Owuru: By romancing PDP, Buhari is promoting what he condemned
*APC, PDP Have Nothing To Offer
*Time For Reckoning Will Soon Come For APC
National Chairman and presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party, Ambrose Owuru, told KELVIN EBIRI in Port Harcourt, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s romance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was worrisome, as he tends to be sending wrong signals to Nigerians.
What does the PDP’s leadership visit to President Muhammadu Buhari portend for the polity?
In our party’s view, we think that it is not proper at this time. The government should show some measure of all-inclusive style of governance because you need the others, who have been involved in politics, not necessarily the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It does not portend well for polity. The President should not in any way sideline other opposition parties, especially, a president that rode on the back of opposition. APC merely won the ballot. They didn’t win the election on their own. The election was won collectively by the opposition as we were. Our various parties played roles to oust the PDP. We had to pull them out of power because they were becoming almost a nuisance; a danger to themselves and Nigeria.
And so, it is wrong for the APC to appropriate such victory and even use it the manner they are doing right now. We agreed on an all-inclusive government and that is why they are fluttering because APC was a contraption. It is not a political party, but a conglomerate of interests. It is just like the PDP. When we formed the PDP, it was to chase away the military. APC was an idea we all supported, formed all manners of electoral alliances and other ways we thought would have aided the exit of the PDP. It is sad that two years after, all Buhari could think about is the same PDP that we fought to remove, and think of sideling the opposition. All the appointees of APC till date are all of PDP extraction, except the ones that came from the CPC, Buhari’s own party. We think he should form an all-inclusive government and invite the opposition he knew; we know ourselves; he knows those who have more ideas than he has; he knows those who are more outspoken than he was, and he knows those who want to govern this country even better than he is doing. He should call all opposition together, look them in the eyes and tell them I want you to be part of my government. It is up to us to accept. Let’s assume that it was a consultation with the PDP. They are the majority opposition in the National Assembly.
Those, who worked for the success of this government have not been consulted. All of them have to be consulted. Not only consultation, there has to be an inclusive government that will help douse political tension in the country. If they are looking only at the PDP, I can tell you that what you have as PDP are people who cannot obviously present themselves to the public. Most of them have questions to answer. How many of them are under investigation over public funds? If you are fighting corruption, it should be total. I think Buhari should be addressing the real issues such as religious tolerance because I am yet to hear him address this.
Can the PDP be trusted in its new romance with the APC?
For us, maybe Buhari is just trying to massage their ego. There is no reason to massage PDP’s ego because it means you are even promoting what you condemned. He should rather court the friendship of the opposition members whom he knows were very active, of which he was part of. Recall how many years he contested against them (PDP). PDP right now has no idea. All they dream and think is how to come back to power. That is all they have to offer. What ideas do they have to offer? Everybody is hiding under the cover of restructuring. What are we restructuring for? We are looking for good governance, leadership, ideas. these are the real issues.
Considering the fierce animosity between both parties, will this seeming rapprochement foster unity in the country?
What unity? Who is PDP? The unity you are talking about does not lie in the hand of the PDP. If anything, you need to invite national leaders. We have asked for a peace conference that will assuage some feelings going on right now. PDP as a party is aggrieved and their visit has nothing to do with the unity of this country because the party simply loves power. We know they are the ones that are sponsoring most of the crises going on in the country, and the APC once alluded to this by saying that those who have looted the treasury; those who have lost power are the ones who are presently sponsoring all the agitations going on from the Avengers in Niger Delta, to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). All these groups were not there two years ago. How did they come about after they (PDP) lost election? Again, you will be sending a wrong message if you think that PDP will ever accept unity except they push him out of power. He (Buhari) should be talking to Nigerians;e should hold a conference and let Nigerians know what this change programme is all about. I am yet to understand what programme APC has. Majority of Nigerians are at lost about how APC intends to bring unity to this country. Is it by talking to PDP? No. It is by addressing core issues.
Do you see the PDP wresting power from APC in 2019?
Anybody can be a force, not just the PDP. But for any right-thinking Nigerian, PDP is not an option. We should be talking about leadership. Nigerians should pick right leaders once they present themselves. It shouldn’t be about the PDP. Look at what happened in France. The people there are rejecting the old order. The PDP is made up of people, who have been tested and they have failed. What you should be discussing today should be how do we bring about a new order, and not engaging us to discuss PDP or APC. APC has been tested in the last two years and it has shown they don’t know what to do with power. What is wrong with the APC is the head. Nigerians should look for a new head. A man with ideas, and one who knows what to do with power, and then change this country to a progressives society. I don’t see anybody in PDP today, who can withstand some of us in terms of ideas or governance. None exist. Not the likes of the ones who liked to he heard easily. They are all empty, abusing everybody around.
If I have to speak the minds of majority of Nigerians, both APC and PDP have nothing to offer. In the next election, it will not be between APC and PDP. I assure you that. If you want a progressive Nigeria, that will not happen. What he has told us is that we should gear up to remove all of them. The election that brought the APC is unconstitutional, they violated all the laws and used slush, unaccounted funds. The PDP squandered trillions of Naira and they lost elections. Whatever they are doing, the time for reckoning will soon come. If they want full-fledged elections, we are going back to the trenches. The governance of this country lies on the citizens.
Are you suggesting Buhari should be wary of the PDP?
Of course. PDP is tainted and if he is a man, who is fighting corruption, it should be total. You cannot in one breadth want to fight corruption and there is a cesspool of people who have no idea, and who have no business in governance milling around you. They are not schooled in the art of governance, they are only schooled in the art of what I call brigandage. They came and plundered the economy; plundered everywhere and went away, and you are arresting them everyday. And they are the same people you want to meet. You are sending a wrong signal. You ought to encourage Nigerians that good governance is what you look out for. Well, for this romance, most of us are not surprised because the APC is not different from the PDP, they have only been recycling the same faces. Look at the NDDC where all appointees are past PDP members. Nsima Ekere, who is a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State was of PDP. Senator Victor Ndoma Egba was of PDP. The Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri was of PDP.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma was a PDP man virtually everybody around the President are all once PDP. Chibuike Amaechi, a minister was of the PDP, and even the Senate President, Bukola Saraki was also of the PDP. And these are the people, who are deciding the fate of Nigeria. You can see that the APC has lost control of governance because they have not been able to keep off people they are fighting. And that is why the APC is embracing them. I don’t see any leadership there. We were anticipating something that will make us think APC is different, but they are not. Buhari, yes thinks he is good, but he cannot do it alone.