PDP Must Say No to ‘Ruggedity’ as a Criterion For Choosing a Candidate for the Edo 2016 Guber’ Poll, Part 2




I read one Esosa’s childish outburst on face book with amazement. Though his piece is intelligently deficient to warrant any response from me, I have decided to teach him some political lessons. I hope he is reading my piece.

There has always been different views as to achieving a task. At a point in Africa there were differences in ideology, a reason for the different splinter groups like the Casablanca, the Brazzaville and the Monrovia group until emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia called a meeting that united these various factions and then the OAU was formed.

My ideology has always been guided by the ideology of the greatest freedom fighters in history like Mahatma Gandhi of Indian and Martin Luther King. They believe that the most potent weapon an oppressed people can use against their oppressors is a non violent resistance. My ideology is also guided by ‘the three Cs’ which which stand for consultation, consolidation and confrontation.

If some in the PDP are claiming that you must be violent and ‘rugged ‘ before you can win an election, we are saying yes, that can be manifested by anybody and so shouldn’t be a criterion for making a choice. But we must go after more concrete and substantial qualities that will appeal to the electorate such as credibility and integrity. You must as a rational being employ, ‘consultations’ and then consolidate before employing the last ‘C’ which is confrontation because when peaceful coexistence is neglected or avoided then violent change will likely become inevitable. We must not as a party project ‘violence’ which the whole idea of ‘ruggedity’ seems to portray in the minds of the populace. The populace will resent us if we do.

As it looks now, while others are running on the so called self acclaimed ruggedity and party loyalty, only one is running on the platform of integrity and credibility. PDP as a party must watch carefully. They must learn from the Saraki’s experience. If the the ruling APC can dig up the files of one of their own as far back as 2003, then the need to field a credible candidate who will not be distracted by anti-graft agencies and ultimately forced to step down cannot be over emphasized.

It is really sad that some will never learn. only a fool will do the same thing repeatedly the same way, and expect different results. In my last treaties i spoke about PDP upholding the sacrosanctity of basing the CRITERIA for choosing the next governor of this state on integrity and credibility as that is what the good people of Edo State will vote for. That is what they will always vote for. They have defended their votes in the past and are willing to die defending it. Whoever thinks hooliganism will hold sway in this 21st Century has simply been sunk in the Bermudas of hypocrisy, self gratification and self deceit.

First and foremost, Fayose became ‘rugged’ because he had to, to defeat his enemies within the PDP like Obasanjo not to defeat the APC. It is not the acclaimed ‘ruggedity’ of Fayose that won him Ekiti state.The electorate won Fayose the elections not ‘ruggedity’ for God’s sake! The electorate defeated the APC and the sitting governor. Ekiti state is considered one of the most if not the most literate state in the whole of Nigeria. the Yoruba race are particulaly educated. Do you think any amount of ‘ruggedity’ would have made them vote Fayose? Fayose is loved by the people of Ekiti and he won their hearts.

My concern here is for the PDP to win the elections.The era of Chief Tony Anenih and other PDP elder states men, did the party proud and i will always appreciate their input. But as we observe today, that era is over. Some tactics in that era no longer works. Nigeria then was new to democracy but now the populace have become more politically and electorally conscious. Now is the time for integrity and credibility. That’s the only language the electorate listens to. Buhari deceived Nigerians with it and he won even when he was not actually credible. If he won by deceit and smokecreens then we will certainly win by truth, honesty, integrity, credibility, responsibility, transparency and accountability.

The greatest gift the PDP elder states men can give to our party and the good people of Edo is to return the state back to the PDP for the sake of Edos and the party and the only way that can be made possible is for them to listen to the yearnings of the citizenry. Only they(the citizens) now have the power to decide who becomes the next governor of Edo State.

Similarly,this is not the right time to talk about giving someone the party’s ticket because he is one of the founders of the party in the state . The likes of Chief Tony Anenih have paid their dues to the PDP as founders and have sustained the party in power for 16 good years at the national level, yet Chief Tony Anenih did not one day contest for any electoral position, not even his children. These are the true party patriots who love the party more than they love themselves. They have given their lives and personal interest for the party, not those claiming founders and seeking self gratification and fighting for their selfish interests. It is only obvious that their loyalty to the party has been because of their selfish gains from the party all through these years. Their loyalty to the party has been based on their needs of the party not the party itself and when the party is not able to meet those needs any longer, i bet they will change course.

PDP MUST base their choice on integrity and credibility. Anybody can become rugged like Fayose when the need arises. Nobody has a monopoly of ruggedness. Nnamdi Azikiwe says that a man is not innately wicked but when an attempt is made to consign him to the scrap heap of history, he shows resentment in no uncertain terms.

‘Ruggedity’ should not be a criterion because anybody can manifest it. Basing our criteria on it will be a misplaced priority. We should be after such salient criteria as those that will appeal to the people’s conscience and give us their votes of which integrity and credibility is paramount. Edo people will not vote any candidate associated with any past administration that bedeviled and destroyed this state. The party must keep the people and electorate in sight before projecting any candidate. It is the people who vote not delegates, not party leaders, and majority of the people pay much attention on candidates not party as we saw in the last general elections.



John Ewah.