Akwa Ibom PDP Has No Faction – Ini Ememobong
September 12, 2017

Akwa Ibom PDP Has No Faction – Ini Ememobong

Comrade Ini Ememobong, a lawyer is the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Akwa Ibom State chapter. In this interview with Idongesit Ashameri, he speaks on plans by the PDP to reclaim power at the centre, PDP in Akwa Ibom and the 2019 general elections among other sundry issues. Excerpts:

The leadership tussle in the PDP has finally been laid to rest, and that seems to have put an end to regular defections in Akwa Ibom State, what does this development portend for your party?

The judgment of the Supreme Court came out as expected because that was the law. The Supreme Court was not adjudicating as to who is the Ward Chairman, Chapter Chairman or who is the State Chairman of the party anywhere in Nigeria, except for the places where, for some strategic reasons could not have congresses. The judgment of the Supreme Court related with the procedure of summoning a convention and setting up a Caretaker, and the court said that, that process was proper, that the convention is the highest decision-making body of the party and therefore that, the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker is proper before the law. We had said that severally, we had insisted that, that was the position, but you know that until the court definitely say something, you cannot go with it.

There is no question as to who is in fact the leader of PDP, it was a question as to who is in law, the leader of PDP. So what were the facts? The facts constituted as follows: That the Board of Trustees who are the owners of the party, because the Board of Trustees is like the board of a company, the Governor’s Forum, the National Assembly Forum, all of them, were with Makarfi? So Makarfi summons a meeting – defined the National Caretaker members, defined all the Governors, all the members of the National Assembly, defined Conference of Speakers in attendance, defined State Chairmen over Twenty Eight of them in attendance, so it didn’t not leave us with a question as to who was in charge. So what the law did was: the law through the pronouncement of the Supreme Court aligned with the facts on ground, and that is when true justice is said to be done.

It could also have gone the other way, because the court was not part of your procedure, the court was not part of the Port Harcourt Convention, the court is not a PDP member, so if the case was not properly presented, the court may also have arrived at a different decision. Because where people claim that the court acted unjustly is when the law does not align with the facts. For example, if seated here, one of you kills each other, maybe stood and about to shake hands and from shaking hands you weren’t standing well, the hi-five lands on your oxypod on the edge of the chair and you die; the layman thinks that one of you killed the other.

Akwa Ibom State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo (left) and Comr Ini Ememobong during the inauguration of sensitization, mobilization and advisory committees in Uyo Federal Constituency | PHOTO: PRINCE BASSEY

But the truth is, someone had died. But the question is: was that death caused intentionally? Those are the things the law will now need to align, when you present your sets of facts, the static law will be brought to align with the moving fact, and that is where justice comes to play. The moving fact is that, yes someone had died but for another person, yes he killed her and that was murder. Did he know that hi-five would lead to death? In your village, do hi-five lead to death? But the average man on the street says no! He killed her, he killed her so he must die! So when the law align with the facts justice is attained.

So, for now, in that instant case, my lords, the very noble lords aligned the law with the facts and so justice was not only done, but was manifestly seen to have been done and you can see with the non-elective convention that was held, we saw the real situation.

I actually went there not too sure of what to expect, but when I got there, I came back convinced beyond reason that say for any concentric circle of political conspiracy, we are on our way to getting back to power at the national. What I saw in Abuja was a party that had passed through its own tumoil but had emerged victorious. So I am grateful that my lords in the Supreme Court, my noble lords, did justice and allowed justice to be done.

Still on PDP, the National Chairman, we are told, had gone out by himself to reconcile the aggrieved members in other states, we have heard that people who were in Modu Sherrif’s camp have refused to return to the fold, how has those of the other camp responding to the reconciliation move in the state?

There was absolutely no faction here in the state, you see, its difficult when people choose to daydream, you allow them, but you see, processes are sacrosant, we had Ward Congresses, chapter Congresses, we had the State Congress and there was no single complain, not one. The people you are mentioning, all of them were part of their Ward Congress, their Chapter Congress and part of the State Congress so they could not have been and do not forget, you see, why Sherrif was able to do what he did was, anywhere he knew or heard that there were slight issues during their congresses he went on to recongnize the other person as chairman.

Now in Akwa Ibom, through the leadership of his Excellency the Governor, we had no problem, so there was no one here for him to fall back to, to use. Do not also forget that State Congresses were conducted while Sherriff was still Chairman of the party. So it should have occurred to him that; I could not have signed the list, because when we finish congresses the entire list of the party is signed, I could not have signed for one person and because this other person is not supporting me, he now go ahead to play games with such. He conducted the congresses all over the country, he conducted even zonal conventions, so Sherriff was just dancing in the field, but I thank God that those playing the music for him realized that the music has ended abruptly.

Lets agree that the party is now back as one, and Akwa Ibom is preparing for its Local Government election and of course you agree with me that the performance of the PDP during the L.G.A election will impact either positively or negatively on the next general elections both at the state and national levels. How prepared are you for the LGA election?

The PDP have been preparing long before the election. The second answer is that the people attempting to contest against us are not sure whether they want to partake of the election or not. And therefore if our opposition are not certain whether they want to contest or not, shouldn’t that tell you that they are conscious of imminent failure? And just trying to say, “look, let’s not have this failure, let’s completely boycott the elections”.

Today they say they will contest, tomorrow they say they wont, the next day they are in court. PDP is the only party that is ready for elections, we have issued guidelines and in the next few days we are going to set out our structures, we are going to go ahead and conduct nominations, not the type of nominations our opposition did in Lagos. Those who fail to prepare, plan to fail and those who prepare, prepare to succeed, and I can assure you that PDP will succeed.