Former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, said the manner Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State was selected by their party’s presidential candidate is a sheer disregard for process.
The choice of Okowa is currently threatening the unity of the party, but Jang said the party must be united if they hope to make tangible impacts in the 2023 general elections.
Jang who alluded to disunity in the Party, insisted the party cannot afford to go into the elections with a “divided house.”
The former governor who spoke in Jos said, “As the days leading to the 2023 general elections draw near and with the completion of the processes that led to the emergence of the candidates of our great party, the PDP, it has become apparent that we must urgently put our house in order if we are to make an impact in the elections.
“The governorship elections in Ekiti state have shown us that we cannot go to the general elections with a divided house. It is instructive that we must return to the drawing board, make right the wrong decisions we have taken and begin to ensure that we are prepared to go to the field without any baggage from the decisions we have made.
“As one of the founding fathers alive today, one who participated in the processes that set the background for our primaries, I am compelled to add my voice to that of prominent members of our great party who have shown dismay with recent happenings, particularly with the emergence of the Vice-residential candidate.
“While it is no longer news that the presidential primaries have come and gone and a candidate emerged, it is disheartening that the manner in which the vice-presidential candidate emerged is nothing but sheer disregard for processes. We all know that the party, in consultation with the presidential candidate, set up a committee to select a running mate. To turn around and throw away the outcome of the exercise is a clear proof that the work of the committee was either not appreciated or was not going to be in consideration ab initio.”
He added, “To quote Governor Samuel Ortom who was a member of the 17-member committee set up by Atiku to recommend a running mate for him, he said “14 of us in the committee said the person should be Nyesom Wike, unfortunately, Atiku picked Okowa in his wisdom. You cannot ignore a decision of a committee you set up yourself and expect people to be happy.”
“We cannot disregard people who have dedicated themselves to building the party and expect to make meaningful progress. That such people are treated the way the party is currently doing is a pointer to the fact that more is to come.
“No one who intends to go against the APC, which has failed in its promises but thrives on propaganda will go with a divided camp. This explains the urgency with which the party ought to retrace its step in the right direction with a hope of salvaging the already bad situation within the shortest time.
“The Board of Trustees (BoT) and the NWC is aware of the cracks already rearing its ugly head and must do all within its powers to stop further dissonance arising from the treatment of ranking members of the party, especially Governor Nyesom Wike. That the governors of the party have started distancing themselves from the activities of the party and other influential members making public statements indicating their displeasure is a not a good sign.
“Whatever the party or the presidential candidate had agreed with Governor Nyesom Wike should have been followed as a mark of honesty, sincerity and in the spirit of the unity of the party. Plunging the party into unnecessary disagreements months away from the general elections is not in the interest of the party or its teeming supporters who were looking forward to a formidable front to dislodge the APC and the sufferings it has brought on the people.”
He insisted that “It is unfortunate that the very man who admittedly, has been a pillar of the party at a time the repressive tendencies of the governing APC was to send the PDP into oblivion will be treated in the manner the party has. Until we correct the mistakes, which we deliberately made, the future is bleak and the PDP may be caught in a trap it has set for itself. We cannot run a campaign for a candidate whose campaign promise is hinged on uniting Nigerians but not be seen to be doing enough to bring party members together.
“The time to act is now, all well-meaning party leaders and stakeholders must rise in defence of the truth as a way of assuring our teeming supporters of the seriousness of the party to wrest power from the APC and end the bad governance which has become the order of the day.
“We can not fold our hands and watch the party drift away from the tenets which have made it the only truly democratic party in Nigeria. The whims of a few should not be allowed to override the choices of many who believe in the PDP and its ability to return Nigeria to the glorious days.”