The Leader of the Concerned Peoples Democratic League (CPDPL), Comrade D. Z. Warmate has denounced the assertions attributed to High Chief, Dr. Raymond A. Dokpesi, and Mr Osita Okechukwu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON).
Dr. Dokpesi was quoted as saying that, the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only person with the capacity and gravitas to stop Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu from becoming the president of Nigeria in the looming 2023 Presidential election. He said that “the Waziri of Adamawa is the right person that could match Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu” if Tinubu eventually emerges as the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).”
Comrade Warmate, a political and diplomatic historian, flanked by most of the high echelons of the CPDPL including Rashidat N. Abubakar (Director of Media and Advocacy), Alhaji Tasiu Muhammed (General Secretary), Comrade Gbenga Adedamola (Director Organization and Mobilization), Barr. Ephraim Nwabueza (Director Legal), and Hajiya Fatima A. Umar (Deputy Leader), while speaking to newsmen at Kano International Airport, quoted Fredrick Douglas that “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
Comrade Warmate roundly denounced and repudiated Dr. Dokpesi’s premise. Warmate contended that Dr. Dokpesi’s reasoning goes against the grain of natural justice and contrary to the provision and spirit of section 7(3)c of the PDP constitution on zoning. Comrade Warmate insisted that Dr. Dokpesi view is indicative of the acceptance and internalization of hegemonic dominance and an attempt to obfuscate the adherence of the Federal Character Principle enshrined in our nation’s constitution.
There is no denial that Alhaji Atiku is indeed a formidable leader of our great party, however, no individual or group is bigger than the party. Justice, equity, and fairness must therefore be seen to prevail. The PDP should not dither but zone the Presidency to the South without further ado.
Comrade Warmate retorted that “Dr. Dokpesi assertions are the antithesis of Alhaji Atiku’s presidential election trajectories. Between 1999 and 2019 for example, of all the Presidential flag bearers PDP has had, Alhaji Atiku has given the party the poorest result.
In 1999 Former President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR under PDP gave 18,738,154 (62.78%) againstChief Olu Falae of AD, APP scored 11,110,287 (37.22%). In 2003 Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR under PDP again scored 24,456,140 (61.94%) against President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR of the ANPP 12,710,022 (32.19%).
In 2007 under PDP Former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua GCFR of painful and blessed memory gave us 24,638,063 (69.60%) against President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR of ANPP who got 6,605,299 (18.66%) and former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of AC who scored 2,637,848 (7.45%).
In 2011 Former President Goodluck E. Jonathan GCFR under PDP gave us 22,495,187 (58.89%) against President Muhammadu Buhari of CPC scored 12,214,853 (31.98%), and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of ACN 2,079,151 (5.41%).
Then, in 2015, former President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP scored 12,853,16244.96 despite the treacherous heavy betrayal by PDP leaders most especially from the north, which some of them are presently presidential hopefuls, President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC could only score 15,424,92153.96.
And finally, in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC scored 15,191,84755.60, while Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gave us 11,262,97841.22.
Although detractors of Yar’Adua and Jonathan did not consider them as political heavyweights but they delivered PDP more votes than the acclaimed political heavyweight and would-be saviour and presumptive Presidential nominee of the PDP in the coming 2023 election if Dr. Dokpesi and others have their way.
It is apparent therefore from the above statistical evaluation that our great party is not short of leaders with tremendous abilities and impeccable integrity. Anyone of our leaders is more than capable to hold their own against Senator Bola Tinubu or any other flag-bearer from the clapped-out and incompetent Buhari APC administration.
It is a fact that 10 out of 16 leaders of Nigeria to date are or were northerners and 6 are southerners,” and for the 62 years of the existence of Nigeria, this 10 leaders of northern extraction has ruled for 48 years. A nation that embraced a quota system for equity must embrace a rotational presidency for justice and fairness.
Mr. Osita Okechukwu, an APC stalwart said in a similar vain that, “Obasanjo’s rebuff, a sign of 2023 defeat. The rejection of the PDP by Chief Obasanjo was a signal of another defeat in the 2023 presidential election. The statesman’s re-entry could have boosted the morale of the rank and file of the PDP. In short, the rejection is a bad omen, particularly coming at the eve of the crucial 2023 presidential election.”
Comrade Warmate took a swipe at Osita Okechikwu’s comments and dismissed them as a diversionary strategy intended to obscure the abysmal failings of the Buhari APC administration.
The visit to Obasanjo by some of the Governors was a blessing in disguise for our party. The visit was rather a good omen for our young, intelligent, and passionate party patriots. Former President Obasanjo is a father to our nation and plays the advisory role of a father.
The CPDPL’s critique and candour on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi do not diminish the tremendous respect we have for them. Alahji Atiku Abubakar and High Chief R. A. Dokpesi are giants of our wonderful party. Their steadfastness, consistency, and contribution to our party are a beacon of hope and inspiration for up-and-coming leaders of the PDP in particular and our nation in general.
In conclusion, Comrade Warmate commended Prince Kassem Afegbua, Dr. Doyin Okope, Alhaji Tanko Yakassia, and the millions of party and national patriots for their courage in supporting what he described as Truth Advocacy for Southern Presidency as well as protagonists of the progress of PDP and Nigeria in general.