Former Edo Commissioner for Information, Kasim Afegbua, yesterday resigned his membership from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Afegbua, who was one of the staunch advocates of power rotation in the PDP, said he left the PDP due to what he described as hypocritical and manipulative process that produced Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, as standard-bearers of the party for the 2023 presidential election.
In a letter addressed to the chairman of his ward, titled: ‘Resignation from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Afegbua disclosed that he has ceased to be a member of the party consequent upon his resignation.
The letter read in part: “Let me use this medium to convey to you, my resignation from being a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Ward 5, Awuyemi, Okpella.
“My reason is borne out of my long held and well publicised position that it is the turn of the Southern part of Nigeria to produce the next president in line with the provisions of Article 7 of the party’s constitution. Since the party has jettisoned the provision and manipulated the convention by eliminating zoning, my aspiration as a member is impaired. The same Party that eliminated zoning has all of a sudden, settled for a running mate from the South in person of Senator Ifeayin Arthur Okowa.
“I would have thought that having eliminated zoning, the candidate would choose his vice from any part of the country; including the zones of the North. This reality presents a hypocritical emanation that can neither stand the true test of justice, fairness and equity nor prospective legal challenges.
“For the above reasons only, I align myself with the considered standpoint of the APC Northern Governors who spoke so eloquently about the need to allow power to rotate to the South, in the true spirit of fairness, equity and justice. The considered and patriotic position of the APC Northern Governors remains unassailable, and I wholeheartedly align myself with their position; taking into account the heterogenous configurations of Nigeria.
“This is without any affiliation or involvement with the APC, whose hitherto uninspiring leadership I have been a vocal critic of, or any other political party. What the PDP power apparatchik has done was to supplant justice with injustice in its desperation to return to power. Power for power sake without recourse to the psyche of its members and the equitability of power acquisition and distribution, is an invitation to political instability.
“In arriving at this decision, I have interrogated all the scenarios and situations, and come to the conclusion that a healthy and robust political engagement derives from justice, respect for internal rules and regulations, and adherence to constitutional provisions rather than manipulation of processes to suit the aspirations of a few. I will remain true to my conscience and be driven by my convictions. If it was about self, I would be comfortable to remain within the party and patronisingly readjust my sensibilities to praise worship the candidate. But, by my orientation and background, I will be in constant conflict with my conscience if I ignore the therapy of balancing the political algorithms of a plural society that Nigeria has been.
“Ward Chairman, Sir, thank you for the support you have always given me; first, for standing down all pressure to suspend me when I took on Governor Obaseki in 2020, and many other times. Needless to say that all my predictions have come to pass, and those who insulted me in 2020 have also apologised in 2022; having now witnessed the instability within the Edo PDP as a result of Governor Obaseki’s overarching conduct. Politics must be played with some principles and certain convictions to free one’s conscience from conflict.