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Founding Member Sues For Peace In PDP, Says Party Today Is Full Of Betrayal

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Andy Esiet, Calabar

Ntunkai Grace Eyo-Ita

As the crisis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) persists, a founding female member of the group Ntunkai Grace Eyo-Ita, has sued for Peace , saying the PDP today is not the PDP of her days.

Going down memory lane, Ntunkai Eyo-Ita from Cross River state who has always been in PDP since its formation days in 1998 and is still there, blamed current crisis on its leaders as there lots of betrayals”saying,  “I cannot compare PDP of those days with that of today because I am not the type who flirts from one party to the other.  I am loyal to the party but one thing that was so obvious then was that the people recognised me. Even though I was not given any position or recommended for anything after the senate seat did not come to me and Donald Duke became governor. I did not feel bad because I was in Abuja where I had people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Tony Anenih, former Board of Trustees Chairman, Okwesileze Nwodo who was the Chairman of the party and they liked me. But today, the younger people, because of cultism and other vices they have indulged in, have no respect for anybody. At the age we have reached, we have to all times make peace and not let things scatter. I think those are the good things about what we were doing then compared to now”.

On the PDP and the presidential zoning, the veteran politician in an interview with The Guardian said, “my personal take is that the power is supposed to come to the South. You cannot finish in the North and send power back to the north but what Atiku said was that if it was specifically sent to southeast, he would have dropped but that is what he has told us and we do not know if that is what he would have done. So that division came because, frankly, I believe that if you have done something for me and I for you, we should be able to continue the relationship. There were some betrayals along the line. Some of us have always had it in mind that we do not need somebody from the north to rule again, we in the South should rule and it can come from anywhere. 

“Personally, I would have loved a South Eastern person to come because from the South South, we have had a candidate before and so a southeastern person would have been ideal but the problem we had then was that so many other people came out and Governor Nyesom Wike, who came out to contest, is a friend to Sandy Onor and I am supporting Sandy which was a dilemma for me. After the governor (Ben Ayade) left, Wike started sponsoring everything here and so naturally, the PDP started being loyal to him, especially the present PDP. Liyel is the leader of PDP in the state and he was so close to Gershom Bassey that he did not know the leadership but i would not play leadership that way. He was so specific that he was just interested in Gershom Bassey because firstly, he wanted power to come to the South as he was the person who made it possible for power to go to the north and in a way, he is also correct. After the primaries, they were supposed to do everything in their power to make sure they were together but that did not happen as there was still a divide between several groups. Sandy Onoh would support the person helping him financially and automatically, Liyel as a leader would support who has come out as the party’s candidate. I told them that i have only one card and I would not vote Atiku. I said to my friends that I want to vote for Obi because I listened to his programmes and they were very attractive. I also did my personal investigation and his wife is from Akwa Ibom, she lived here and my cousin married to the same family. I found out that when he was governor, he is a Man that is not corrupt. The wife grew up in Calabar and so he has all the values of these two states”.

One of the two female founding members of the G 34 in 1998 that metamophosed into PDP in 1999, bemoaned the current crisis and the earlier suspicion of some top members. To be honest,  she said, “suspending those people was not right, they should not have done it. Instead, they should have called a meeting of unity to see if there was a way of uniting the people again because these people can decide to leave the party because there was a time this party was abandoned and only few people took it up to the stage they are today. Some of us like myself who have suffered for that party are unknown. Ayu is supposed to know me because on that senate issue, they were there when it happened and they tried to console me but today, if I go to see Ayu, he would pretend not to know me. These people were not doing the right thing by suspending members even though they have been recalled. They are supposed to hold a meeting, quarrel, fight and unite. My take on the current crisis in PDP is that unless they arrest the situation, I do not see a future because people are wise now, even the junior ones do not like what is going on. Both parties have issues and so there was no need to suspend anybody. I am calling on them to stop the crisis and bring everybody together”.

On last election, she said, “you know there has never really been real free and fair elections but we worked really hard as a party. I personally went to my place with a group and the BVAS that was not followed was troubling to me because I had thought that by now, everything would be transparent. We are supposed to be in different parties but we should all be able to vote. Abiola’s election is always referred to as the best but I do not think so. As far I am concerned, my advice has always been that if elections are contested between two genuine people, both people should still rapport even after the elections, come together with their members and jointly serve the government. But today, these young men after winning election would say the other person should go and die and I cannot understand why it is like that. If you ask me, I would love a joint venture but when there is bitterness, you cannot get to the other person”.

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