PDP will always win Edo elections, Ugbome
Paschal Ugbome is a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo north. He told ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU in Benin City, that come rain or shine, his party would always be victorious.
Did your party take advantage of the shift in election date?
The position of our party is very clear, we were shocked at the sudden postponement of the election without due consultation. The position of the party is that the manner in which it was orchestrated, leaves so much to be desired, especially when it became very clear that there was no synergy between INEC and the so-called security agencies; and the reports and sort of put INEC on the spot, because it eroded their confidence, exposed their weakness, and compromised their neutrality. It exposed their weakness and exposed the fact that INEC has not gotten to where it should be.
Ordinary logic recommends that if security agencies have found something untoward towards the election, you relate with INEC and take them into confidence and get them to buy into what you are afraid of. Then it becomes INEC’s responsibility to postpone election, but the manner it was done, I must say that I am disappointed. I thought that we were making progress regarding the institution called INEC. I am of opinion there is a problem, yes it is understandable, but to just embarrass the system.
What of the allegation that your party imported thugs?
I am surprised that you are still asking that question, you are in this state and the Commissioner of Police said there was nothing like that, there is no single militant that has been arrested. So all these stories they are saying about 54 militants are all lies; we are here in this country. The APC’s very spurious allegation was debunked and then the police said there was nothing like that. So why do we keep deceiving ourselves; it is unfortunate. We know ourselves, we have seen these things before, what you want to do, you first accuse the other person of doing it, it is very sickening. Let me tell you something, office is temporary just like every other thing in life. The only thing that will endure is truth.
So if people decide to stand truth on its head just because they want to get momentary victories, I leave them to their consciences, but I can assure you that there was no truth in it. Aides of a member of the House of Representatives were arrested in possession of gun and instead of charging them for illegal possession of firearms, they ended up charging them with flimsy offences of actions likely to cause breach of peace, this is shameful. We should eschew malice, greed on issues that have to do with politics. Ideas must be canvassed. We should be more involved in canvassing ideas, rather than relying on propaganda.
What are the chances of your party and your candidate?
I must honestly say that our chances are very bright, based on the campaigns, based on what we see, beyond political parties, for the people fundamentally change is a constant, no matter how sweet one soft drink is, at some point you will want to taste another. And right now, given the totality of the poverty of the land, given the totality of the economic situation, social situation and again the very harsh climate that we have been presented with in the state in the past few years, the people desire a change, regardless of some of the good things that my brother the Comrade has done; because they believe that it can be better. We have not reached the Eldorado and in Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, they see a man that has what it takes to take Edo from where it is now to the next level.
Government is a continuum you cannot come and be complaining about the previous government, that is why you were elected to take the people from where they are to the next level. Don’t spend the whole of four years or eight years talking about the past administration. If we want to be honest, it has been one level of progress to another. Of course, there is also a certain level of disingenuousness in managing the opportunity too at all levels, both in the APC and the PDP. Of course, all these brigandage, gangsterism in the name of collection of taxes, where suddenly people of very questionable character become big men just because they have the courage to carry a gun and do things, run foul of the law. And when you have the law to back them in what they are doing, that is not the kind of society that we want for our children.
Do you still have confidence in INEC to deliver credible election?
The moment you lose hope, you have no reason to even live; we believe that regardless of the kind of pressure under which they are, which is very apparent to every person, very apparent, it will be a good election. We even have it on authority that at some point the INEC chairman out of self respect threatened to resign, but of course a couple of persons spoke to him. So given the kind of pressure under which they are, which to me is not surprising because the level of our political development, ingrained in the process are opportunities for us to check whatever they are up to. We are equal to the task we will be able to demand, to insist and ensure that every legitimate vote counts and the votes of Edo people will count.
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