Former governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim has described the last presidential election as a rejection of President Goodluck Jonathan by Nigerians, but not the rejection of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); as the outgoing president moved against the political tide of power equation of sharing power between north and south.
He also joined Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State to call on the national chairman of PDP, Adamu Muazu to emulate the leaders of political parties in United Kingdom that resigned because their parties lost elections to resign, stating that this is the honourable thing to do.
In an interview with THISDAY, Ohakim said, “In terms of politics and the next elections, PDP has a very great chance. Nigerians love PDP, they rejected the product (President Goodluck Jonathan and others) we offered at the presidential election and general elections.
“This is an opportunity for us to go back and repackage, those who hijacked the party have discovered that it did not bring any dividend; let the people that are there not think it is their birthright to do so. The blame game would not serve anybody any good, PDP has not done badly; it is not living with shame.”
Giving insight that President Jonathan, moved against the political tide in the country by insisting on contesting, Ohakim said, “If Obasanjo did not do what he did in 2007 there wouldn’t have been PDP in 2015. What did he do, he looks at the psychology of each region and understands where people are going whether it is wrong or right. Obasanjo knew that this country is not a nation; it is a congregation of various nations working together for a common goal, so you must be able to make sure that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
“He knew that if Governor Peter Odili of Rivers state wins the primaries of PDP, PDP would lose the presidency and if PDP loses the presidency people would scamper away, because of the psychology of Nigerians we tend to flow with the tide.
“Odili paid the deep price to make sure PDP remains, and working with leaders, Obasanjo engineered them to the North and that was the emergence of President Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua won and if that was not done, there wouldn’t have been President Jonathan or PDP. PDP won’t go down this route again. APC is enjoying the tap root of PDP today, PDP will not die”, he added.
Ohakim chided the national chairman of PDP on his refusal to step down, saying, “If people can take your job and give it to a campaign organisation, that means you were not trusted, why didn’t you resign? When you were taking this job, you put yourself as one of the president’s men or boys but now you are issuing statements accusing president boys so you have withdrawn from being a president’s boy, because the man is no longer a president. Why do we betray people like this, is it right, what kind of country are we running?
“After the last primaries those who would have helped the president were completely destroyed, he did not look at their petition, he did not make peace, he did not help those who won primaries. I understand the issues, I don’t want to go into funding, and the issue is that Adamu Mu’azu was a calamity.
“The velocity of politics was too high and too great for him to handle, the tsunami of APC. I’m not saying that PDP wouldn’t have lost the election, but we would have lost happily or we would have won with a slight margin.”
In another statement he personally issued after the result of the United Kingdom elections, Ohakim called on Muazu to resign as the national chairman.
He said, “In a recently published newspaper article, titled, ‘PDP: What Happened?’ I opined that the first step that should be taken in reinventing the party is the immediate resignation of its national chairman, Mallam Adamu Mu’azu and some of its national working committee members.
“Before my submission, some other well-meaning Nigerians had similarly asked for the resignation of Mu’azu. As a matter of fact, more of such calls will be made in the days ahead because regardless of the defeat it suffered at the just concluded general elections, Nigerians believe that the PDP should be nurtured back to life to play the role of a creditable opposition for the growth of our democracy.
“I wish to seize this opportunity to restate that call for the immediate resignation of Mallam Mu’azu as the chairman of the PDP without further delay. I am aware that for reasons that have to do with the Nigerian factor, Mallam Mu’azu may find it difficult to submit to the wishes of Nigerians. But let me encourage him to borrow a leaf from the recent development in the United Kingdom where the leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Ed Miliband, resigned only hours after he discovered that his party has lost in the general election. Almost simultaneously, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Nick Clegg, also resigned.
“His Excellency, Mallam Adamu Mu’azu, should follow the example of these two fellows to resign his chairmanship of the PDP forthwith; so as to save Nigerians from further anxieties. A word is enough for the wise”, Ohakim added.
In his own submission, Governor Fayose advised Muazu to take a cue from the resignation of both Miliband and Clegg over their parties’ woeful performance in last Thursday general election.
Fayose, in a release issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said he had no personal score to settle with the PDP National Chairman, and added that; “It is morally wrong for the National Chairman to remain in office after leading the party into its first national electoral loss.”
Fayose said; “Alhaji Mu’azu should be honourable enough to follow the same path as the British LP and Democrats leaders. Mu’azu’s case is even worse than that of the British party leaders, who resigned immediately their parties lost because majority of PDP members no longer have confidence in his (Mu’azu) leadership and there is no way a willing leader can be forced on unwilling followers.”
Speaking further, the governor said; “This is not about any personality and I am also not operating here on empty boast because Ekiti State was delivered to the PDP 100 per cent.
“Rather, it is about issues. Imagine the PDP not getting up to five per cent of the votes in Bauchi State, the National Chairman’s home state and someone is still not being honourable enough to resign”.