From Chris Anucha, Port Harcourt
Recently, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) held its national non-elective convention in Abuja, where the members extended the tenure of Makarfi-led caretaker committee by four months.
In this interview, in Port Harcourt, chief Glory Emeh, who just defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), back to the PDP, speaks on the PDP and the state of the nation.
After the Supreme Court judgment; what next?
The PDP is strong enough to reposition itself, to win election in 2019. This is obvious, when you realise that there is more problem in APC itself. When you have two wives, you will know which one is better. Nigerians are experiencing the services of two different women. Having seen where we dropped from the position of strength between 1999 and 2015, and where we are now in APC’s two year rule, your guess is as good as mine, as to where Nigeria has been as a nation. You cannot claim to be in charge, in a situation where the people can no longer feed three times a day; where the relationship between our currency and that of the other countries of the world is at opposite direction. I just came back from the United States of America and I had a bundle of N100,000 in my back pocket and when the security man wanted to search, he asked what it was. I told him it was a N100, 000. He went further to probe how much it was, and I asked him to work it out himself. Probably, he saw how big the bundle was and quickly wanted to know the value of in dollars, to ascertain whether or not, it was what is allowable in their country. That is where we are, after APC had taken over more than two years now.
Nigerians are very much in a hurry, and if there is a way they can turn the hand of the clock forward for 2019 to come, they would be happy to do that. The popular opinion now is that APC has failed Nigerians and they need a quick reversal, to put back those they have tested for 16 years. To that extent, you can say that PDP will get back to power in 2019.
But APC has just been in power for two years, PDP was in power for 16 years. Is it not too early to start t making comparison?
I had also argued that in the past. But a good dance starts with the first step. If the first step is wrong, then, there is a problem. The first two years shows that the worst will come under APC. The best thing is to start well. Have you ever seen a deaf person dancing to a drumbeat? That is how the APC is right now in Nigeria. Nigerians cannot suffer for two times. If we had a direction, it would have been better. The fact that Osinbajo has to go to London, to take directives from somebody who is not well, shows that he cannot do anything on his own, if he does not take permission from the President. The man cannot even speak to Nigerians. Last time he spoke, he did that in a native language and all of us cannot speak that language. Look at the Minister for Agriculture. He is old. He has been there since the time of Shehu Shagari, when we were in Secondary School. There is a limit to what somebody can do. Why must it be so?
What is your take on restructuring? Why do you think some Nigerian leaders are shying away from the issue?
Restructuring is a matter of semantics. The country itself is restructured. What is restructuring? It is about moving along the path of true federalism. When we were in Atlanta for a dinner with the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, he told us a story of how they operate. He said there, whatever is found in your land belongs to you and you only need to pay tax or certain percentage to the national government to execute certain projects. Apart from having a federal police, they also have the state and regional police. They have Atlanta police, Georgia police and American police. All of them operate together. America is like Georgia. They are multi-ethnic. If they can manage it well, why can’t we? Our lingua franca is English just like in America. We have to operate along the same line with America. Restructuring is already part of our system of government. All we need is to practice it. The problem we have is that we talk too much about it. That is why it has become a problem. What we have in Rivers State is not the same thing with other states. Our lifestyle is different from others. Our budget is different from that of other states. We can never be the same. It means we are already practicing restructuring.
Do you see APC defeating PDP in Rivers State in 2019 elections?
Anybody who thinks about that is just day-dreaming. I have the privilege of being in that party (APC). I have hosted about eight APC governors in this house, so, I know them very well. They can’t beat PDP, to the best of my knowledge