Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Why governors went for Ogbulafor, by Saraki

Posted by By CHIDI OBINECHE on 2008/03/14 | Views: 526 |

Why governors went for Ogbulafor, by Saraki


The Chairman of the Governorsí Forum and Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has denied that governors of the party had a hand in the mass withdrawal of aspirants in last Saturdayís convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).

The Chairman of the Governorsí Forum and Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has denied that governors of the party had a hand in the mass withdrawal of aspirants in last Saturdayís convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).

The governors had been roundly accused of forcing the aspirants to step down for their preferred candidate, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.
Saraki, however, explained in an interview in Abuja, Sunday, that the withdrawal of the aspirants was their sole decision.

ďOut of 27 PDP states, 25 had taken a decision in their caucuses led by the leader of their party, the governor, that we are voting for Mr. Y. And you do your calculation that Mr. Y will emerge; so why waste time. I think at that point the candidates on their own withdrew because they saw that there was no point going into this race. That was why they stepped down. Nobody talked to them at all.Ē

He gave more hint on why the governors threw up Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as chairman, saying it was to avert a possible division in the party, in the aftermath of the close and tension-soaked rivalry between former Senate President, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, and immediate past Ebonyi State governor, Dr. Sam Egwu.

He expressed confidence in the abilities of the new chairman to steer the party to greater heights.
How did you get the chairmanship aspirants to withdraw?
To the best of my knowledge, nobody was asked to go and withdraw. No candidate was asked to step down. This was a race for the chairmanship of a party. Even in other countries, if they are doing primaries, things fall in place based on certain prevailing situations.

Out of 27 PDP states, 25 had taken a decision in their caucuses led by the leaders of their party, the governor, that we are voting for Mr. Y. And you do your calculation that Mr. Y will emerge, so why waste time. I think at that point, the candidates, on their own, withdrew because they saw that there was no point going into this race. That was why they stepped down. Nobody talked to them at all. And this is to the best of my knowledge.

Which were the two dissenting states?
One was not at our meeting, so it is difficult for us to speak on their behalf. Ebonyi State of course, was the second state. Apart from these two states, others moved enbloc.

How did you people arrive at Ogbulafor?
I think we explained it when we made our release that as governors, we felt there was a possibility, looking at the way the campaigns were going, that any of those two candidates, who emerged victorious will likely divide the party. Even among governors, there were clear divisions.

It was either pro-Anyim or pro-Egwu. When you have such close contests, there are clear chances of tension, polarisation and even breakdown o the party. So, these were the challenges. And the idea was strong that we should move away from those two and find a neutral person; and it has to be somebody who has some experience in party management. When you look at the list of people who were contesting, I donít think it can take much to reach one or two. We wanted a person who had done the job before, and we felt Ogbulafor fits the bill.

But people are saying he was weak as party secretary and minister under Obasanjo?
I donít buy any of those views. I have given you the basic reasons that led to his selection. We felt we needed someone neutral, and who has experience in party management. We set up a sub-committee to look at it and identify the person. At the end of the day, most of the people agreed that he is our choice. We did not pick him because people claim he is weak or someone that we want to manipulate.

The ex-president, Chief Obasanjo, we learnt opposed Ogbulaforís candidature on the grounds that he was a weak and incompetent party secretary and minister. Again, donít you think that governors are becoming overbearing in the party, consistently determining who becomes who?
When you say the governors, you forgot the heartbeat of the party. They are at the state and local government areas. We are voices. We only consult and we go and decide in our individual states that this is the direction we are going. If the voice of the party says this is what they want, our leaders should listen to the voices. That is what it is all about.

Some people are alleging that you have an eye on 2011 presidential contest and that is why you are building these bridges of influence. What is your ambition in 2011?
I have no ambition in 2011.All I am interested in is to discharge my responsibilities as a PDP governor, as governor of my state and chairman of the Forum. You see, the politics you play will always impact on your style. In most developed countries, when you run a full term as a governor, it is your politics and contribution that matter. So, these are ideas and speculations from mischievous people.

As I said, out of 27 states, 25 took a decision. Do you expect me as the chairman to move in a different direction?
If I had done it they would have even removed me as the chairman. It was a collective decision. Donít let anybody deceive you that it was the chairman. It was a collective decision.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (3)

Gravatar
New
Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Gravatar
New
Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Gravatar
New
Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown