By Abdulsalam Muhammad
Dr Danladi Sankara is the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP North West Zone. A politician of note, he is one that stands by the truth no matter whose ox is gored. In this interview, Dr Sankara expressed concerns over unguided activities of politicians on the 2011 presidential elections, warning that the trend was capable of derailing the nation’s democracy.

Northern leaders are threatening to leave PDP over the raging issues of rotational presidency in 2011,do you feel comfortable with their intent?

First of all, those you refer to as Northern Leaders threatening the PDP were speaking for themselves. It is an empty threat. The people making all the noise are not even members of any known political party, then how come you take it upon yourself to indulge in trouble shooting over an issue that is purely and squarely a PDP affair?

Let me tell the truth, all those who claim to be speaking for the North over the issues of rotation and zoning had been working tirelessly against the interest of PDP since 1998. They are very well known enemies of the party. I believe they are nursing a false belief that they could over heat the system to achieve their sinister motive of crippling the PDP this time around. It is a tall order or expectation that can not be achieved.

When you take a more serious look at the activities and utterances of those parading themselves as the Northern Leaders under the various platforms and guises, you discover elements of mischief in the sense that that they now appear to be like the sympathizer weeping much louder than the bereaved.

Contrary to the expectation of those beating war drums and threatening the PDP, the party is now much stronger and united. The PDP is in full control of 16 Northern states with only 3 in the hands of opposition. With all sense of modesty and responsibility I declare categorically that the whole 19 states will be won by PDP in 2011 general election. You do not require the services of soothsayer to confirm to you that PDP will clear the state and all other elective offices in 2011.

Will the North support President Jonathan to contest the 2011 presidential election?

The issue is purely and entirely a PDP affair. It is strange that a lot of people that are not even members of the PDP have dissipated energy than the bona fide members to stoke the fire in argument and counter arguments.

I have the feeling that enemies of the party in concert with the opposition think they can use the issue to destroy PDP. The plot cannot work, it has failed because the party is united. I have said it several times that PDP as credible party has a time tested internal conflict resolution mechanism; we can resolve our issues by ourselves without external influence.

What is the way out of the present logjam?

It is not late for people of good conscience to sit down together and discussed the issue with the aim of removing doubts, suspicion and bad blood generated by the activities of the political opportunists who attempted to create distrust and disaffection between the North and the good people of the South over this contentious matter.

Second, the PDP is a responsible political party and it is equal to the task of resolving all the issues concerning 2011presidential elections. This will be done under the atmosphere of understanding for the purpose of unity, progress and development of the nation.

How do you foresee the future of democracy, or indeed the continued existence of Nigeria as a united country against the backdrop of current debate?

I have never doubted our capacity as a people and as a nation to overcome the challenges. let me remind you that that the factors which unite the various people of Nigeria by far outweighs those that tended to divide them. It is unfortunate that some people with limited historical background of Nigeria who at one time or the other found themselves in position of leadership have been the major problem of this our great nation.

And the truth is that in the event Nigeria breaks up which will never happen, the same trouble shooters will be the worst for it. My candid advise therefore is that we should fear God and fear the repercussion of the anger of people you perceive as weak, this is because there is every tendency that when the chips are down you may end up regretting the earlier contempt you have for such people.

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