Okada

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