From Osakhare Erese, Asaba
Notable leaders in the South- South geo-political zone ridiculed the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, over plans to return the party to the Presidential villa in 2019, saying it is cloud cuckoo land for anyone to believe that could be done’.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) has broken the back of PDP in Nigeria. Anyone who thinks the PDP is going to run the federal government in 2019 is living in cloud-cuckoo land” the leaders said.
They described the PDP as “a party of the past”, saying, “PDP is not a party with a future. In 16 years, the party failed to act as broker of ideas. It could not articulate the desires of the people.”
At a high level meeting in Benin, capital of Edo State, the respected leaders praised Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi for his decision to quit the former ruling party.
“The 2019 general election is going to be difficult for PDP governors in the South-South zone,” the leaders said. They urged Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Benedict Ayade and Ezenwo Nyeson Wike to join the ruling party.
In a statement by the chairman, South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry, the leaders praised the national chairman of the ruling party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for creating a good image for the party, tolerating views different from his own and leading the party by the strength of ideas.
They also eulogized the national chairman for thinking out the best interests of the members and the means to achieve them, presenting them in a simple, intelligent and interesting form and reshaping them in the light of altered circumstances.
Listing intelligence, self control and conscience as qualities that helped Oyegun in the effective management of the ruling party, the leaders scolded critics of the Edo State ex-governor for their smear campaign aimed at making the national leadership of the party appear helpless to manage the party, damage the reputation of the national chairman and force him into a corner.
The leaders, who condemned Timi Frank, Kola Amzat, Felix Anirah and others for losing touch with reality, commended Oyegun for not perverting public power to private interest. They urged critics of the national chairman to rise from the bondage of half-truths to objective appraisal.
“What do you expect from a moody, erratic character? What do you expect from an unblushing liar and a grumpy fellow? Timi Frank, a thin, almost emaciated fellow, is childish, reckless and out of control. He is a public relations disaster and enemy of the South-South people.”
In an audacious move, the leaders urged APC members nationwide to support a second term for the charismatic, calm strategist and humble Edo chief. “Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is inducing in Mr. President, ministers, governors and others the strength and confidence necessary to plan and implement short and long term policies”
They also urged Founder and General Overseer of God’s Anointed and Blessed Church International, Pastor Toye Ebijomore to continue to pray for the ruling party.
“Party discipline, internal democracy, respect for party leadership, observance of traditions, ethos and norms are not lacking in the ruling party. Decisions are reached in APC by reasonable discussion, argument and persuasion. Oyegun does not believe in suppression of thought,” the said.