•Ogbemudia brought himself down taking order from Anenih
SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY
Senator Rowland Stephen Owie is a former Chief Whip of the Senate. The Edo State born political tactician recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and is now the Coordinator of the yet to be registered Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the South-South. In this interview with Saturday Vanguard, he disclosed that the birth of the new party was the result of what he described as the death of PDP, adding that the coming party will wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) both in Nigeria and his home state. Excerpts:
Sir, it is shocking that you left the PDP for the new party that is yet to be registered, what was your problem with PDP?
The truth is, that the PDP for sixteen years allowed impunity, disorderliness. Can you imagine that PDP primaries became a bazaar?
So the recent Appeal Court ruling that Sheriff is the authentic National Chairman of the PDP has shown that Nigerians are tired of impunity and lawlessness. Therefore I congratulate the judiciary for that landmark judgment. It has shown that from now on the political class should avoid impunity and lawlessness in their behaviour. Because those who went to bring Sheriff, Governors Wike and Fayose, were the same people who turned around to fight Sherriff because he is not doing their bidding. But I thank God that all the good ones in both factions will be accepted in ADP.
However, all those who don’t have blood of impunity in the two factions, those who will not turn primary elections to bazaar who believe in fairness, justice and equity will be admitted in ADP. As a matter of fact, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) will harvest all the good people in the PDP and the good people in APC and those who do not belong to any political party.
Our mission is to ensure that Government Houses across the nation no longer become the headquarters of political parties.
In the UPN for instance, late Ambrose Ali as chairman of the party and governor never took party meetings to Government House. He always came to the secretariat of the party at NTA Road. Nobody ever went to the House of Assembly under the UPN state without the party exco scrutinizing him or her. I am happy one of the governors is still alive today, Alhaji Lateef Jakande. The UPN was a party that believed in the supremacy of the party. The PDP never believed in the supremacy of the party. It was built on that, but unfortunately, when Obasanjo became President, he destroyed the supremacy of the party and handed over the party to the governors.
As a matter of fact, PDP destroyed itself nobody destroyed it. Having gotten out of PDP, I no longer look at the dress she is wearing. But I can assure you that the party is already in the mortuary. Good men from the Makarfi and Sheriff factions have their homes in the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
But what makes you think what happened in PDP will not happen in the new party?
I can assure you that we now know the characters. When ACD was being built, it started from the remnants of ANPP on which platform I contested the 2003 governorship. Of the 18 Local Government Councils in Edo state, the old ANPP had 13 Local Governments as chairmen while the PDP that came to join us after they were deregistered, we gave them five Local Governments as chairman. We started building the ACD to AC. Those who now claimed that they built ACN were serving with Lucky Igbinedion, and they came to the tribunal to openly identify with us. Certainly, Igbinedion supported the emergence of Oshiomhole, but he did it quietly. If you remember, Lucky Igbinedion’s campaign at Urhokpota, he described us as AC without compressor even though at that time he was supporting us secretly.
He is a great son of the land but was surrounded by evil people. Those that clapped for Igbinedion in the PDP were the same people who did not allow him to do the needful to improve the lives of the people. They were also the same people who came to clap for Oshiomhole, and that was why some of us left.
So the truth is that we now know those who destroyed PDP, we now know those who destroyed ACN that is now APC. Certainly, even though the constitution says that nobody can stop any body from entering a political party, we know those to stop, so the issue of hijacking will not arise.
Now it is going to be direct primaries, party members will vote in their units for a candidate of their choice. We have made zoning in our constitution actionable in court because that has destroyed PDP, the impunity of the so-called elders who said they were conscience of the party in the Board of Trustees, they could not advise Jonathan not to run for 2015 even when the man was not keen on running, but they pushed him.
So for 2019, we have zoned our presidential candidate to the North, we zoned our Vice Presidential slot to the South East because where there is no justice they can be no peace. In 1987 it was to be the turn of the South East to produce the President after Shehu Shagari, it was aborted.
But the South-South is seen as the hub of PDP, do you think the new party can make any headway there?
I can assure you that the issue of dismantling the PDP in this zone is not a problem. We have been in the field in the last three or four months, and at the right time they will go where they belong, and that is ADP.
Edo State is already an ADP state, and we thank our son who is the governor, Obaseki. He should do the needful between now and 2019. As a governor of the day, we will give him the support, but we expect him to join ADP because certainly, Edo State will become ADP state.
Why PDP failed in Edo
When we were in the tribunal with Prof.Osunbor, then I was in ACN then, Anenih gave Oshiomhole four commissioners just because he fell out with Osunbor. In a disciplined party, for a leader to nominate a commissioner in an opposing party’s administration, that is a betrayal of the highest order, and the PDP never sanctioned him. I have won general elections, so these names are too junior to me in politics. I tell you it has reached a stage where the average Edo voter will chase these people away. And when you talk of Dr. Ogbemudia, he did very well in the military, he is my elder brother, but when I became angry with him was when he started taking instructions from Anenih who was a provincial police officer in Warri when Ogbemudia was governor. When he was doing that, I told him ‘daddy what you are doing now is like a widow marrying the driver of the former husband.’ He brought the Bini and PDP down before Anenih that was my anger.
PDP was killed in Edo state by these people. If you look at the gap between the PDP candidate and Obaseki, I told the people after the election that the vote PDP got was not that the people liked PDP, It was a vote against APC hunger. If we had a better candidate in that election APC would not have won. These same people even dealt with John Yakubu when they were in the APC, John Yakubu was a chairmanship candidate in Uromi, but while the election was going on, the same people went to announce the result in Benin, and today they are preaching Catholic more than the pope.