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No New Mega Party Can Survive —Senator Kumo

Senator Saidu Kumo is the special adviser, political matters, to the PDP acting chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.  In this interview with Ruth Choji, the former senator states that those who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) immediately they lost elections are those who want to get greener pasture and that they are not real politicians

You were a major contender for the position of chairmanship and the current chairman’ name (Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff) was not even amongst you, yet he emerged the acting chairman. What actually played out?

Although it has become a stale news now, nevertheless what I know is that party politics is dynamic and what you don’t expect can happen. The current chairman did not seek for the position of the chairman but it was the leaders of the party which include governors and major stakeholders that sat down and took the decision. They want somebody who can stand the test of time. A person who knows how the opposition was formed and had experience in different aspects of leadership. They also want somebody who can unite the party and ensure that everybody’s right is protected.

 

Some believe that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is an outsider who came in newly and that  he wouldn’t know how to restructure the party. Do you share such views?

That one is rubbish, we regard him as a member of the party and because he has been made the chairman, the party will be stronger and united. Ali Sheriff is somebody we can rely on. He is vast in Nigerian politics as a former governor, former senator and former house of reps member. He is exposed to Nigerian politics. It is true we need people of strong character, and we have so many of them in the party, but the north/east needed to finish its terms and we needed somebody who has the clout.

 

The new chairman has less than three months to go, what changes do you think he can effect within this time frame?

Our main pre-occupation for this three months is to position the party to bring out new leaders who will bring in people that will take the party back to the real owners of the party which is the masses of Nigeria. The congress will be free, fair and transparent from ward to local government, to state and national. The party as an opposition party cannot effort imposition of candidates. The party is interested in those who can contest sincerely and seek the people’s mandate without force or cohesion.

 

The person that took the former acting national chairman to court has been schemed out of the new arrangement, don’t you think this will bring another problem?

No, Barrister Gulak is not angry, he has achieved what he want to chive. He took the party to court because some people were trying to deny the north/east their remaining tenure. He has achieved his aim because the court ruled that somebody from thenorth/east must continue the tenure of the north east. He is not bitter, he was only bitter when the zone was being short change. We really thank him for being a real party member. Those members who are aggrieved because of the coming out of Modu Sherrif, we will meet them one by one  for reconciliation., we are all one family.

But so many people have defected from the PDP to the APC, how does this new leadership hope to lure them back?

In Nigerian politics, some of the members who have left the party immediately we lost elections are those who want to get greener pasture. They are not real politicians. A real politician must know that one of two things will happen once you come out to contest. Either you will win or lose. When you lose for a true party man, he will come back and stake stock of the causes of his lost and how to make amend. But if you run to join a new party that won, they won’t trust you. They know that tomorrow if they lose again, you will abandon them and move to the next winning team. But even those ones are needed in the party because for politics, you need both nuisances and decent people. Their nuisances can be used for the betterment of the party. But we have people of substance who  made the party and if they move, we will follow them and convince them to come back. But by now I believe their eyes are wide open and they know that they can never belong to that camp.so they better come back   to house they built themselves.

 

There have been reports of some people planning to float a mega party, if this come to past, what will be the impact on the PDP and APC?

Anybody thinking of forming a mega party at this time will only suffer. It is impossible because the situation today is different, nobody will think of following any party again because nobody will want to sacrifice  their billions to float a party that will edge the two main parties in Nigeria. I have heard of this but I think some people are confused and don’t know what to do. The PDP intends to follow such persons and bring them back to the PDP so that we will capture power in 2019.

 

The credibility of the PDP seems to be low because some of its key members have been indicted by EFCC, do you think Nigerians will still want to vote for such a party?

It is not the PDP, it is individuals. Whether you like it or not, there is no organization that does not have good eggs and bad eggs.so we consider these kind of people as those who miss their way.

 

But why is the PDP still retaining them as leaders?

We are running under a constitution and it is the one guiding the affairs of the party. Because they are under investigations does not mean they are guilty. We have to wait until they are found guilty. We are coming with a process of getting them out through the congress, which is constitutional. We are trying to build Nigerians’ confidence into the PDP. PDP is a party, the operators make up the party not individuals.

 

Is the North-East still going to contest the chairmanship of the party at the forthcoming convention?

I can’t say now because whenever we are having a congress, thekey positions are going to be zone because of federal character. We want everybody to participate, we don’t want to exclude any part of the country. If you remember during our last NEC, the chairman said, a committee will be set up that will take care of the congress at different levels. If they decide in their own wisdom that they want to zone the national chairmanship back to the north/east, then we will take it. But I cannot say for sure what will happen.

 

Sometime ago, the PDP said it is rebranding and since then nothing significant has been seen. What is really happening now?

The rebranding is what we are doing since we lost elections. We are trying to do that by electing a credible leadership during the convention who will take the party to a new height.

 

Is the party still considering zoning the presidency to the North in 2019?

That was part of the report of the Sen. Ekweremadu committee that was set up after the elections to see how we can rebrand the party and so it was one of their recommendations that the presidency be zoned to the north. The NEC has adopted their reports but now we are not talking about presidential candidate. We want to see how we can repositioned the house and how to bring back our people back to the party.

 

The PDP once accused the APC-led federal government of targeting her members in the ongoing fight against corruption. What is your take on this?

That is not my problem, you have to talk to the elected officers or representatives of the people who are saddled with the responsibility of leading the people.

 

As a former Senator, are you worried with the continued call by some senators on the Senate President Bukola Saraki to resign?

As a former senator, the senate is my first constituency, so I am naturally worried and I jealousy will protect and defend that place. The issue of leadership has not been handled well, it has not been left for the senators to handle it themselves. The executive and party are meddling in the affair of the senate andthey are not going to relent until they see that they have removed the senate President. It is a very dangerous trend for the executive. They should let the senate to choose its leader and be independent. Somebody from outside should not instigate this kind of thing. The senate should also pipe down because they are the last hope of the common man in this country. They should understand they are occupying a very sensitive position.

 

The post No New Mega Party Can Survive —Senator Kumo appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

This post was syndicated from Nigerian News from Leadership News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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