Former media aide to ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Kassim Afegbua, has resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the party’s presidential ticket going to the North instead of the South.
Afegbua, a former Commissioner of Information in Edo State and a chieftain of the party in the state, had threatened to leave the party if the presidential ticket of the party was taken away from the South.
And following the emergence of Atiku as the party’s candidate, the outspoken Afegbua has kept to his words of resigning from the party.
Afegbua had been consistent in calling for power shift to the South in 2023 and had warned the PDP of grave consequences if its presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential election was not zoned to the South.
In a formal resignation letter addressed to the PDP Chairman, Ward 5 Okpella, Edo State, Afegbua said his action was motivated by the singular act of the PDP refusing to heed the calls to zone its presidential ticket to the South.
The letter reads:
“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 Ifeanyi 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.
“Thank you for the opportunity and remain blessed. I hope that our political paths will cross again in the future.”