PRESIDENCY: Why North Should Wait Till 2027— Ogbemudia
- Says Jonathan Has Power To Resolve Governors’ Impasse
- Oshiomhole Shunned Our Plea To Join PDP’
And contrary to the statement by the PDP that Governor Adams Oshiomhole begged to join the party prior to the 2007 and 2012 governorship election in Edo State, Ogbemudia disclosed how he led some PDP leaders to appeal to Oshiomhole to join the party, but the plea was turned down by the former labour leader. He spoke on other national issues.
The assessment one can give is that it has been smooth, in the sense that everyone in Nigeria today appreciates democracy. Democracy means freedom, but freedom has its own obligations. I am enjoying democracy. We have made tremendous progress.
Yes, those who are worried are people who do not know the problems government faces. To lay one line that will carry eleven KVA from Delta to Sokoto or Maiduguri costs fortunes, and it is more than anything a state can produce. So one must first of all appreciate the enormity of the problems facing the Federal Government and then try to encourage it to do more. I know that the purpose of opposition is to pressurize the government to do more, but sometimes they get it wrong. Once in a while, they should say, ’Yes, the President is trying in some areas but can do more’; that will encourage him.
The Governors Forum, according to experts, is not in the Constitution, but, as far as I am concerned, whether it is in the Constitution or not, it has come to stay. When five people come together to form a group, it may not be in the Constitution but they feel it is the right thing. The governors are the custodians of the democratic votes, they are the ones running the states, they are supposed to be the chief security officers of their states. So if you want their cooperation, you implore them to help you, talk to them like brothers, talk to them like friends, talk in a way that will encourage them to help you the more. But if anybody has succeeded in intimidating someone to do what he likes, I don’t think the Governors Forum is the one that can be intimidated to do what game they want them to play. So it is through negotiation, Nigeria has developed a language called dialogue, so they should dialogue. The President should be the arbiter, he should not support any one. He should call the two warring factions together and settle the problem. I expect the President to settle the issues so that the governors don’t break into factions, otherwise the 2015 elections will not be smooth.
Well Tony Anenih has spoken his mind. It is left for the electorate in each state to decide whether the governor has performed to deserve a return ticket. You cannot come from Edo State to tell the man in Kaura Namoda that his governor has done well. He will not believe you if he has not performed well.
I think the logical conclusion is that the state of emergency is necessary. But my personal view is that if the governors have been allowed to perform their functions as chief security officers, there would not have been need for the state of emergency. They don’t have the apparatus available to the Federal Government, if the Federal Government had allowed the governors to do their jobs and given them all the facilities they needed, this emergency would have been unnecessary. So I expect the Federal Government to allow the governors to function effectively as the chief security officers of their state after the emergency. The governors should get all the powers that accompany being their respective states chief security officers.
My view is that we in the South-south want Jonathan to continue in power beyond 2015. The North is equally interested in the presidency. We should sit down and talk. If we talk, four years will not do any harm to anybody; the matter can be resolved. The South-west came in, in 1999 and served for eight years. The South-south should also do eight years. And the truth is that the South-east is also entitled to the presidency when the South-south must have finished its eight years.
We have come a long way from 1914 to 2013; during those years, we passed through thick and thin and the lesson that we ought to have learnt is that we needed to work together as a team with all hands on deck to achieve our ultimate goal. It is still not late, the people should cooperate with the government of the day, four years in the life of a nation is nothing, but, in the life of a person, it means a lot. For this nation to survive, we all need to put all hands on deck and we should all support the government of the day.