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Ogbulafor’s emergenceas PDP Chairman fraudulent – Masari

Posted by By ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina on 2008/03/18 | Views: 542 |

Ogbulafor’s emergenceas PDP Chairman fraudulent – Masari


Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, says the exercise that led to the emergence of Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, March 8, was teleguided, and assured that the G-21 would not relent in its struggle for the development of democratic consciousness in the party.

• Says G-21 will continue to fight for change

Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, says the exercise that led to the emergence of Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, March 8, was teleguided, and assured that the G-21 would not relent in its struggle for the development of democratic consciousness in the party.

Reviewing the party’s affairs in an interview with Daily Sun, Masari said: "We should not be seen to be running away from elections."

He said PDP would only be producing leaders that would not enjoy the support and loyalty of its members in the absence of fair elections. He gave Ogbulafor a thumbs down, saying: "I cannot place him in third position based on those who contested the chairmanship."
Masari spoke more on G-21, its expectations and other issues of national interest, including the immediate past leadership of the PDP.

Excerpts:
What inspired the formation of your group, G-21?
G–21 was formed principally to promote justice, fairness and inclusiveness in PDP, all of which are totally absent. And we took advantage of the convention of the party to appeal to leaders to allow for internal democracy because as a political party, we should not be seen to be running away from elections.

Failure to do that means we will not be producing leaders that enjoy the support and loyalty of members as we had, particularly during the tenure of Ahmadu Ali executive. The party has lost its values and its credibility in the eyes of most Nigerians. This one started gradually right from 1999. It culminated in its worst form in 2006, when the convention and congresses produced people who did not represent the party.
It created a lot of bad blood. Certainly, the party needs surgical operation and we thought it would come, based on the submission of different people to the Dr Alex Ekwueme Reconciliation Committee, that we should take the constitution of the party back to 1998 – that is when the party was formed because subsequent amendments of the party’s constitution were deliberately done to produce a certain result which, by 2006, they had produced.

We felt that (the prevailing system) was not helpful to democracy, it was not helpful to PDP itself and it was not helpful to Nigerians because we have a party that controls about 30 states, over two-thirds of the local governments, over two-thirds in the National Assembly. That party becomes the country. So, if that party is not getting its act right, there is no way it can get its government to get its act right.
So, we highlighted that and as we anticipated, the move was frustrated. And the fears we raised were confirmed by what happened at the convention.

What is your take on the convention?
Actually, because of the death of the Emir of Katsina, I was not able to go to Eagle Square. I left for Katsina immediately I heard of the demise of the Emir. So, really at this point in time, I cannot really say what happened at the convention. But what I heard was that a list was drawn up and those who were on the list were nominated and anointed and they were forced on the convention. At this point, I would not say much because I don’t have the details.

Prince Vincent Ogbulafor has emerged the National Chairman instead of Chief Sam Egwu, Senator Pius Anyim and other front-runners in the race. How do you see the development?
I think the development is not unexpected because if you could remember what I said, in the build-up to 2007 elections, the majority of people who represented us were not popular choice. So what we have today is not different from what we had in 2006.
So, the battle will continue. We in G-21 would continue to press, using whatever leadership is in place to bring about changes in the party.

In clear terms, would you say the choice of Ogbulafor was not a popular one?
You said earlier that Egwu and Anyim were front-runners. So, if you had the two as front-runners, the best you could have given Ogbulafor is the third place among the contestants, which is a position I cannot place him based on those who contested.

So, obviously, you have answered your question. He couldn’t have been the most popular choice.
Recently, Chief Lamidi Adedibu described G-21 as a paper tiger. How do you see his comment?
I don’t think I will like to join issues with Adedibu because I don’t think we are operating on the same frequency. I am not a garrison politician. So I don’t know how garrison politicians behave.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.