Edo activist shares his thoughts on 2019 National, Edo elections
Comrade Engr. Mike O. Enahoro is an activist, political analyst, social communicator and solution provider. In this interview, he tries to react to some political issuesfrom the just concluded presidential election, Edo politics and attempts to address the imminent crisis threatening Edo State PDP and recommends emergency congresses across the State.
Q- For about months now, we have been trying to reach out to you. Can we meet you Sir?
A-Hahahahahahahaha. Me? Trying to reach me? Anyway, I don’t easily give much details about myself to avoid being attacked. You know na…Some of us who don’t give a damn, say things as they are also needs to be careful. However, my name is simply Comrade Mike O. Enahoro and I am from Edo State, though based in Lagos but always a home boy lol.
Q- How do you mean by home boy Sir?
A- Home boy because, even though I resides in Lagos, I stay more in my village than staying here.
Q-I have been following your opinions for years and have noticed some level of consistency in your depositions. What is your take about the just concluded Presidential elections?
A- Well, if truly, you have been following me on social media, you probably would have come across my views at each point in time. However, for the benefit of doubt, let me make some issue clear. That election was between two candidates; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and President Muhammadu Buhari of APC. Others were just side attractions. That’s why I have always advocated for two or three party system in Nigeria considering our peculiar case. And with a very strong system put in place, Nigeria can get it right.
On the election proper, it was very clear that, Nigerians wanted a change of people that operates the apparatus of governance at all level. That is to say, Atiku was better favored but those in charge of the contraption of government used its agents to manipulate the umpire to declare the later as winner. And from all indication, it is difficult to say that, INEC position on the declaration can’t stand the test of time.
Q-You said you are from Edo State, what can you say about the politics of Edo State?
A-Yes, I am an Edo born Nigerian. What exactly do you want me to look into in Edo politics?
Q-I am talking about, the political situation in Edo State. What can you say Sir?
A-Well, like you know, the number one citizen of Edo State is, H.E. Mr. Godwin Obaseki. By all standard, he is the person the Edo people voted for in 2016. Edo is majorly, the Benin, the Esan and the Afemai; Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts respectively.
Presently, we have the Edo South as the Governor, Edo North as the Deputy, Edo North as the Speaker, Edo South as the SSG, Edo North as the Chief of Staff leaving Edo Central Senatorial District out from the political equation of Edo State.
Of course, the Deputy Speaker that is supposedly from Edo Central is still under controversy having being impeached some time ago. So, whether or not that is been resolved politically, only God knows. It is only in Nigeria, someone will be impeached and still win election. Do not forget that, before the 2016 Governorship election, the All Progressive Congress (APC) Government of Edo State under the leadership of the former Governor now National Chairman of the ruling Party APC, H.E. Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, the Speaker was from Edo South but hurriedly packaged the Edo Central to take over the position of the Speaker that was short-lived immediately after the election. So, Edo State is presently being operated by APC government.
Q-Edo State is among the Niger Delta States and you once said that, the region is controlled by PDP. What is your view on that today, Edo is presently an APC State?
A-Well, you are very correct and I still stand by my position. There is a difference between being a PDP State and being operated by a party. Up till date, Edo State is still a PDP State by standard only that, the operations of governance are presently being controlled by APC as a result of misplaced interest of some few PDP members in the past. You will agree with me that, since 1999, all Presidential elections have always been won by PDP except elections into the positions available in the State.
Q-How do you mean by misplaced interest of some few PDP members in the past?
A-That’s simple. May be you want me to go down memory lane.
Q-That will be appreciated Sir.
A- I will attempt to summarize what happened. Yes, the problems were the lording of the party by what was then known as Godfatherism. Some people who also wanted to fast forward their political ambitions did not also help matters by championing selling out. The above, coupled with the imposition of governorship candidate and counter imposition of same for 2007 gubernatorial election caused the major friction that brought in the major political trading business in the state branch of the party. There is no doubt that, the major player wanted to correct the error in 2012 but, there was a political miscalculation in the candidate presented, tribal sentiment came in, to betray the conscience of the party. Again, the State party failed to deliver due to internal sabotage. All of the above metamorphosed to the worse scenario the party found itself in today.
Q-How come a group known as Edo PDP Parliament for positive change wants Chief Dan Orbih to quit when the problem is not him even though, the party State Chairman has denied the existence of such body?
A- I would have requested you to excuse me from responding to this question but I will not be fair to my fans who know me of saying things as they are. To that extent, I will try to make my sincere opinion on that.
I actually read the publications from major online blogs and most national dailies. The truth is that, if such group does not exist, how come the publications came? I think there are some people who wants the State Party Chairman to quit; some because, he’s yet to provide the needed leadership, to some for not being able to progress in their personal ambitions believing that, their obstacle is the party state boss and to others for not being part of the State party cabal.
Cabal in the sense, they are not being carried along or part of those who takes the decision when it matters…Frankly speaking, there is a parallel Party State EXCO in the making if not checked now. Every crisis got its symptoms. This one is of a kind. It all depends on the leadership to quickly manage it and reposition the party at the State level. It must not be allowed to degenerate to a situation of no retreat, no surrender. So, I will prefer to make my candid suggestion as follow;
As you might know, the person in charge of the State once completed the two years of his formal Boss who died in a motor accident. He was elected for another four years and re-elected for another four years through what some person considered understanding and some others imposition. But whichever way, by next year he will be completing his two tenure of four years making him spending ten years as the party State Chairman.
Some people also feel, by the popularity of PDP in Edo State, he could not win any Governorship election because, he wants to remains the number one . Whether true or not, it is difficult to change that perception now. By next year 2020, there will be primaries for candidates to represent the party during the Edo 2020 election.
To resolve the aftermath impasse of primary before the Edo 2020 main election is on its own an issue so, compounding it with those impasses from Congresses across the Units, Wards and LGAs especially that at the State level is like losing the governorship election before it is conducted when indeed, Chief Dan Orbih will not be returned as the State Chairman from all indication; he cannot recontest again because, he would have completed his two term of four years each even though may persons truly wants he to quit that position.
To me, rather than wait to allow the uprising go further, this is the time he should show leadership and class to tell the world, he loves the party and in the interest of the People’s Democratic Party to do very needful in preparation for the Edo 2020.
Q-If you don’t mind sir, what do you mean by to do the needful?
A- The needful is what will unite the party especially at the State level. That’s the only way, we can make meaningful impact going forward.
Q-Sir, can you please, make exact suggestion on how the party can be united?
A- You guys probe too much. Well, I understand most Nigerians do not resign their positions. In this case. If I were the present State Chairman of the party, what I will do especially because of today’s circumstances as enumerated above, I will resign or call for an emergency meeting which should include all and sundry.
I mean, every Chairman at all level, from Unit to State, all the leaders that have served in various capacities that are still in the party especially, serving and former Senators, Ministers, Governors, Deputy Governors, Speakers and Deputy Speakers, Presidents, etc (hahahahaha though Edo is yet to produce President and co sha).
Do not forget that in that publication, Chief Dan Orbih was also accused of not holding extended meetings but rather gather people in his house and only come to the Secretariat when he has to grant Press Conferences. So, I will bring all of these to the table especially the need to unite before 2020.
Yes, the idea of this extended and large meeting will be to unite all and agree to organise and conduct Congresses into all the positions on or before June or July this year 2019. This is a sacrifice that will naturally be appreciated by all. Yes, I can assure you guys, this will naturally put an end and set for the party a new agenda.
Do not forget, Chief Dan Orbih has so far spent nine years in all as Chairman, having completed the tenure of his formal boss. He has right to his eight years. Can he make sacrifice of less than a year because, his tenure will end by march 2020? March 2019 is almost gone now…
Q-Sir, what if Dan Orbih does not see this your suggestion the way you are seeing it?
A- Mr. Man, this is my opinion. He does not have to take it. However, I think, anything short of this is not going to help the party. Meanwhile, do not forget, the party has got its constitutional provisions to manage in all of these. What is important at this material time is the sincerity of the players, moral justification of any action taken and of course, what will make the party return to election winning one.
Without mincing words, in Nigeria today, most of the political players across all the party are the same. Their personal interest is their priority. So, I therefore challenge everyone to get involved in the Nigeria political process to help change the usual. We will not be helping the situation by staying far from participating in the political activities that brings leaders on board.
Q-Sir, in conclusion, what do you have for your people especially, members of the Edo PDP?
A- I urge all to be ready to make sacrifice if they want to have a better outing henceforth. Sacrifice is very key and ultimate tool to achieve a reasonable success…sacrifice is important to enable the party return to election wining mentality…Yes, I mean, real sacrifice to reorganize themselves, they need to make sacrifice, to afford to put in their moneys, it’s about sacrifice, to make their valued time available, it’s sacrifice, to afford to honourably give up their positions that can form the nucleus of the needed united front, it will be sacrifice, not to impose themselves on themselves a candidate that will not win election but a popular one with the necessary capacity, managerial abilities and required vigour, it’s sacrifice and to support whoever the party presents irrespective of their individual choices, it’s going to be an enormous sacrifice.
Sir, we are very grateful for this insightful discussion. We hope to talk to you in some other time. Thank you Sir.
You are all welcome and it’s be nice talking with you guys. Cheers