Distinguished Members of Our State Exco,
I have chosen to communicate you via this open letter which I have entitled ihe ana amagi otu esi eme ya… because of the cogent and urgent nature of what I want to say. The fact remains that you are the leaders of our party today and so the onus to guide our party aright in this critical period of party congress, primaries and the battle of removing an incumbent governor lies on your shoulders.
It is generally said that ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.’ Sincerely, I do not cherish your present position in spite the glamour and the accouterments especially financial that comes with it. However, despite the adulations of your new found friends and desperate politicians fawning at your feet each day in the last few weeks, do not be quick to forget the couple of years recently eaten by the locusts when you were busy running helter-skelter chasing these men around for one favour or the other to no avail. Some of them where people you fought hard for to secure their mandates while some are ‘professionals and business tycoons’ in various fields. Now you remember. You do surely remember the disappointments, the unanswered calls and un-replied desperate text messages. How did you fuel your cars then and ran your offices? From peanuts and the last ounces you salted away praying for this day to come and it has come.
Six months ago some of them strutted in with gifts of cars and salaries, pure bribes for the years they abandoned you. I guess they believe that they will always twist you around with their gifts, gifts from the commonwealth that belongs to us all. It will be stupid not to take, as I said, it belongs to all of us. We should receive them but let’s not forget that they can be classified as old debts. Three and half years and they suddenly remembered you were still alive and leaders of the party. If that insult is all, it would not have worried me to pick my pen or keyboard as we hardly write now, we simply type. But what about their night visits with mouth watering promises and bags of money? I hear that one currently moves from one of your homes to the other with crisp foreign currency. Do I suggest that your reject them – not on your life! But what about the cartons of wine – enough to flood a swimming pool. I hope these cartons of wine carrying politicians do know that alcohol is not the best friend to you at your various ages now. Go to any party leader’s house or party exco member from the ward to the state and what you see are cartons and cases of precious exotic wines reminding one of the ancient Greeks Epicureans and Bacchus, god of wine – gifts from vote seeking politicians.
But trust our wily politicians, while they visit and humour you with flattery, choice wines, money and intimidation, they are on one hand plotting from what we are hearing that you all be sacked so that they can bring in their minions to endorse them. These are characters of some of the people you are dealing with now. I really do not envy your positions I repeat as the decision you have been called to make is a double edged sword. A wrong one will hunt you forever and the right one would endear you to the people. Let us not forget in a hurry that PDP in our state has never conducted a hitch free primary since the formation of the party in 1998. What would seem a beggarly pass mark still remains the 2003 primaries. The worst have been the primary of 2007 which was done twice and still did not produce a winner as the two runners up refused to go for a bye election as the party constitution stipulated. Let’s not forget the first night at the 2007 primaries and I know the majority of you in the present state exco where there live as delegates and leaders of the party. You saw the palpable confusion, the riots at the gate. You saw the displacement of genuine delegates with fakes. You saw the use of police and army brutality. You saw the quantum of fake policemen that joined the real. You saw it all.
The 2011 was a caricature and choreographed from the beginning and of course the party paid dearly for it. Will your team break the jinks and write your names in gold? That’s the million dollar question that should continually agitate your minds as we inexorably approach the deadline. With almost thirty Imo sons and daughters seriously engaged in the race for the party ticket for the governorship race, we know that the pressure on you has just started. This is not made easier by the stance of some of the aspirants who are well known for their penchant for intimidation, haughtiness and outright culture of political recklessness and brigandage. We have seen the moneybags threatening with their loots, breathing down hail and brimstone. The fear has permeated the entire citizenry that this primary would be the usual, with fallouts and party disintegration. But this time around, we are bold to say ihe ana amagi otu esi eme ya otu esi eme ya di. One way is to look in the eyes these bad elements who have never meant well to the party since 1998 and tell them to take the back seat.
We need as a matter of life and death to produce a credible candidate for once without rancour. One of the ways this could be achieved is to go back to what we once held dear in this part of the world but has now been discarded i.e. consensus. The Igbo traditional political system and adjudication has always been consensus based. It is this consensus that has become the missing element in our modern democracy. Funny enough, our neighbors the Yoruba are now masters of consensus building in their political selection process. Another possible means the party can adopt is the Roman Catholic Curia system for Papal selection. Let our over thirty aspirants be constituted into a college of cardinals and locked up in a room to select/elect from amongst themselves a consensus candidate. Here, each person will vote for himself and one other person he thinks is next best to take the position if not him. This does not take away the primaries where the party’s delegates will go to with all the associated party razzmatazz to endorse the person so selected.
This way the state executive would produce a credible candidate with less cantankerous issues and the associated defragmentalization of the party after each primary that makes them loss elections. Let’s not forget the fact before we say these are not within our party’s constitution that the party has the supreme right to select any candidate of her choice as the unanimous party decision on President Jonathan has indicated which will simply be ratified at a congress. And there is yet still the technical hammer of screening/disqualification, which the party sometimes welds wrongly. In spite all the above, I want to believe we do have amongst the party state exco and the national supervisors that will come, the capacity to conduct seamless free and fair congress and an eventual seamless primary. Despite what one notices as proclivities of some of the executive officers to preconceived notions and commitments already given to some of the aspirants, I still strongly believe that the majority in the executive council have enough men and women of inner steel and stellar characters with ability to look power, money, pressure, intimidation et all in the face and say to hell and then go ahead to give Imo PDP what they have lacked over the years – a sincere, genuine, humane, humble, moderate, intelligent, morally sound man who loves the traumatized Imo people more than himself and is willing to enter the gauntlet to lift our dear old Mbakwe’s Imo to where it truly belongs. Ndewo nu.
PDP Owerri Municipal