Owerri - Immediate past governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim on Sunday announced his decision to temporarily withdraw from active participation in partisan politics and quit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on which platform he was elected in 2007, citing impunity in the party.
He said his time would now be devoted to mentoring and working with the youths of Imo state and Nigeria outside politics, as well as running his non-governmental organisation, The Clean and Green Africa Foundation.
In a statement he personally signed on Sunday, the former governor said the decision, which he described as sad, became necessary following the impunity in his former party and that he could no longer be “part of this circus in the political arena for the time being.”
The statement reads:
"Following the outcome of the 2015 general elections, I embarked on a series of commentaries, especially in national newspapers, in which I made personal contributions on how the PDP, could reposition itself to play the role of effective opposition.
"The desire for the PDP to remain strong was also the wish of ordinary Nigerians who, though desired a change from the status quo ante, still believed that for the needed balance, the PDP had to remain strong.
The trend of events since April 2015 indicated that the party, “the largest party in Africa”, did not key into this general optimism.
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“What remained of the party’s leadership disregarded all wise counsel to seize the opportunity offered by the unexpected loss to do away with the very thing that led to the party’s defeat: Impunity. One thing led to the other and eventually, a party that was expected to gather itself together imploded.
"The final result was the split into two factions which have remained irreconcilable despite wise counsels from well-meaning quarters within and outside the party; and indeed despite pronouncements of the law. Simply put, impunity took over the party even more than ever before. Nigerians have watched as leaders of the party take deliberate steps to destabilise it,” he lamented.
Even outside the PDP, the general political environment had not helped matters, pointing out that contrary to the expectations of Nigerians that the political class had learnt the relevant lessons from the outcome of the 2015 general elections, which was that the peoples’ preference must count, the latter had returned to the old antics of election rigging and violence.
“In the last one year, nearly every election has been characterised by brigandage and hooliganism. Even more curiously, the electoral empire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), became far more vulnerable than it ever had been.
"A commission that conducted a presidential election that was hailed worldwide, both in conduct and outcome, became a source of acute pain for Nigerians. In the last sixteen months, INEC has been unable to conduct any election to the satisfaction of even the most timid Nigerian. It is from one inconclusive election to another.”
“My overall wish was, and still is, that no matter which party is in power, all hands must be on deck to make out democracy grow.”
- News 24