In this interview with SIMON UTEBOR, Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Makbere Osom, speaks about APC’s incursion into the state and the chances of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015
How is the PDP taking the emergence of APC in Bayelsa State?
In political strides, parties must emerge if politics is to be played as a plurality for the citizenry to be able to judge which one has the best of manifestoes to offer them. It is welcome as much as democracy welcomes it.
Don’t you think the APC is a threat to the ruling PDP in the state?
It is not a threat in anyway. The Peoples Democratic Party is a threat to the All Progressives Congress because it has come to wrest power. PDP has found its root, PDP has stabilised, and PDP has come to stay. So, it is those parties that are itching for political recognition that should be scared of the PDP and not the PDP being scared of them.
Do you think the new national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has what it takes to salvage the party?
He is a young man who can fit into the shoes he has been given. We just came back from paying him a solidarity visit in Abuja. In this era where the PDP has internal battles, we expect somebody who will mend fences, build bridges and reconcile factions. And these areas formed the fulcrum of his speech. He is a man that is ready to search for the party’s lost sheep with a view to bringing back our collective arsenal to face the challenges the other political parties are ready to bring.
Do you share the view that those legislators, who insist on defecting from the PDP to the APC, should lose their seats?
Let us take the logic this way. PDP is a registered political entity and it is presumed from that platform that all those who hold political offices under the PDP, were so registered. Now, if you want to defect from PDP as a political office holder, don’t you think the proper time should be on the eve of another election?
If you do so before an election, common sense should dictate to you that you have to first relinquish the position you are occupying under the banner of the PDP before you switch to another party.
Before you defect, you must not cross the carpet into another party while you are still holding positions under the banner of another party.
As a lawyer, what line of action would you advise the PDP to take in handling the issue of defections?
I know that the matter is already in court, my views on this may sound subjudice but since there is freedom of expression, my opinion is what will be of benefit to Nigerians. What I would have done is to go to court, to seek a declaration that those who defected while their PDP mandate subsists, should lose their seats since those seats only got to them under the banner of the PDP or any other party they were in and until the expiration of such tenure, they are not qualified to defect.
It is different from when a non-political office holder is defecting from one party to another. He does not have any bar or tenure. But when you occupy an office that has a tenure, within the pendency of that tenure, you are not qualified to defect (unless you can prove division in the party you wish to leave).
Do you think Jonathan has the moral right to contest in 2015?
Certain persons in this country enjoy oppressing others. They think they can repress and oppress some other persons. And we Nigerians have failed to live up to our intellectual billing. It is insulting to the cerebrum for anybody to wake up and tell us that somebody, who is President of this country, is not qualified to contest a second term simply because they are afraid that incumbency factor is going to work in favour of the person.
This whole thing offends intellectual reasoning because there is no constitution all over the world that someone, who was a vice president to someone before, cannot enjoy two tenure as President. It is immoral to say that. I just think they are working on the intellectualism of Nigerians; trying to poke us to see if we can react. It is only an argument that is advanced from the bounds of fear. They should just prepare themselves. The truth is that there is nobody in the opposition that has the pedigree. Nobody in the opposition has the unblemished record to contest against Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan himself may not be a saint, but actually there is nobody in the opposition better than him.
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