Anenih Canvasses Imposition of Candidates…Plots Jonathan’s Emergence As PDP’s Sole Presidential Flagbearer
Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih has given a clear indication of how President Goodluck Jonathan will emerge as the party’s sole presidential candidate in the 2015 general election. He laid this bare before a group of South-South, South East governors, federal lawmakers and party leaders in Asaba, the Delta state capital weekend in what appears as a proposal that will also benefit the governors.
Apart from assuring the governors that they will emerge through the same arrangements, he assured them of the party’s support to aspire for a higher office after their tenure even as he buttressed that the anti-graft police, the EFCC will not be sent after them if they cooperate fully with the new scheme. One of the governors at the meeting told iReports-ng.com on the phone that Anenih laid the foundation of the new proposal by condemning party primaries as an evil that has done more damage to cohesion in PDP.
“Our party primaries have, over the years, been the most serious sources of rancour and disunity in our ranks. Almost two years are devoted to pre-election processes for political offices and another two in managing post-primaries/election bitterness and disunity. More pernicious is the fact that we invest so much resources and energy fighting ourselves in the primaries that should have gone into the larger battle against our political rivals.
“We cannot continue this tradition of internal warfare. We must not live under the illusion that we can fight ourselves to the finish and hope that we can continue to have enough energy left to win elections. We must evolve a new system of selecting our flag-bearers at the Presidential and Governorship levels that would preserve our unity and reserve our energy and resources for the greater battle for political power.We must seriously consider this in order to avoid frictions and acrimony in the overall interest of our party and the nation”, the party leader popularly called “Mr Fix it” stated in his remarks at the meeting.
He bemoaned a situation where President Jonathan’s administration has been demonised by the opposition parties media machinery with the connivance of willing PDP members. “A well-oiled wheel of insidious media propaganda which has been tirelessly churning out sinister information about the Jonathan Administration for the purpose of destabilizing (and eventually replacing) his Government. Unfortunately, some of these political enemies have PDP members as accomplices. What the anti-Jonathan forces are doing is to create tension in a desperate bid to unsettle and disrupt the Administration.”
While dwelling on the need to reconcile the governors and the party leadership, Anenih said “it is true that some Governors have complaints against the leadership of the party; however, such complaints are not sufficient to warrant any rebellion as speculated. There have also been some complaints against the Governors. In any case, the problems raised are not insurmountable as, indeed, they are already being addressed by the leadership of the Party. Today, ours is the only national party in Nigeria with its members spread across all the nooks and crannies of the country. We, therefore, have a strategic obligation to put our house in order so as to sustain the peace which we have enjoyed in the last 14 years.
“We must always be conscious that if the PDP becomes fragmented as a result of the inordinate ambitions of a few members, our country, our democracy and our people will suffer. We must, therefore, subsume our ambitions to the greater good of our party and our country. We must not live under the illusion that our party is invulnerable. Although, the existing opposition parties are still too small, fragile and sectional, we must not ignore the possibility that a merger of these parties may constitute a threat to our current dominance of the political terrain.
“The proposed merger of four political parties under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be a house built on sand, which is likely to collapse with the first rain. Speaking seriously, however, we cannot afford to be complacent. We must expect any eventualities and prepare to overcome them.”
While assuring the governors of soft landing at the end of their tenure if they cooperate with the party leadership, Anenih said “day-in-day-out, there are unfounded rumours and speculations about issues that have no factual basis.In Nigerian politics, rumour-mongering has become the main menu of the opposition parties. They are behind such rumours as:
- The Presidency using EFCC to witch-hunt Governors who refuse to support President Jonathan’s alleged interest in contesting for the Presidency in 2015.
- Massive acts of corruption against certain government functionaries.
- Plans by some PDP Governors to defect to opposition parties.
- Death or hospitalization of public officials, including Governors.
- PDP members planning to contest presidential election on the platform of the ACN or APC.
Such rumours are totally baseless and lacking in factual content. Yet, they have tremendous impact on gullible Nigerians and the nation’s political stability.
“I can assure you, for instance, that the PDP has no reason to witch-hunt any of its Governors, or indeed, any other political leaders. As far as we are concerned, our Governors and Federal Legislators who have served the people meritoriously deserve to either retire gracefully or move on to higher political responsibilities at the right time. PDP State Governors and other leaders must guard against rumours and the manipulative antics of the opposition. The question to ask is: why are PDP leaders so susceptible to manipulation by opposition parties?”
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