2015: PDP May Loose Presidency To Apc – SHULUWA

Posted: March 6, 2013 in political, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)  kingpin in Benue State, Chief Abu King
Shuluwa, has tasked his party to wake up from slumber otherwise it
will lose hold on power ahead of the 2015 general elections,
particularly with the emergence of the new born merger of opposition
parties, the All Progressive Congress, APC. He warns his party against
fielding President Jonathan to re-contest saying if he dares,
opposition will have their way. According to the former member of the
Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and sole
administrator of the defunct Social Democratic Party SDP, his party’s
saving grace come 2015 would be measured by the crediblility of the
candidate it fields, adding that the PDP made a costly mistake
bringing President Jonathan as president, maintaining that “if PDP
decides to bring Jonathan again, there will be serious problems in
this country, and the opposition (APC) will win”. He also bares his
mind on other burning issues in Benue where he condemned the way
Governor Suswam is runing the state as a personal estate, saying his
frequent foreign trips have forced everything to a halt. Read
excerpts:

Sir, what is your take on the recent merger of four opposition parties
who have decided to team up against the ruling PDP ahead of 2015
general elections, do your party PDP feel threatened ?

The Peoples Democratic Party is not threatened by the merger, but it
has to work very hard. The idea of merger is not a bad one.  The
situation where we have over 50 political parties in Nigeria is the
worse thing that has ever happened to this country. There are some
political parties that have never won even local government  elections
in Nigeria, not even a councillor, but they call themselves  political
parties and during the election they get allowances from INEC, why?
Some people form these political parties to get stipends and share
among themselves. So I see no need why we should have many political
parties in this country. Go to every state in this country you will
find that there are two or more political parties. So the merger will
reduce the bogus political parties we have in this country that are
useless and have nothing to do.
Again, when you have a merger, you have a strong opposition that can
keep the major party on its toes. In otherwords, having the merger in
place and not been able to challenge the leading party makes no sense
again. This merger must leave up to its expectation to make the
leading party stand on its toes all the times.
When you are in a competition, you work hard and that is what is
happening in PDP, there is no opposition in Nigeria, and that is why
people are saying PDP is not working, no matter how battered we (PDP)
are, if there is no opposition we will still win.
The only thing that will move the opposition against PDP is when a
good candidate is presented to challenge the candidate that the PDP
will present. If that candidate the PDP will field is a bad one, then
there is problem for PDP. So PDP must also ensure they come up with a
good candidate.
Is Jonathan not a good candidate for the PDP?
Has he been a good candidate? I said it before that I don’t know
whether there is a government in Nigeria. I have never felt there is
government in Nigeria particularly the federal government, I have
never seen the presence of federal government in Benue. So I dont
think Jonathan is a politician, I never looked  at Jonathan as a
politician. So if PDP decides to put Jonathan again to contest the
2015 presidential election, there will be serious problem in this
country, and the opposition will just be laughing.
Sir, a cursory look at the political scenario in the country today
shows that state governors have taken over the control of that party
PDP, what is your reaction to this?

That is what I said, as soon as  you have the money, it becomes who
pays the piper, dictates the tune. They control this party because
they finance the party from the government angle right from federal,
state and local governments. We have never had this kind of thing
before. I was the sole adminidtrator of SDP, Adasu, the Governor of
Benue then, could not control the SDP, he must go through the party
for whatever he wants done. He would ensure , he summons a meeting
with party caucus and table his problems and we decide for him on what
to do, those things we do not want done, we will tell him no. But
today, state governors have changed everything simply because they are
financing their parties.
As a co-founder of the ruling PDP, are you satisfied with the state of
affairs in the party in Benue state particularly the way and manner
the government is run?

If you narrow this question to Benue alone, you will be very unfair to
me, to Benue people and Nigerians in general. In Benue I was the sole
administrator of SDP having lost primaries in SDP I was invited in
Lagos and handed over the mantle of leadership of SDP to me.
I made sure I delievered the governorship election to the SDP and I
know what party admintration means. But today, as soon as someone is
elected governor, he becomes the leader of the party and that is the
problem, not just in Benue, at the national level, Jonathan has
assumed the leadership of the party, PDP. He dictates for party,the
feeling now is he who pays the piper, dictates the tune. They provides
finances for the party.
More so, those who are running the PDP at the three tiers of
government are not the founding fathers of the party. Most of them
came from other political parties, therefore they dont have the idea
of how the PDP is supposed to be run. So to answer your question, I am
not satisfied with the way and manner the party is run in Benue state.
While you are claiming not to be aware of what is happening in Benue,
two things are bothering Benue people, the frequent foreign trips of
the governor and his inability to reshuffle cabinet.

 Do you think the concerns been expressed by the people are genuine?
Let me start from the last part of the question.When you are a
governor you are at liberty in consultations with politicians in
various areas to pick your commissioners and advisers. You dont pick
them because you dont give them period within which to serve with you.
You pick them based of what you want them to do. And if you are
satisfied with what they are doing they will remain with you until the
day you are out of office. In other words, it means that the governor
is satisfied with them. Because the people of Benue State did not
choose those commissioners for him, so why should you ask him to sack
them. If the Governor is satisfied with what they are doing, there is
nothing Benue people can do.
Iam also disturbed by the frequent trips of the governor. One, he
doesn’t need to take permission from me anyway, but I always want to
know where is my governor going because we have given him the mandate
to stay here and not to be going here and there except for good
official reasons, but if he takes a leave, he can go anywhere he
wants. But you wake up one day, you say you want to see the governor,
they tell you, he has already left for France, he has already left for
London, US, Iowa and other countries of the world. So honestly, I am
disturbed because frequent travelling is not even good, you dont know
what may even happen. It is not good to be travelling in the air every
now and then.
Secondly, the people who gave you the mandate want to see you most of
the time even if you cannot solve their problems they want you around,
and when you are not around it makes things difficult for the people.
You are a very strong politician from Zone A. The zone is already
tearing apart over the 2015 senatorial election between Governor
Suswam and Senator Barnabas Gemade. Are you comfortable with the
situation, and if not what is your advise?
Everybody has the right to contest for any position, but I think the
race has not started yet.
Is that to confirm insinuations that King Shuluwa too is gunning for
zone a senate?

What do you mean by confirmation?
Because feelers are that King Shuluwa will be running for zone A
Senate, is that true?

So you have said it, but I have not made up my mind yet.
Sir, if you finally make up your mind, will it be in the affirmative,
considering that there are so many young  men at the grassroots who
are canvassing for you?

This question should not have come in now, but I dont know why you
people have decided to cage me and put me somewhere. Look, I am
entitled to contest any position in Benue today. By the constitution,
if I decide with my prayers and other people as to whether I should
contest, I will go in for the race.
Sir, irrespective of whether you are running for the senate of zone A,
the Kwande people are of the augument that 2015 it is their turn
because all the other segments of the zone have tested the position.
Have they any genuine argument?

If you talk about that argument, I will say yes. I would also argue
with them that in the whole of zone A, of all the people that
contested or have won the senatorial seats were from Ipusu, the
Ichongo people have never had it. So the Ichongo’s in kwande and the
Ichongo’s in Katsina-Ala and the Ichingo’s in Logo have the right to
contest for the position.
Another burning issue that has cropped up in Tivland is that of
governorship. The MINDA people are clamouring that it is their turn to
take the slot. But the Jechira people are putting up a strong argument
that they had just half tenure not even a complete one and so should
be given the mandate.

 As an elder statesman, what is your position on where the governor goes in 2015?
Based on your question, the Jechira people have had a taste of it. I
want to know whether the MINDA people have also had a taste of it.
A strange phenomenon has come up in Tivland that if a particular zone
produces a Tor Tiv, it should not produce a governor. What is your
reaction to this? That it happened during Aper Aku days too.
Who said it, as of that time? Who was responsible to determining as to
whether the governor and the Tor Tiv do not come in one place?
It was late J. S Tarka sir.
Thank you. Who is the political leader of the Tiv people today?
We don’t know sir.
You don’t know? And therefore, who is to determine for you?
Elderstatesmen like you sir.
Let me say this, it is not yet time, when the time comes, we will sit
at a round table and discuss.
We are saying the Tiv people as of that time had Senator J. S Tarka as
their political leader. Why is that the Tiv people of today  do not
have a political leader?
That is why I woke them up when I organised the Tiv National
Conference. The Tiv national conference, which I called for, was to
find out what can we do? If we cant have a single leader, we should
have leaders who can sit and look at these problems that we are having
and handle them. Today, we are empty when it comes to leadership, that
is the problem of the Tiv people, and that was why the conference was
held.
On the issue of the governorship of Benue, let me be blunt with you.
If you are talking about the governor of Benue, can you sit and
discuss the governor Benue without talking about the Idomas and the
Igedes sitting on the round table and discussing? Because you narrowed
it down to the Tivs and I find it very difficult.
It is true that the Idomas and Igedes have influential role to play on
who becomes the next governor, but the Tiv are the determining factor
that is why we are …

(Cuts in…) I expected you to have told me that, because David Mark
wants to have an Apa state therefore Idomas may likely get Apa
State…eh he, therefore the remaining one is left for the Tivs, and
that I will understand. If that is the case, then the Tivs will sit
and delibrate in accordance with the Tiv culture. And what is the Tiv
culture generally? “ya na wangbian”(Eat and give your brother). How do
we share our issues, Ichongo and Ipusu. And all the governors that we
have had are all from Ipusu. Whether they have tasted it twice,
whether they have tasted it eight years they are all from Ipusu. And
therefore, what do you expect, that the next governor,if it is a Tiv
affair, should it come from Ipusu again?Then the principle of eat and
give your brother is defeated. If you said this is for Ichongo, then
it is left for Kwande, Katsina Ala,  Ichongo and the MINDA people will
sit and decide where it should go.
So what is the yardstick of measuring who becomes governor in Benue?
That is why you should not bring in the issue of Tor Tiv in

governorship, period. If you want us to go strictly on politics, don’t
bring the issue of Tor Tiv. What was done during Tarka era was based
on selfish interest, to deny the Tor Tiv from Kwande. In any case, the
first Tor Tiv was from Jechira, the man next to the Tor Tiv was from
Kwande, Bendega who was the deputy Tor Tiv. And after the demise of
the first Tor Tiv, Bendega should have been the Tor Tiv if the right
thing was to be done, but he was denied and given to Gondo Aluor
because he won the first Tor Tiv.
So what was the basis for Tarka to say “a rat cannot have two tails”.
He did it on his own selfish reasoning. Did he consult the Tiv? why
should he mix politics and tradition? And I have always said this,
even as of that time the governor and Tor Tiv were all from Ipusu,
Akperan Orshi and Aper Aku were all from Ipusu, and we the Ichongo
only watched what happened. We could have said  no, you cannot have
the Tor Tiv in Ipusu and have the Governor in the Ipusu too.

Comments
  1. There is certainly a great deal to learn about this topic.

    I really like all of the points you’ve made.

    Like

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