2015 election: South-South people want Presidency or nothing – Ex-deputy speaker

by Rachel Ogbu

Nwuche (Photo: Punch)
Chibudom Nwuche (Photo: Punch)

“Our people want Presidency, not Vice-Presidency. We are going to appeal to Nigerians to support his (Jonathan) ambition. We shall move round the country. We shall go to the North. We shall go to South-West. I don’t see his ambition as a problem,” former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche has said in his interview with journalists.

Nwuche was speaking about the Nigeria Governors’ Forum chairmanship election and the President’s re-election in 2012.

Read excerpts of the interview published in the Punch Newspaper.

At a dinner hosted by the President for PDP members, Chief Tony Anenih, canvassed automatic ticket for the party’s political office holders. Would you subscribe to that?

There are strong points for that position. A party has the right to have guidelines and constitution to regulate its activities. It may not be democratic. The argument is that in the PDP, we dispense so much resources and energy on our primaries. By the time elections come, people are exhausted. Is it justifiable? We should put our energy towards elections, not in intra-party dispute. There could be automatic tickets in deserving cases. It will reduce rancor. What I have said is that every party has the constitutional rights to regulate itself and to devise means to reduce acrimony within its ranks. In that particular light, Chief Anenih is correct. What the party must do is that it must have meetings and consultations with all interest groups. After they have discussed, they will take care of interest groups. When that is done, I don’t see any problem with it.

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The crisis in Rivers State, some have said, has to do with the 2015 ambition of the President…

For us in the South-South, we think that the President has done well and deserves a second term. We don’t believe people should proscribe his constitutional rights because he is a minority. Anybody in the South-South, a governor or member of the National Assembly, who goes against that general interest, will have problems with our people. For the first time, since independence, we have our son as President; a God-fearing man who is doing well. People of the South- South like the President to continue. They are fully behind him. They will talk to other Nigerians to support his ambition. The President has done his mid-term report; it shows that where he met Nigeria in 2011, from all objective indices, Nigeria has improved. The report indicates that inflation has dropped. Our people want Presidency, not Vice-Presidency. We are going to appeal to Nigerians to support his (Jonathan) ambition. We shall move round the country. We shall go to the North. We shall go to South-West. I don’t see his ambition as a problem.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has shown that there is no discipline in the PDP. What is your comment?

On the issue of lack of discipline among members of the party with regard to the election of the chairman of the NGF, I think if the party had taken a position, if anybody goes against it, that would be anti-party. I don’t have all the facts on that matter. But if the party had supported a candidate to emerge, as the largest block in the NGF, if anybody goes against such a candidate that would be anti-party.

The party should have the courage to act against such a person. The governors’ forum is not our problem in Rivers State. Our problem is lack of empowerment of our teeming youths who are destitute; who are jobless; people who have not had any democratic dividend, lack of infrastructure in Rivers State; lack of roads, water, light…lack of development. The concern of our governors in the South -South should be to develop and apply the funds from revenue derivation properly and prudently and empower people. Why is it important to be its chairman? If a region produces President, should that region produce chairman of the NGF? That is not right. For us, we like our governors to apply money from revenue derivation properly for development. There should be a difference when your state that has much money from a state that does not have much money. Our people are the poorest in the country and unemployment rate is very high in the state. Governance should be about the people and their welfare. Whoever the party backs should be the chairman of the NGF.

One comment

  1. THIS MAN SHOULD SHOT UP.HE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF.WHAT DID U DO FOR THE EKPEYE PEOPLE WHEN U WHERE A REP DEPUTY SPEAKER,HOW MANY EKPEYE SONS HAV U EMPLOYED IN UR VESSELS AND BADGES.JST THINK VERY WELL,U’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR EVEN AN UPATA MAN.SO SHOT UP AND EAT UR MONEY TILL DEATH COMES CALLING.

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