BABA-NA-BABA ON 2015 VIBES Imo’s Rescue Is In Your Hands: An Open Letter To The Imo State Chairman Of The PDP, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie


By onwuasoanya fcc jones, 08035828819

It couldn’t have been the easiest of times for you, but hard times are for great men to manage and excel, I do not have any doubt that you are one of the greatest of men in this State. Combining the preparations for the funeral of your father and our patriarch with the hefty challenge of galvanising PDP members in the State to welcome the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his entourage as they joined you and other Party faithfuls to welcome back our leaders and siblings who deserted the Party earlier as a fallout of certain grievances and misunderstandings, is not a task for little minds. I am happy like many other independent partisans that the PDP in the State is welcoming back its best, it goes a long way in guaranteeing our faith that the present mal-governance in the State will soon be a thing of the past. It is also encouraging to me and many others that someone of your untainted and enviable pedigree has been given the responsibility of piloting the affairs of the Party at this time.
22nd of February 2014 will remain evergreen in the memories of all those interested in the politics and governance of Imo State. That day marked the first time since this present democratic experience that a sitting President is visiting our dear State for the sole purpose of galvanising members of an opposition Party, it is also the first time a sitting President is visiting Imo State without the Governor of our State playing a central role in the invitation and reception of the President. There is no doubt that you are a very lucky man, it is in your first outing as the Chairman of our State chapter of Africa’s largest political Party that we are witnessing this magnitude of defections by some of Imo’s brightest politicians. It is a great honour to you that this is happening now, but the main inspiration for this letter is to ensure that this success does not turn to a kind of failure.
A quick scan through the list of those who have recently decamped from the ruling Party in the State to the PDP, will better abreast anyone of the heavy challenges that await you. The political and mass mobilisation credentials of most of these politicians cannot be questioned, but what is questionable is their unalloyed loyalty to the Party and their readiness to sacrifice their personal ambitions for the good of the Party. This is where your main challenge lies and I do not have any doubt that you could muster the ability to succeed at that. A number of these defectors are certainly joining the Party because of their personal ambition to fly the Party’s flag at the next governorship election in the State. This ambition in itself is neither bad nor harmful, but what may be bad or harmful about these ambitions is the procedures that may be adopted by those nursing the ambitions. The Party has never been in lack of credible Party members who could make something good out of their governorship ticket. There are credible and formidable Party members who have stayed with the Party all these years and contributed immensely to her growth, who have not hidden their intention to vie for the governorship seat of the State under the PDP platform, they must not be shut out for any reason. They must be treated fairly and be seen to have been treated fairly.
It is not my opinion that the Party’s governorship ticket must be given to any of the old members who have consistently kept faith with the Party, any of the returning or even new members can get the ticket. It is however important that every member, whether old, new or returning is given a credible sense of belonging and fairness. There are certain aspirants who have gone to town with the rumour that they are the most preferred candidates of the Presidency. One of them who has spent most of his life in the United States of America practicing medicine, has gone as far as telling people that he was begged by the President to return to Nigeria for the sole task of being made Governor of the State. This set of contestants must be closely watched. Those who could insult the sensibilities of our people with such cooked up stories must be cautioned by the Party. While the President is very highly respected by the people of Imo State, Imolites are too enlightened for any imported gubernatorial aspirant to be imposed on them. Such stories as someone being anointed by Aso Rock or the Presidency does not portray the Party in good light. It is important that you direct the Party’s information managers to control the kind of messages and rumours that emanate from Party leaders and stakeholders.
Apart from the governorship ticket of the Party, you should in lieu with the members of the State executive of the Party and other stakeholders investigate and adopt credible, transparent and fair strategies towards conducting the Party primaries so that at the end of the day, the Party will remain as compact and as formidable as it presently is. Some old Party members have already grumbled to my hearing over their suspicions that moneybags may succeed in buying up the Party tickets for other legislative and even executive positions in the State. This is a mere assumption which must not be proven true. most of those who left the APC, left because of the undemocratic and godfather styles of the Party leaders. As a truly progressive and dyed in the wool democratic organisation, the PDP in the State must show the difference.
Away from Party primaries and leadership positions, it is important that the Party under your efficient leadership devises water tight strategies towards re-orientating your members on the indispensable importance of Party loyalty, discipline and superiority. All over the world, political Parties are known to have their peculiar styles and principles. While a political Party is a vehicle for the attainment of political power, members must be educated that personal acquisition of political power is not the only reason why people join political Parties. You may need to start from members of the Party executive councils at State, Local Government and ward levels. It is an unfortunate truth that some of those who are presently occupying leadership positions in the Party will not blink an eyelid before betraying the Party at the slightest opportunity. Listening to Mr. Blyden Amajirionwu who was till a few weeks ago the image maker of the Party at the State level pour out all kinds of unsavoury statements against this same Party would give you a peep into the unpatriotic mind sets of some members of the Party’s leadership. You can either re-educate some of them or weed them out before they betray the Party when it matters most. In fact, I was listening to a Ward Chairman telling some of us that should the APC give him the ticket to represent his ward as a councillor, that he will immediately jump ship. This is unfortunate, how petty some of these Party leaders are thinking.
There are also a good number of Party members and leaders who see the Party as an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), where they come to withdraw money from, whenever the Party hosts any program. During preparations for the Party’s sensitisation rally which attracted the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan, most of the Party leaders were more keen on how much money they could realise from the program than the success of the program. While money is undeniably important to the success and growth of any organization, the Party should look out more for those who are more interested in working for the Party than those who are interested in the Party working for them. A situation where most people began to author fraudulent proposals for money to be released to them to mobilise people should be discouraged. This is actually a hectic task, but it is not impossible.
I joined the delegation that received the National Youth Leader of the Party at Ambassador Kemafor Chikwe’s residence and I must confess my admiration for the choice of a real youth to occupy that position. The young man seems well prepared for the task of mobilising Nigerian youths to support the Party. But, I took special interest in the lamentations of one of the youth leaders who went with us on that visit. He complained bitterly that the Party leadership at the State level are not giving the youths enough sense of belonging. I was surprised when he revealed that less than eight hours to the sensitisation rally, the State Youth leader who was supposed to be in charge of youth mobilisation had not received any dime for the mobilisation of the youths. The National Youth leader and the Special Adviser to the President on Youth and Students affairs were also disappointed that the total money approved for the youths for that program was far less than one million Naira.
Sir, it is important to appreciate that the youths form the bulwark of any organisation that must progress in its aspirations. There is no argument about the fact that a genuinely inclusive political Party needs to ensure that the youths participate in all its affairs. The PDP can do better by ensuring that young membrs of the Party are included in the development policies of the Party, this will go a long way in helping the youths develop the right leadership skills. The Party needs to avoid the mistake of marginalising the youths as being expressed by some of the Party’s youths. There is no doubt that the PDP as a political Party has the most youth friendly policies and manifestoes, but these Party policies and mechanisms that guarantees active youth participation are hardly implemented because of the vested interests of the established political elites. This my dear Chairman, needs to be corrected. It is an established fact that the PDP youths have remained more steadfast than our established leaders, who jump to other political Parties at the slightest grievance.
Our women also need to be better mobilised and re-educated on the real principles of women participation in politics. The people do not seem to have much problems with the way the Party handles its teeming women members at the moment. However, there could still be rooms for some improvement. The Party in the State can have a way of ensuring that the real women are better carried along in the affairs of the Party. The idea of dealing with only established women may not be the best; local and market women constitute the majority of those who can give the Party victory in any election. More than giving them money, what most of these women needs most is recognition and sense of belonging.
There is no doubt that we have a very malignant plague which presently terrorises our dear State, and the people are staking all their hopes on the PDP’s ability to rescue them from the present disaster we have as government in this State. However, the Party which you lead may fail in the task of rescuing this State from the devious stranglehold of a ‘fraudtocrat’ if the Party assumes that it will be a smooth sail to victory. Sir, you must roll up your sleeves and get to work, for the man with whom we are going to battle for this power is really desperate. He has not left any stone unturned in his effort to ensure that Imo remains under his inefficient and lies-filled leadership. Sir, the Party needs to be steps ahead of him through creative mobilisation and re-enlightenment strategies. The present government has actually fed too many of our people with the contagious disease of lies, an antidote needs to be administered with speed.
I can hardly exhaust all the information I have for you towards ensuring the success of the PDP, but I will halt here with best wishes to you as you march on in the fight to rescue our dear State. I pray that you do not get weighed down by the stress, for there shall be much of it. May God give you the extra energy in body, spirit and mind to take betrayals in your stride, for they shall come. In all things, I beg of you to think not of those who betray or disappoint you, but think of ordinary Imo people whose future you have been enthroned to brighten. Think of your children and other children whose future would have been borrowed away if this government is allowed to remain after May 29th, 2015. Think about the many women and little girls whose reproductive systems will be destroyed through abortions if this government stays beyond 2015, think, Sir, think about the many disasters and frustrations that may be the lot of Imolites if you do not, through your God endowed leadership sagacity stabilize the necessary machineries towards rescuing this State.
Accept my most sincere condolences on the death of your father and our patriarch, Late Pa John Anyaehie. Though his age was ripe, but we will certainly miss him. May God bless you.