By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah says, he is happy and proud to handover a winning party to a new executive in the State.
Bro. Obuah who made the declaration in his parting speech during the swearing-in ceremony of the new executives of the party on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at Obi Wali International Cultural Center, Port Harcourt, said he is excited to have improved the fortunes of the party more than he met it.
The immediate past Rivers PDP Chairman who described the party as one with the potentials – human and material to win elections any time, any day and anywhere, no matter who present themselves as opponents or antagonists, said a major attribute and reason behind his success story lies in party discipline imbibed in members.
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TEXT OF THE PARTING SPEECH OF THE OUTGOING CHAIRMAN OF THE RIVERS STATE CHAPTER OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP, BRO FELIX OBUAH DURING THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF THE NEW EXECUTIVE OF THE PARTY, WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2020
It’s indeed a joyful experience to note that today’s event is the grand finale of the months-long process of electing the new set of leaders of our great party, the PDP, who, most expectedly will ensure that our dear Rivers State remains a PDP state and our winning streaks as it were, are sustained as traditional in all party elections in the State.
I say this with an almost sense of responsibility, knowing full well that wherever there is the will there must be a way. Moreso, with the hindsight of an achiever, I make no doubt that with the personage of the new state chairman, Amb. Desmond Akawor and his able lieutenants, the party can do no less than we have been able to accomplish even under a more challenging beginning.
You are living witnesses to what the scenario looked like when I, and my team assumed office on April 15, 2015. The story is better told by attentive and impartial observers because as men who make history, we have no time to write it, goes a popular aphorism.
It most however be pinpointed that my leadership before, now and in time to come will stand out as the most democratic characterized with team spirit and brotherhood among the leaders and members of the party at all levels. This was possible because upon assumption of office, we prayed for divine wisdom and guidance based on a deeper understanding that our world having narrowed into a neighbourhood has further broadened into a brotherhood and as the great Martin Luther King noted, “we must team to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. This is the stimulus to the altruistic principle of ‘Go-round’ that has always characterized my actions and dealings in both private and public life.
I can in fact, confidently say without fear of contradiction that in no other political party in our State, now or before, will you experience the kind of care for one another, love, co-operation, brotherhood and ‘Go-Round’ as was found in my administration through the two terms I held sway as the State Chairman Ex-ordinary and Plenipotentiary.
This should serve as a template, a platform and plank for the new administration to raise the bar of excellence to sustain our first among equals status of the Rivers State PDP.
To say or even think that the path to the present height of our party today is rosy is to sound simplistic at best, or unrealistic at worse.
The politics of Nigeria, commentators and analysts have noted, defies all known theories of political history. The waters are murky and must be navigated with caution if you must come out of it unscathed coupled with the economic and socio-political idiosyncrasies of our political environment in Rivers State and the Niger Delta region in general.
Notwithstanding all the challenges, I am happy and proud to hand over to my successors this day, Wednesday, 13, 2020, a victorious, all conquering, flamboyant and the people’s choice party that is not only the ruling party in the State, but also, one that has eclipsed other political parties in the state, that today we have only two political parties in the state namely, PDP and others.
A party that has the potentials – human and material to win elections any time, any day, any where no matter who present themselves as opponents or antagonists.
Another great attribute and reason for our success story is party discipline imbibed in our members, the right value system and good ethical conduct which we believe, were the necessary tools for the desired transformation. But for all this to work out in your favour as an individual or group, wear your ‘learning’ like your wrist watch, in a private pocket and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show that you have one.
Your Excellency, Sir and my dear party members, this has been our guiding principle rooted in Aristotelian philosophy that “the end of labour is to gain leisure. We have therefore labored, giving up leisure in order that may have real leisure just as we go to war that we may have peace”.
In all, our great party, the PDP, is the ultimate beneficiary with enviable internal democracy at all levels, good governance and strong leadership typified by the Governor Wike-led government produced and being nurtured by the PDP since 2015.
Apart from winning elections for two consecutive election periods in the state to the envy of our political detractors, many thanks to our good and trust-worthy people of Rivers State, under my leadership, we were able to return life to our state party secretariat which till date is a beehive of activities facilitated by a multi-million naira ultra Multi-Purpose Hall at the State Secretariat. This edifice with modern-state-of-art-facilities was officially unveiled by His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike on Friday, December 18, 2015.
Above all, we created a strategy and system of selecting party leaders and representatives devoid of bitterness and rancor without which the event of today would not be.
Today, we have a democratic culture of choosing our leaders at all levels which anchors on justice. As students of political history, we can readily recall the great ‘saying’ of the great American president, D.D. Eisenhower: “Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace”. We have since learnt from this, internalized it into our policy framework and it is working like magic and has to be sustained.
It’s however, no longer news to recall but for record purposes, it may interest you to note that in 2015 general elections, it was a landslide victory for the PDP in Rivers State, having produced the Executive Governor, won the three senatorial seats namely: Rivers East, Rivers West and Rivers South-East respectively. We also won all the House of Representatives seats and over 28 members of the State House of Assembly seats.
To the glory of God and with gratitude to the Governor I was re-elected on Tuesday May 11, 2016 for a second term as chairman, Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
I was on Thursday, September 17, 2015 elected chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Rivers State. I meritoriously served in that capacity for two terms.
In 2019 general elections which was acclaimed as the most contentious in the political history of our state, despite all the gang-up, intimidation, combined military and police attacks on our members and supporters, our Party still won the Governorship election for the second time under my watch, the three Senatorial seats, all the Federal House of Reps seats as well as the State House of Assembly.
The PDP presently has all the chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors in the 23 local government councils in the State.
This is an unprecedented feat in light of the onslaught and mayhem unleashed on Rivers State by the opposition using the federal might during the elections which regrettably remains a sad commentary on the political history of our dear state.
At this juncture ladies and gentlemen, permit me to commit to record for posterity the unprecedented efforts of De Facto Persona, courage personified, fearless and indefatigable State Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS (Africa) without whose support all these efforts and achievements would not be possible. I salute his courage, vision and fighting spirit.
His Excellency has not only demystified those that arrogated temporal powers and invincibility to themselves but has by his bravery and daring, authenticated that when faith is lost, when honour dies, the man is dead. Therefore to live and live and not merely exist, to keep winning and winning as we have done, be a man of faith, a man of honour and success is guaranteed.
On this note, I want to thank once again, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in a very special way for all his support and encouragement that provided us the impetus for our numerous achievements while we called the shots, and appeal most respectfully to His Excellency, that same support be extended to the new State Executive.
And to you, our dear successors and leaders, as you take over the baton of leadership of our great party, acclaimed to be the largest in black Africa, there should be no looking back. You are lucky you are taking off on a clean slate and strong note, no court injunctions, no litigations, no grudges etc, so, you have no reason not to fly.
May the good Lord grant you all the wisdom and grace to lead in His fear and to the benefit of our great party.
Once more, congratulations!
BRO FELIX A. OBUAH
IMMEDIATE PAST PDP CHAIRMAN,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2020.