Umar Sani, one of the spokespersons in the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation tells Nseobong Okon-Ekong that his party is not perturbed about the APC’s attempt to make a good impression in the South-south region
How does the PDP read the choice of a South-South state, the traditional stronghold of the party, for the flag off of the APC Presidential campaign?
.The APC believes they can make inroads into our traditional stronghold. They believe holding a rally in Uyo will do the magic. In a 30,000 capacity stadium and mobilizing from the six states in the South-south and other states the stadium was even not filled to capacity whereas the Udom Emmanuel rally held in Uyo that comprises only people from Akwa Ibom without any support from anywhere surpassed the APC gathering. This is a demonstration of the real strength of the PDP in the South-south and not the rent-a-crowd flag off by the APC where the crowd dispersed to collect their appearance fee and return to their respective destination leaving the Nigerian President to address a near empty stadium.
Given the eminence of the personalities who have moved to the APC in the South-south zone, is the PDP still confident to retain the zone as monolithically partisan in its favour?
The South-south is a politically independent and opinionated zone and not a respecter of individuals or personalities. It is a wholly PDP enclave and any attempt by anyone to move against the tide will be swallowed by the sea. To retain Edo State, the APC had to postpone the elections and employ their specialised art of massive rigging which includes brigandage , ballot snatching and stuffing, falsification of results and thuggery. The same tactics was employed in Bayelsa, but Seriake Dickson who like the wall of Gibraltar stood his grounds and ensured equitable contest. The personalities that moved over to the APC were trained by the PDP in the art of governance and politics. Can they be greater than their masters?
Your party alleged that the APC diverted funds, particularly from the NDDC to stage the Uyo, can you prove this?
Let me say that the burden of proof lies with us, but such allegations does not require us to disclose our sources of information including how the monies were surreptitiously removed to fund an illegality. Perhaps, if we are before a court of law we can provide documentary evidence of these allegations. For now, protecting the impeccable source of our information shall suffice. We have it on good authority that monies were siphoned to fund the failed APC rally in Uyo.
There is a school of thought in the South-south that the zone is a traditional ally of the North. Given that the two leading presidential candidates are northerners, there is a thinking that former President Goodluck Jonathan did not do well and since he is in the PDP, the South-south zone will like to try the APC, so that that they be one with the government at the centre?
I disagree with the assertion that Jonathan did not do well. With the near dismal performance of this administration anchored on cluelessness, incompetence and propaganda the performance of Dr Jonathan can be said to be heartwarming and golden. Having said that it is instructive for me to state that there is neither empirical nor convincing practical evidence suggesting that the South-south is considering or contemplating aligning with the APC. The South-south style of politics is embedded in inclusivity and dwells on provision of projects and programs that meets the yearnings and aspirations of their people. PDP is a national party that encompasses all strata of people whose viewpoints are patriotic and nationalistic. The restructuring programme of the PDP meets the desires and expectations of the South-south citizens. It therefore justifies why the preference of the South-south will definitely be for the PDP. The government at the center will be led by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar come May 29 God willing which will meet the other part of their expectations.