late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua
By Chuks Okocha
As the momenteum for the 2015 elections gather, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a political platform founded by the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua has warned that its members would not be used as political surrogates or rubber stamps.
Chairman of the PDM Steering Committee, Mr. Bode Ajewole, issued the warning at a meeting held at the Yar’Adua Centre at the weekend, pointing out that the political family of Yar’Adua would not be used as a rubber stamp or surrogate for the political ambition by any politician.
The warning came as President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have approved the concession of the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s interest in the Inter Logistics (Intels) as part of a political rapprochement.
It was also gathered that the former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Anthony Anenih, had been appointed Chairman of the PDM Elders Committee, the equivalent of a BoT.
At the meeting attended by PDM chieftains and members across the country, Ajewole warned that at the appropriate time, both leaders and members “shall have the opportunity of coming together to decide our collective political direction. One thing is certain, we are nobody’s surrogates.
“We are focused to carrying everybody along when it is time to take decision on political direction. We promise that the PDM leadership shall not be used as a mere rubber stamp. The Yar’Adua political movement is primarily concerned with the well being of ordinary Nigerians based on absolute resolve to serve as the conscience of the Nigerian masses, without regard for ethnicity, religion or tribal divides.
“We cannot afford to be docile or show indifference to the prevailing ravaging waves of terrorism, poverty, kidnapping and armed robbery in our land. We therefore wish to call on all governments as well as all well meaning and influential Nigerians to rise up to the challenges of insecurity and poverty in the land.
“It appears nobody is doing enough to tackle our challenges. Nigerians may be used to a life without constant electricity supply, pipe borne water and good roads. But unfortunately Nigerians are neither used to the recent spate of bombing in churches, mosques, schools and homes nor hunger and youth unemployment.
“The people of Nigeria now want action capable of ameliorating their sufferings. The pains of insecurity, loss of loved ones and hunger are begging for immediate action at the various levels of government to stem this untoward national catastrophe”, the movement’s steering committee chairman said.
Ajewole explained that the aim of the meeting was “to showcase PDM’s strength and convince Nigerians that we are back. As a political family, we have a role to play. We are back to serve as the conscience of the masses, promote democratic values, agitate for the rights of the masses, defend the unity of Nigeria and lend our voices whenever situation demands on national issues in the interest of the nation without fear or favour.”
In his comment, Atiku asked the audience after they watched the documentary on the life, struggle and politics of the late Shehu Yar’Adua if they should allow his vision to die, to which they all chorused NO!
He added that the movement remains the greatest and largest political movement in Africa and also formed the bedrock of the largest political party (PDP) in Africa, thereby equating it to the Tea Party in the Republican Party in the United States, which influences most of the thinking and vision of the party.
According to him, if that is the case, the PDM which has been the largest political movement within PDP should be revived to bring to bear the ideology and philosophy of PDM on the party. To achieve this, he said all PDM leaders at the meeting should go to their states and ensure that PDM establishes its branches all over the local governments and wards, while tasking the steering committee to scout and work with those that have political relevance in their various areas to bring this philosophy to bear on PDP.
Atiku added that the PDM consists of PDP and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) while describing himself as a committed member of the movement always ready to support the movement both morally, financially in order to achieve its mission.
Other speakers at the meeting were former ministers like Mr. Dubem Onyia, Mrs. Titi Ajanaku, Alhaji Murtala Yar’Adua who is first son of Shehu Yar’Adua and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande among others, all whom painted a gloomy picture of poor living condition of Nigerians and highlighted the need for members to close ranks and work assiduously to bring hope back to the people.
Reacting on the outcome of the meeting, Chairman of the PDM Media Committee, Prince Tonye Princewill, described the PDM Consolidation Meeting as timely and decisive, stating that it was a means of bringing PDP back to the people and making those who founded PDP to revive the vision of the founding fathers of PDP.
Princewill said the PDM as currently constituted “is neither pro-President Goodluck Jonathan nor pro-Atiku Abubakar. The movement does not have any candidate in mind to support for 2015. We are ready to work with any candidate that will have a programme that will take Nigeria to another level.