Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
A top contestant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National chairmanship, Prince Uche Secondus, Tuesday warned against imposition of candidates in the 2019 general election, saying that PDP will only reclaim power from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) through popular candidates.
He said the party has no security and INEC and that only popular candidates will see the PDP through to the general election.
He therefore warned against imposition of candidate in the December 9 and 10 national convention of the PDP.
Secondus spoke at government House Abakaliki while addressing Governor Dave Umahi and the state working PDP to officially inform the governor and the state PDP of his interest to contest the national chairmanship of the party.
He maintained that it would be totally wrong and absurd for unpopular candidate to think that he would win the national chairmanship of the party when he cannot deliver his ward, constituency, state and zone to the party in 2019.
He noted that the PDP under his watch will not be superintended over by those he called Abuja politicians as it has always been but by the grassroots who he said power belong to.
Secondus said: â€œOur mission is to rebuild, to reposition and to regain the lost ground come 2019 general election. We are very committed with passion to make sure that our party within the next few months is quickly repositioned and be ready for electionsâ€.
â€œWe will remain focused on our mission because I came from the state that relatively have peace and a zone that also has peace. I will focus on only one agenda which is to rebuild, to reposition and at the same time to regain the lost ground.
â€œIn the past, the whole order has been that the Abuja politicians took over the responsibility of our party at the state and the grassroots. If God gives me the responsibility, we will return power to the grassroots and our reward system will change.
â€œPeople that cannot vote at the ward levels, at the polling unit levels and they are now recognised in Abuja. The people in Abuja have data, contact and collections. What is politics all about if not to win election?. And if you cannot win election, you are not so important. So, we will bring new system that our people will be very happy to take their destiny in their own hands.
â€œWe will allow the constituencies, states to conduct congress and I am saying that because of my experiences as a state party chairman. Let the leaders in the state organise and elect popular candidates. We donâ€™t have security, we donâ€™t have INEC and Abuja cannot change and begin to superintend over whatever decision of the states that have been taken.
â€œAll we need to do in my time, we will concur with every decision of the state. If the popular candidate is elected and stands election he will win. I will lead from the Wadata House Abuja and I will rotate the headquarters of our party. It is time to get back to the people with massive and aggressive membership drive and return power to them. We donâ€™t have time at all.
â€œAnyone that wants to contest this election that will not win his ward and constituency and cannot win his state and zone has no business . It is time to know that if you cannot deliver your constituency, if you cannot deliver your state and you are seeking for the office of the National Chairman, which votes do you want?.
â€œIt will be totally wrong and absurd for anyone to think that he can take the votes of Ebonyi, you cannot deliver your state and you are now our National chairman. By the special grace of God, I will deliver my state and I will deliver my zone to the cover of the party. If we deliver state by state, that is the only way we can win the 2019 general election; the Presidency and all other positionsâ€, Secondus said.
Receiving Secondus who was led by former Deputy Speakers of House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha Austin Okpara, and some party chieftains, Governor Umahi described him as very experienced for the PDP Chairmanship position.
He noted that Secondus was the only PDP chieftains the can vouch that did not receive bribe from politicians during the last PDP primaries for the last general election to give them ticket.
â€œYou are experienced and I want to commend you. When we were vying for the party ticket, you are one person that didnâ€™t collect anything from any of the governors or anybody. Everybody attests to that.
â€œSome people asked us to give. I didnâ€™t give anybody either. But a day of reckoning has come and such people, we will not vote for them when they show their faces.
â€œWe must do everything possible to eliminate bribery and corruption in our party politics, it is very important. So, I want you to do everything possible if God takes you there to eliminate this issue of bribery and corruption.
â€œI want to assure you that there will be a level playing ground for all the contestants.
â€œThis time around, sir, the South East will negotiate very seriously with anybody that the South East will vote. It will not be on the party level. We want to negotiate and know what is coming in for us. This is very importantâ€, Umahi said.