An address presented by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, the Kwara State Chairman of PDP on the occasion of a courtesy visit to the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, at the National Secretariat of the Party on 31st day of January 2018
We congratulate you on your well-deserved victory on the 9th day of December when you emerged as the National Chairman of our great Party. That you are eminently qualified for this office, we should only allow your experience and antecedents to talk for you. From Rivers State Chairman of the Party to the National Organizing Secretary, National Deputy Chairman, Acting Chairman and now the substantive National Chairman produced by our convention, you have acquired the requisite experiences to lead this party at a time like this. We have confidence that our party is in safe hands under an Executive headed by you. Once more congratulations. God will help you to bring PDP back to government at both the Federal and State levels in 2019.
The main purpose of this visit is to update you about our efforts and problems in the running of the Party in Kwara State. I, as the Chairman of the Party should be in the best position to tell you the efforts we have been making for the past four years. Since 2014 April, I have remained the Kwara chapter Chairman of our Party. I have indeed won the Chairmanship elections of the Party for three times in 2014, 2016 and 2017. If majority of our party members are not satisfied with my leadership, they would not continue to invest their confidence in my leadership of the party. And since 2014, we have tried to build a strong Party that can win elections in the State.
Though what Kwara State PDP is known for outside the State in recent times is crisis upon crisis. We have this opportunity here today to allow you to peep into our efforts so that you will know that despite the orchestrated crisis a new Party had emerged that is more or less a mass movement in the State. We have not allowed the Party crisis to distract us from our focus of creating a Party that can win elections in the State. Today there are only two parties in Kwara State, PDP and APC. The latter is shrinking while our Party is fastly becoming a mass movement and indeed a Kwara Party. How have we been able to achieve this feat? We have been running radio programs since 2014 that directly speak to the situations of the people of Kwara State. When we started in 2014, it was with one station, but today it has been extended to three as we have just signed up with the third station. For every one hour we spend on our radio programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays weekly is like shutting down Kwara State for one hour duration of the programs. Mechanics, vulganizers, berbers, lawyers, civil servants, tailors; Governors, Senate Presidents, farmers etc must abandon their work to listen to us. Though, we have no money with which to touch the hands of the people; through our weekly messages we touch the hearts of our people with appropriate messages that directly speak to their situation. When one station is not enough, we now have to increase it to three and very soon we shall move to the fourth. We do all these by the popular demands of the people of the State, majority of who are not members of our party but are voters. Mr Chairman we have created mass followership for your Party in Kwara State.As a result of the intensity of our messages, the Government of Kwara State have been put on its toes to follow the pace and direction we dictate in the State. I can tell you Mr Chairman, that though we are not in government, the government of Kwara must listen to us and we are already seen by the people of Kwara State as the government in waiting. We now provide the compass, they follow. Our programs are so popular that the government wants to stop us by all means: using the security agencies, violence of the thugs, reporting us to the NBC and lately using their one party dominated assembly to move a misguided and ill-advised resolution to stop us. All have failed as we operate within the ambit of the law of the land.
Mr Chairman sir, our Party has also erected the social media platforms as we are on twitter. Instagram, facebook, whatsapp and we have a website. These we have done because we know that our invasion of both print and electronic media may not be enough as tools of mobilization of the people of Kwara State in this day of information and communication technology. Radio and newspapers may not always and readily appeal to our youths, social media does. The effects of all these efforts have been remarkably wonderful.
We have seen the effects of our endeavor in the local government election of 18th of November 2017. The APC was seriously challenged in election organized by the agency created by them to perpetuate the Party in power. Their leaders had to loose elections at their polling centers and electoral wards. Before APC could declare itself winners of that election, they had to snatch boxes, stuff ballot boxes, doctor figures and massively organize violence and used the State media to announce false results. If the Leaders are still popular in Kwara State, they need not do all these to win either local or national elections after fifteen years in government. If that election was organized by the INEC, am sure you would have been happy about the performances of your party in Kwara State. Something newsy that the whole Nigeria is waiting for would have happened in Kwara State. But it is bound to happen in 1019.
That is why we need to intimate you that Kwara PDP situation is not all about crisis for even against all odds we have been moving in the right direction. Our focuses in the party have been two. We have decided to make party members to be party workers. Emphasis is not in the multitude of party membership but rather in the effectiveness of members to mobilize voters for elections. Thus, if only hundred members or even less can do the work of the party in a particular ward, we move on with them rather than dissipating valuable time on members that through different agendas may want to draw us back. Secondly, our party is now program, issues or agenda driven. We believe that a party without message domesticated to address the manifest interests of the people, in this case the people of Kwara State must fail in the unfolding democratic development in Nigeria. Our message is our weapon of mobilization in building a party that can win elections in Kwara State.Our believe therefore, Mr Chairman is that our members that are now properly poised for effective political actions can win elections in the state. While we are not saying that new entrants are not welcome into the party; the National Secretariat of our party should always take into consideration the turmoil, trauma, and experience we have passed through in the building of PDP to its present enviable status towards winning elections in Kwara State. The present Executive has passed through all processes of recognition by the National Working Committee, National Executive Committee and the Convention of our Party. Above all, we have been issued a letter of recognition signed by the present Secretary of the Party. Should anybody want to join our Party today he has to work and abide with the workings of the existing structure of the Party. Above all, Kwara State has a peculiar program of resistance which has to be made known to people outside the state and particularly the leadership of our party at the National level. From the time of Governors like Melford Okilo, to Ada George to Peter Odili, Rotimi Amechi and now to Nyeson Wike all in Rivers State; politics have not been allowed to develop to dynastic democracy in that State. Not so in Kwara State. Kwara State is therefore resisting one man or family dominated democracy. There we stand Mr Chairman.
On the issue of the internal wrangling within the party, we are talking and working hard to settle all rifts so that we can remain one. We believe that more than any reconciliation at the National level of the party, home grown reconciliation will be more effective. And that is why we have started reconciliation moves that will make all be on the same page. We know that there are still five local government areas where there are inconclusive congresses. Also there are some pockets of some wards where we do not have ward Executives. We urge the National Secretariat to study our files very well so that final solutions will be found to all the problems. We want the problems of the remaining congresses to be given holistic solution. But above all, we want through, fair, credible and transparent congresses in the remaining local government and wards of the State.
Lastly the National Secretariat of our party is urged to always respect the opinions of the structure and leaders from home, Kwara State. There are two sets of Abuja politicians. One is those that are permanently hooked on National Secretariat to get things done solely in their own interests. They are not part of us at home and are therefore alienated from happenings at home. They solely believe in their Abuja connections to get things done in their own interests. These categories of politicians cause a lot of problems at home. The second are those that though live in Abuja are with us at home and they are indeed part of our developments at home. This category will not do anything in Abuja without reference to us at home. They are true leaders of our people with whom we are always pleased. Please verify opinions of home people through the State Chairman before decisions that will affect us in Kwara State are endorsed here.We thank you very sincerely for listening to us.