Former governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Adamawa State, Ambassador Mohammed Marwa, in a chat with newsmen recently in Yola said, he has been under tremendous pressure to return to his former party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insisting that he was part and parcel of the military which 'owned' the party. CLEMENT EKONG was there.
There are rumours of your cross carpeting back to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). How far is this true ?
No I am not. I remain a loyal and committed member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). It is a fabricated rumour, there’s no truth in the statement making the round in the state and beyond. Though, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are making concerted efforts to draw back former stakeholders like my humble self, who had contributed immensely to the growth of the party. It must be quite clear that “We owned the PDP (I mean the military government of which I was a part).
Sometimes people forget and actually think that the best of the PDP is something that occurred after the presidential election of 1999, but remember that it was General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s government of which I played important part as military administrator of Lagos State that midwifed the current democracy. So I’ve been in it from the beginning; I am not a new player entirely even though as a full member which I joined several years later, but the critical thing is that we midwifed it.
Having said that, I’ve not returned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This statement is categorical and it is very important to lay to rest some of the rumours that have been flying out.
Was there any consultation between you and the PDP working committee as alleged?
The truth of the matter is that “yes I have been under pressure, that is true and I cannot deny it, I have been under tremendous pressure both from outside and within especially from the machinery of the People’s Democratic Party in the state, but I told them I am in the Congress for Progressive Change and would not change to any other political party.
What is your comment on the activities of the PDP working committee in the state aimed at bringing back the founding fathers and your merger’s dream?
I cannot comment on what a committee of another political party’s is doing, I can only confirm that the Congress for Progressive Change will soon embark on a nationwide drive for mobilization and fresh registration of millions of Nigerians.
I want to admit categorically that CPC is making reasonable efforts to form a merger with other like-minded political parties in the country and if that is what you are referring to as a merger party, then I am confident that that will happen by the Grace of God.
Some of your loyalists have moved back to the ruling PDP based on the harmonisation going on in the party and alleged your involvement. How true is the statement?
Thank you very much. I’ve never participated in any (PDP) harmonisation meetings because I am in the (CPC). Having said that, the CPC and the politics of parties in Nigeria is not a military formation where you will order members to do against their wills. For example, ordering them to move “from right and they will all turn right and keep going”, this is democracy and people are entirely free to pursue their own individual interests.
As you know, “politics is a matter of interest, people are in politics pursuing particular, individual and parties to achieve certain designated self interest, so we can not order people to either move left or right; so, that is what you are witnessing.
Therefore I cannot deny the fact that it is possible some people who in the past had been in my campaign who already followed me out of the PDP, feels that their interests will better be served in the present climate in the People’s Democratic Party. I cannot stop people as there are people also that are crossing over to CPC as they believed their interest would be better served where I am.
What is your take on the just concluded local government elections in the state?
As you are rightly aware, we are at the election tribunal right now challenging the entire process of the election and we have confidence that the local government election will not stand because there are vital issues, there are fundamental electoral breaches that are violated.
The electoral laws of 2002 that provides for the election of local government councils was violated while the government of the day in collaboration with the body responsible for the conduct the said election in the state only decided to come up with figures and names of people they hand-picked to occupy the councils’ seats. Thus, the (CPC) will not accept such result which culminated as a result of the purported elections.
As a major stakeholder in the state, what is your advice to the people?
We continue to explain that the business of politics can be positive, decisive, corrective and could reform the politicians as well as the electorate. It is for the welfare and security of the citizens that we say that the CPC is the last man standing, honest, straight forward, no deceit that we will perform and work for the people.
We urge the people to continue to exercise hope and patience at the same time continue to remember that ultimately, the progress of the state is in their hands as eligible voters. They should not throw away their opportunities for crooks offering them mere N200 during voting, for this means the wasting away of another four years. In, fact, there is no need to repeat the circumstances that we are in.
It is therefore our hope that as the day roll by, the electorate should organize themselves to remain focused, hopeful and committed to making their own change by themselves; this is my message to the people.