By Emmanuel Ayungbe
UYO—Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has warned that the current political development in the country was a pointer to the fact that the country was drifting to a one party state, saying it was dangerous to the nation’s democratic advancement.
Governor Emmanuel stated this at the Ibom International Airport on arrival from Abuja, where he attended the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stakeholders meeting following last week’s Appeal Court ruling, which ordered parties to maintain status quo and Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, returning as National Chairman of the PDP.
He said democracy would be jeopardised in the seeming one party structure, which the country was pursuing, and in the circumstance, the system would stifle the voice of the opposition, thereby paving the way for despotism which he said was not in the best interest of the country.
He said: “As a country, we are assisting other countries to institute democracy, how come we are destroying ours? We should not allow the country to be run like this, else our democracy will collapse.”
Emmanuel, who recalled an incident which took place during last year’s national convention of the party in Rivers State, also condemned the obstruction of the stakeholders meeting following the sealing off of the Abuja International Conference Centre, venue of the meeting, by security agents, explaining that they had to relocate to an alternative venue for the meeting.
“The sealing off of International Conference Centre, venue of the meeting, by the Police was a sad commentary on our democracy. Twice, we have experienced this. The other time, we had to hold the convention at the zonal secretariat of the party because the Port Harcourt stadium was barricaded by the Police.
“A country of more than 170 million people is too large for one party structure. Let us make room for other parties to operate because a multi- party system will ensure the survival of democratic governance in the country.”
The governor posited that the electorate were of high expectations from the government in view of the economic challenges, adding that in the unfolding context, party affiliation should not be allowed to becloud the responsibility of government to the people.