The Chairman of PDP Board of Trustee, Tony Anenih, has explained the rationale behind the recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for second term by the leadership of the party in the South- south, urging the North to support the bid in the interest of the nation.
Anenih pointed out that the people of the South South had made sacrifices to achieve the unity of the country, adding that the North had no option other than to support Jonathan for his second term as president of Nigeria.
“Our brothers and sisters in the North, we have reasons to be part of the contributions of the South-south zone to Nigeria’s development. The zone has, over the years, made sacrifices, including supreme sacrifices not only to keep this country together but also for economic development,” he said.
“ Our sons and daughters such as Chief Tony Enahoro, Chief Okotie Eboh, Isaac Boro, Gen.David Ejoor, Chief Dennis Osadebey, Chief Marere etc, have served this country with great dedication. In the political history of Nigeria, the South-south has always been a close ally of the North. We have fought political battles together. We have given support to the North when it matters most. The current situation calls for corporation, in appealing to the conscience of Nigerians, in the prevailing circumstance; we must claim our right with dignity and determination in the interest of our dear nation.
“That is the message from the entire leadership of the South-south to with dignity and determination in the interest of our dear nation. “That is the message from the entire leadership of the South-south to our brothers in the North, that we need their support day and night, not only to win election also to win peace” .
PRESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Saturday, at the South-south Unity Party of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), held in Benin-City, vowed that his administration will crush Boko Haram exactly the way it fought Ebola virus disease.
The President also boasted that the PDP will recapture Rivers and Edo states in 2015 and 2016, insisting that the entire South-south must return to the PDP as it were in 1999.
This comes as South-south PDP leaders and governors, through the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, urged the North to back Jonathan’s re-election bid, asserting that the people of the zone were determined to ensure his re-election. According to Anenih, the North must reciprocate the gesture of the South-south in the political empowerment of the North in the past.
Jonathan, who arrived the Benin Airport at about 1pm, was welcomed by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and members of the Edo State Executive Council. He proceeded with the governor to the commissioning of the reconstructed Benin-Ore-Lagos dual carriage road before storming the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for the PDP rally.
Dignitaries at the rally include the Vice President, Arch.Namadi Sambo, Senate President, David Mark, National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Seriaki Dickson (Bayelsa), Theodore Orji (Abia) and the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State. Others are former governors of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and Prof.Osariemen Osunbor; a former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alameiseigha; Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; Senator Roland Owie; Chief Dan Orbih (Edo PDP Chairman); Captain Hosa Okunbor; Ken Imasuagbon; Gen.Charles Airhiavbere; Senator Ehigie Uzamere; Chief Tom Ikimi; and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Addressing the rally, Jonathan declared that his administration had made giant strides in infrastructural development despite criticisms from the opposition, just as he urged PDP members to ensure unity to be able to win the forthcoming general elections.
His words, “Before coming to this stadium, we commissioned the Benin-Ore-Shagamu dual carriage road. The governor (Oshiomhole), though he is not a PDP member appreciates that work. And we promise Nigerians that we will improve on infrastructures. And if you observe carefully, those who travel, you will know that the PDP administration has improved the quality of our roads.
“We cannot do all our roads the same day, but, within this short time we have been in power, we have reconstructed the roads, we have also fixed the airports. So when we talk about infrastructure, PDP is not only talking about feeding people. There was somebody who said PDP believes in stomach infrastructure. Yes because PDP must ensure food security. Every President in this world talks about food security and job creation.
“ And we have been commended for reducing hunger, our detractors don’t even want Nigerians to know that we are working, but those who monitor what is happening in the world know that we are working. Recently, we were recognized for fighting Ebola disease. So I promise you that there must be food security and anybody who says that we should not talk about food security is not ready to lead the people.
“You are all aware that we have conquered Ebola and we will surely crush Boko Haram. And if you look at what is happening, a lot of things are changing. Everything is turning around”.
‘ We will get all our states back’
Admonishing PDP members to be united ahead of the 2015 general elections, the President said: “Let me appreciate the leadership of the party for their commitment and members of our party from the non-PDP states because we know the things they pass through. We are here in Edo for a unity rally, we are not here for campaign, we are here for a unity rally because we must bring our party members together especially now that elections are coming.
“This is South-south Unity Rally. Elections are coming and we have different interests. We appeal to our people, from state to National Assembly, that so many people will be interested in this position but only one person will go. We belong to the same party, so when we are struggling to get to this position, we must do it decently so that we don’t create enemies amongst ourselves. If we don’t create enemies among ourselves and we continue to unite, we will surely get all our states back.
“ At the beginning of 1999 when I took oath of office as Deputy Governor, the entire South-south was PDP. But today Rivers and Edo are no longer in PDP. But from 2015 to 2016 we will get all our states back”. While welcoming Ikimi and other APC decampees to the PDP, Jonathan assured that they will be given a level-playing field with old members.
“People like Ikimi left the PDP before due to internal crisis, but they are back today. Now, we have corrected all the things that made them leave the party. Every party member will be treated equally, no discrimination, no imposition, no god father, no god mother. This is the only party that will give you the freedom and the opportunity to plan to the highest without any interference. Edo State will go to PDP.
“ For Rivers State, we know that the only party there is PDP. Other parties exist on bill boards, so allow their sign boards to stay, we know the party that is controlling Rivers State. All what we need is unity”.
‘Interest of Nigeria’
On his part, National Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, insisted that Jonathan remained the candidate of the party, and challenged the opposition APC that “rather than talk about who qualifies to be President in our party, bring out your best and let us see how your presidential candidate will emerge”.