From Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
Ahead of the November 6 Anambra governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, has said that zoning is not on its card.
Chairman of the party, Chief Ndubisi Nwobu, who spoke on the chances of his party in the poll among other salient issues, was emphatic that their ultimate goal is to win the governorship seat.
According to him, the idea of zoning is purely the affair of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the PDP will not dance to another party’s drumbeats.
As Anambra governorship election draws closer, what is the level of preparation of your party towards taking over the state?
We have a lot of plans, which will be unfolded as days go by. As we speak, in December, 2020, we did comprehensive evaluation of party structure and party leadership to examine how committed and prepared the party leadership is for PDP takeover of the state. Soon, we are starting mobilization and sensitization tour of all the local government areas of the state. Thereafter, we will be going into training programme for party leaders and operatives. After that, we go into another stage of contact and mobilization, reaching out to prominent citizens of the state, and telling them why PDP is best suited to come back to power in the state. After that, we go into massive state-wide campaign, ward to ward, as prelude to the party primaries. Immediately after the primaries, the candidate will emerge; then, as a party, we shall lead our flag bearer to the field for campaigns. By then, Anambra people will understand that what we have in Anambra today is a failed government; a government of retardation, and a government that has squandered our commonwealth. By the time we go to the field, Anambra will understand that this present government is not worth entrusting with power again.
The plan on ground in Anambra regarding zoning of governorship slot contradicts what PDP is championing at the national level. Why that contradiction?
PDP in Anambra is not aware of any zoning arrangement. We are not part of it. If there is anything like that, it is mere APGA arrangement. Each political party is free to devise its own strategy towards winning political power. Now that APGA has realized that it has nothing on ground to market itself and its candidate for 2021 election, the party has resorted to clannish and mundane ideas. They do not have any achievement on ground to campaign with; ordinarily, the party’s achievement should have been the ground for its campaigns, not zoning. PDP in Anambra State will not be thrown into that madness. We, as a party, it is our responsibility and duty to determine how to achieve what we want; which is winning the governorship election. What we have today in Anambra is a government for one set of people; not even for one local government; but for one set of people – a cabal, so to say. That is not what we need in Anambra. What we need in Anambra today is a governor that will represent the entire state; not governor for the cabals.
What will be the parameter of your party in choosing its flag bearer?
Selection of candidate or flag bearer for PDP is the prerogative of the delegates. The delegates have wide range of interests. If an aspirant is able to aggregate these interests, the delegate will choose him. We are happy that the entire people, who have indicated interest to contest under the umbrella of PDP, are eminent personalities, highly qualified, and who can hit the ground running anytime, anywhere, once they emerge. They have the experience, contact and they understand what governance, and wealth creation and infrastructure are all about.
A female aspirant under your party recently made a case, where she pleaded that governorship slots should be rationed on male/female arrangement. Does your party welcome such?
Politics is all about interests and a set of ideas that will lead to the achievement of a goal. It is enshrined in the PDP Constitution that women must be given their pride of place in the party structure and arrangement. This is one of the cardinal objectives of our party; but, as I emphasized earlier, the delegates will have the final say. If they wake up on the day of primaries and decide to elect a woman flag bearer, so be it; but if they decide that a man will fly their flag, so be it. It now behooves on the aspirants to approach the party and delegates, and convince them on why any or each of them will be best choice to fly the party’s flag.
This is the first governorship election you are witnessing as PDP Chairman in Anambra. What does this task mean to you?
It is a major task to me, and I will give it all that my political experience and sagacity can offer, and by the grace of God, I will deliver on this very first assignment.
It is becoming a ritual that in every major election like this, PDP in the state will sink into crisis. How would the party under your watch check this trend to ensure victory at the polls?
I had successfully presided over general elections, both State and National Assemblies. It is on record that in 2019, there were no two centres where primaries were held by PDP in the state. All of them were conducted in one place. It is also on record that there were no two different results flying here and there for the election. It is also on record that after the election, there were no litigations against any of the results or candidates that emerged after the party’s primaries. Therefore, I do not have any doubt in my mind that under my watch, PDP will still replicate this feat in the coming governorship election in Anambra.
What, in your mind, is the very factor that will favour PDP against the incumbent in the coming election?
The first factor is maladministration and poor performance of APGA government in the state. Second one is that the PDP, under my watch, in synergy with the zonal and national leadership of the party, is prepared to deliver transparent, free and fair exercises; not only for the primaries but also for all the exercises that will lead to the primaries; so that whoever that wins will know that he wins, and whoever that loses will also welcome the result. That will also absolve the party leadership from getting entangled on the muddy waters of supporting a particular candidate. Again, the PDP has people-oriented programmes for the state. These will be unfolded as time comes. These programmes will also tell Anambra people that we have what it takes to change the narrative, and to keep the light shining.
What is your assessment of APGA government in the state in the past seven years?
Abysmal failure! That is my assessment. The administration in the past seven years