APC: Greed will destroy them – Ambakederimo
By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Comrade Joseph Ambakederimo, an environmentalist, is the National Chairman, South South Elements Progressive Union (SSEPU) and the Executive Director, Nigeria Rebirth Initiative.
In this interview with Vanguard he bared his mind on governance, the role of South-South officials around President Jonathan, the emergence of a strong opposition among other national issues. Excerpt
On the merger by members of the opposition parties ahead of 2015
Merger is not new in Nigerian politics. We have seen some alliances in the past that worked but there is a difference between alliance and merger. Political parties have merged before and we saw the fallout.
This one that they are doing now that is referred to as All Progressive Congress (APC), I don’t see how far they can go yet. The greed in our politicians will not make them to be able to settle down to discuss on how they can manage who will be where. What have they done up till now? They have not come out with their manifesto, no ideology of the party yet. We haven’t seen the logo yet and we know that before 2015 there will be cracks.
Financial inducement from the ruling party cannot be ruled out. Already we are hearing of persons being sponsored by the ruling party to discontinue the merger, to withdraw from the merger that their party is not part of the merger and do not support it. So, we are already seeing the crack.
For me, I don’t think it is a threat to the PDP because the Nigerian opposition from the beginning cannot put their act together. After every election they go and sleep. It is only when election is approaching that they come together.
You don’t see their manifesto when that is what they should have done shortly after the election in 2011 to sensitize the people that they are desirous of wresting power from the ruling party.
The President has not signified interest in contesting 2015 but there has been rising opposition within his own party against his running..
2015 will definitely come and go. And the President will contest since he is qualified to run for the office. There shouldn’t be any contention to that. So long as he is interested in going for a second term there should be no contention from within his own party. That is how it is supposed to be. If Jonathan says he wants to contest in 2015 every party member should jettison their ambition and support him.
But there should be room for others to challenge the President if they believe they have something to offer
(Cuts in) Not when you have a sitting president with the ambition to run. If he completes his eight years then those who are interested can come forward. It is just pure greed, you definitely cannot defeat the man so why waste your time. We know how it works, knowing the kind of politics we play in Nigeria, money politics.
He has the wherewithal to run for the office, the corporate Nigeria will not give you money to come and fight the man who has been their benefactor. It is not possible. So, if the President says he wants to run for eight years interested parties within his own party should just forget it.
Federal Presence in South South zone
There is nothing to write home about this except that some few governors are trying. I have not been to Uyo but I have read in the papers that the gentleman there is trying; the gentleman in RiversState is also trying his best, same in EdoState. In Bayelsa, Dickson just came on board and we are seeing what he is doing and in the next 3-4years we will see a lot of changes, trying to catch up with the other states.
We have wasted about five years as a result of bad leadership and governance in the state. My take is that the people in authority right now are from the South South. The president is from the South South, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs Ministry is from the South South, same with the ministers of Petroleum, Housing and Urban Development.
We have the NDDC that has failed woefully, so what do we have to complain about? Who do we run to? Do we now say the Hausa man in Kafanchan is our problem or do we now say the Yoruba man from Ibadan is our problem? It is a shame as far I am concerned. The president is my friend, Orubebe is my friend I will tell them to the ear, if they so insist they don’t want to do anything in the South South after their tenure, they will come back home.
If the East-West road were in good state the people that died in that helicopter crash wouldn’t have died because there would have been no need to fly the helicopter in the first place. How many minutes will it take to drive from here (Yenogoa) to Port Harcourt airport or if Sylva had built and completed the state airport.
What is there to build an airport? We all went to Dubai and saw in a space of ten years the growth of a city and ask question, is it not the same money that we use in Nigeria that they use in Dubai, in Indonesia and Malaysia? Is it not the same money? These are countries that do not have money like us but within the space of ten years development has come to their people. That is the real meaning of transformation. Here we are still talking of East-West road for six years.
We are still talking of one ministry building skills acquisition centre for six years just to put block on top of block like building a house? Not being able to complete and commission one and you say you are a minister? The President must sit back and reflect on this and call these people to order. He has to do it because the whole thing is rubbing on him. That is my own worry. Everything about the Niger Delta Ministry is zero per cent and it is rubbing off negatively on the President.
There is nothing like poor funding anywhere, if the minister is serious let him use the whole budget of his ministry for the East West road. The road is becoming the most expensive road in Africa by the way it is going.
It will become the most expensive. We cannot continue like this and these people are not helping the president in his transparency agenda. For me what is the minister doing for the President others cannot do.
He is giving the president much more problem because there is no excuse whatsoever to say this road cannot be completed within a short time. We must have a rethink. We must invite all our sons and daughters who have held position from the South South to come and give account of their stewardship.