Segun Sowunmi, a spokesman to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that prominent politicians who battled the party’s presidential ticket with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, worked against his victory in the keenly contested February 23 election.
Recall that Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his predecessor, David Mark, Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former Kano Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Gombe Governor, Hassan Dankwambo were some of the PDP starlwart who contested the PDP presidential primaries in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, last year.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Sowunmi said on the contrary, all the other contestants who lost out to Atiku at the primaries, went the whole hog to return Atiku elected.
Sowunmi, who added that the Wazirin Adamawa indeed won the election, expressed confidence in the ability of the election petition tribunal to dispense justice by overturning the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said: “After the convention in Port Harcourt, you would have noticed that all of them (aspirants) stayed behind. None of them left the party and as much as they could, they played one role or the other.
“The fact that somebody is not talking doesn’t mean he is not doing something. Some of them were doing a whole lot in the background and some of them were even facing their locations, trying to give us all of the energy around their sphere of influences. Generally, it was a unified effort of everybody to get us to where we are.”
Sowunmi added that political patronage in the country often comes with some challenges.
“Politics in Nigeria carries with it one burden which is that everybody wants patronage and that patronage they want usually comes from the people that are in government, the presidency and by extension, the governors are the one that will dispense those patronages.
“They may want to keep their hands on the plough, they want to make themselves available in case someone wanted to call them from the other side.
While counseling PDP stalwarts to keep faith with the party at this difficult time, Sowunmi said the lamentation of some who left PDP for the ruling party should offer some valuable lessons to those capable of seeing beyond the gains of today.
“I should just say that they should take a look at the ones that went on that Israeli journey to APC in the beginning and how they have been treated. Just today, I read one headline where Governor Rochas Okorocha said that the little challenges he was running from in PDP, had befallen him ten times in the APC.
“We know that the grass is not always greener on the other side especially for people who can feed themselves and all that,” he noted.
He urged those struggling with the temptation of defecting to the APC to learn from the nation’s founding fathers who were famous for sticking with their political platforms regardless of electoral outcomes.
According to him, “They (PDP chieftains) must be guided by the stance of some of the forebears of this country – the likes of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sardauna of Sokoto and the rest of them; what you would have found with those men is that they painstakingly stuck to their platforms. They were not in the habit of jumping from their platforms to another.”