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PDP convention fallout: Governors stabbed me in the back – Egwu

Posted by By CHIDI OBINECHE on 2008/03/14 | Views: 472 |

PDP convention fallout: Governors stabbed me in the back – Egwu


Frontline chairmanship aspirant in last Saturday’s convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Dr. Sam Egwu has accused governors of the party of bad faith.

Frontline chairmanship aspirant in last Saturday’s convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Dr. Sam Egwu has accused governors of the party of bad faith.

In a rare post-mortem on the plot, which led to the last minute withdrawal from the race by all the contestants for Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Egwu described the development as “surprising,” adding, however, that “ a lot of them were deceived into taking that decision. Some people had some ulterior motives in doing what they did.”

He further said the action of the governors was not in line with “what we expected in an emerging democracy.”
On insinuations that he was dumped because of the association of his name and ambition with ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, the former governor of Ebonyi State said, “Again, this issue of Obasanjo’s support being the reason why I was not supported is not true.

The issue of who he supports, and who he has not supported, I ask you, is there any of those people, including the governors, who did not get the blessings of Obasanjo? Each and every one of them! They are talking about somebody who has done his bit and left government. It is unfair.

“And if they have put me down because of Obasanjo’s sentiments, I have no regrets.
“If they say I am Obasanjo’s boy, well, let it be. I have no regrets. Obasanjo remains a strong leader in this country.”

Egwu spoke further on other convention-related issues.
Excerpts:
Your toured round the 36 states of the country and at the end of the day, someone who didn’t campaign for a minute is now the chairman of the PDP. The delegates were not allowed to cast their votes. Don’t you feel angry over this development?
As a human being, I would say that what happened on Saturday w as not in line with what we expected in an emerging democracy. But be it as it may, in order not to divide our party, in order not to pull back the hands of the clock, I have accepted it that way, and I also urge my supporters to accept what has happened. As a Christian, I have taken it as the will of God.

As a former governor, do you feel betrayed by the action of the governors?
Remember that the action of the governors is something surprising as a matter of fact. It is really surprising. But they know their reasons. I know that a lot of them were deceived into taking that decision. Some people had some ulterior motives in doing what they did. But as I have said, I have no regrets.

The principle of having internal democracy in PDP is like the guide, because the other time, it was the same question of imposition that almost destroyed the party. You promised internal democracy in the party during your campaigns, yet it didn’t happen.

Do you see this as a setback?
Well, we have a duty to support the new executive, and we have a duty to ensure that we have internal democracy. But be it as it may, we are moving forward. I don’t think we are going backwards. That is the much I can say.

Can you say there was an improvement on the conduct of the last convention as against previous ones?
There were a lot of improvements. Remember. To tell ourselves the truth, we have taken a step forward.
In case of future convention, what advice can you give?
As I said, we are developing. We are making progress gradually. The progress cannot be as fast as we expect, but I know that if all hands are on deck and with the commitment of Mr. President, who has also preached the principles of rule of law and due process, the next convention will be better.
Do you plan to contest again in future?
Every action I take I pray about it. I also seek the views of members of my family and my friends. So what will happen in the next election, or what happens to my life depends on the way God wants it. On Saturday, they were asking me, what is my reaction? I told them to, first of all, leave me to go and have some time with members of my family because I have been running around. That is my major priority now. What happens tomorrow is in the hands of God.

Do you think that the governors that prevented you from running the contest to the end should compensate you? Secondly, are you angry that you lost out because of your association with the ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo?
It is unfortunate. As I said during the campaigns, instead of looking at somebody’s pedigree, the antecedents of that person and what he can contribute in the society or emerging democracy, it is unfortunate that there is still this talk about emerging democracy, when we are eight or nine years into this democracy.

We should be talking about a “mature” democracy and not “emerging.” We are no longer emerging. We have passed that state. We are making progress. I don’t think that my reaction or my personal thoughts should in any way, hinder the progress of the country. I may be aggrieved as a person. If I tell you that I didn’t feel bad about what happened, then I am not telling the truth.

But at the same time, considering the interest of the country, the interest of the party, considering also that I am a Christian and that whatever happens to me, I take as an act of God, I have therefore overlooked the setback that occurred in the interest of democracy, in the interest of our country. And we are determined to put it behind us. The fact that we did not succeed must not make us to rock the boat.
Again, this issue of Obasanjo’s support being the reason why I was not supported is not true.

This issue of who he supports and who he has not supported, I ask you, is there any of these people including the governors, who did not get the blessing of Obasanjo? Each and every one of them! They are talking about somebody who has done his bit, and left government. It is unfair. And if they have put me down because of Obasanjo’s sentiments, I have no regrets. This is because, for me, I have run my campaign, not minding the insinuations, throughout the country – North, East, West, and South, canvassing for votes. Telling them what I have done and what I will do.

I did not base my campaign on anybody. Again, as I have said, I emerged at this level on my own. I only knew Obasanjo when I became a governor. He didn’t make me a governor. I knew him when I became a governor and as a president, I felt I should support him to succeed. But that does not mean I never disagreed with him. You people know that he seized my allocations when I created local governments.

There were many other disagreements that I am not here to enumerate. But for people to think I should be antagonistic to the man, I cannot do that, because the man did not do me anything. I marshalled out my points. Even when my local government allocations were seized, I wrote him a letter and convinced him that it was done with all good intentions. He also made his own input. And we changed it from local government areas to development areas, so that it does not clash with anybody’s interests.

It was Chief Anyim that actually worked hard as the Senate President to ensure that our local governments were not recognised. That was my major disagreement with ex-president Obasanjo, including many others. But I don’t have to come out and abuse him. If they say I am Obasanjo’s boy, well, let it be.

I have no regrets. Obasanjo remains a strong leader in this country. He is no longer the president; and we have a president who is now the current leader of the party, and I refer to him as the leader. Umaru is the leader of the party now, so I don’t see why there should be any conflict. No need for any disagreement. Why should there be any problem concerning this. Eh? It is funny. It is unfortunate that instead of moving forward, we are moving backwards.

What about compensation?
I am not looking for compensation. I have done my bit. I am moving forward. Whatever will come my way will come my way. Whether they’ll give me something or not; I did not go into the election because I wanted to be compensated. I have been a lecturer, a head of department in the university before I came into politics. I can go back and teach. I did not run for the seat because I want to make money or be recognised, far from it. I think, on my own, I have worked very hard and God has given me blessings.
So, where do you head to now?
(Laughs) At my level, I am not going to ask them to employ me. Remember, in advanced democracies, once you have served as a governor or president, people will be asking you to come and teach, to share your experiences. So, it is not a classroom job. Already, people have been writing me to come and deliver lectures and share my experiences in government. There are lot of things I can do. Don’t forget also, I am a farmer. I have a farm. That one, I don’t need anybody’s permission. I will only go back to the farm and start looking after my crops.

I am a crop scientist. I also have some livestock in my farm. I am not looking for what to do. But even at that, I still want to be active in politics and contribute my quota at any level. Even at the local government level, if they seek my advice, I will give it. At the state level, I can offer my advice. At the national level, I can offer my advice. I intend to continue to contribute to the development of this country.

Some people say that you lost out because you could not resolve your differences with your brother, Anyim, so that one could step down for the other. How true is that?
These things are ordinary propaganda that doesn’t hold water. What is the purpose of a contest if not that people should contribute and take their campaign to the electorate? Would you now say that because Obama and Clinton are contesting seriously in the Democratic Party in America, both of them should step down so that you get another person.

Does it happen? The governors that are talking now are saying this? If by 2011, two people emerge to slug it out in their states, two of them should step down for the emergence of another fresh candidate. Does it make sense? Does it work that way? It is illogical. It is a cock and bull story to confuse the electorate.

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Comments (3)

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

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

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

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

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

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