By Idowu Bankole
…Tasks southeast PDP on Consensus Candidate
Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt a political solution that will lead to the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and end the degenerating restiveness in the Southeast region of the country.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday Metuh asserted that waiting for a legal solution and the continued use of the military options is “rather worsening the situation and leading to violence and avoidable loss of lives adding that a political solution that involves dialogue and understanding of sensibilities will bring the desired peace in the region”.
Stating that the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu and use of force in the Southeast will not bring the desired solution, Metuh stated that such will rather “heighten hostilities and result in more bloodshed”.
Metuh urged the Federal Government not to repeat the mistake the nation made in the handling of the Boko Haram issue in 2009 when the sect’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf was killed extrajudicially; a situation that led to the escalation of violent conflict and insurgency in the North East.
He said Government should learn from the South African experience, where the incarceration of Nelson Mandela and the use of force against agitation did not solve the problem but led to more economic and social crises until the Government of South Africa applied a political solution and brought lasting peace to that country
According to Metuh, the situation in the Southeast is very heartrending. It is worsening by the day with the creation of camps and the imposition of illegal levies by faceless groups.
The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, waiting for a legal solution, and the adoption of military options or use of force to suppress agitation has not helped. Instead, it is worsening the situation. It is coming at a great cost to human lives and a huge expense to the Federal Government. Meanwhile, this is what a simple political solution and dialogue will solve.
“Already, some unknown interests have hijacked the genuine agitation of the people and we can see the havoc such already causing the south East with the emergence of extortionist gangs and mafia groups who are now killing innocent people and blaming it on agitations. Social and economic lives are being crippled and citizens are under siege.
“President Buhari must not let this continue, we must learn from our past. We mustn’t let the South East degenerate into another North East. We should learn from the South African experience where the incarceration of Nelson Mandela and the use of force on the people did not solve the problem until the government applied a political solution. Only a political solution in the release of Nnamdi Kanu can solve the problem of the southeast region” Metuh Stated.
Speaking on the chances of the South East picking the PDP’s presidential ticket, the former PDP scribe said the region must pick a consensus candidate so as to have the region’s bloc vote at the convention.
“For us to have an Igbo Presidential candidate in the PDP, we must present a consensus candidate. All the aspirants from the Southeast must sit down, and select just one aspirant and we can then negotiate with other regions and get the ticket,” he said.
“The PDP in southeast must be able to build an alliance with other regions in the south, that is South-South and South West. Then, we can convince at least one of the other regions in the North of the need to vote for our candidate. This is the best way we can achieve a PDP presidential candidate from the southeast”, Metuh said.
“Whilst I concede that the PDP has an incredible array of excellent materials for the Presidency, we must accept that one of our own is rated as the best in the field by all and sundry. We should present him as our consensus candidate and seek the buy-in of other zones”.