BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
A Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River state, Architect Bassey Ndem, has described as “unfounded and rumour” that the ruling party has jettisoned zoning system which had been applied over the years across the three Senatorial districts of the state.
He made the remarks in Calabar while speaking to veteran journalists on the state of the nation.
According to him, “well, you said I am a strong member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which implies that I am part of the decision. So if we decide for any reason to jettison what we had earlier agreed and sealed as gentlemen then I will be very interested to know what the reasons were to jettison what has worked so well for us”.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has remained “one big family and the ruling party as far as Cross River state is concerned”.
“As a result, he said, we remain focused and more united as ever before, Ndem added”.
Ndem queried, “what has made the place quiet and peaceful? Zoning has worked and served us well. Why should we jettison it now?”.
When asked if PDP is not afraid with emerging reconstitution of new Executives by All Progressives’ Congress (APC), he said, remember that most of these people are our brothers in arms. Today it is convenient for them to operate under a different platform or banner. Fundamentally, you must ask yourself what are the ideological differences between these parties”.
Explaining further, he added, “what are the ideological differences and so as a Democrat and an individual I would like to see a strong, vibrant opposition. I can’t see what will make me afraid instead it is going to ginger us to sit up and bring out the best in us. So if we were lackerdiscal in the past for the fact that there are now threats coming up, it is going to make us sit up and clean up ourselves”.
“This development will also help the party address the issues of the structure and leadership of PDP. It may be a catalyst to make us quickly sit up and do the right thing. So we have to thank the opposition for coming up strong, he noted”.
Answering a question on the prospect of our economic recovery, he said “I am not optimistic about that because I have not seen any consistency in our policies”. Secondly, I have not seen any home grown solution to our economic recovery. Rather, what we see are reactions or reactive politics and economists . I don’t see any long term planning or structural changes that are taking place rather I am seeing policy summersalt, so I am not too optimistic over the quick economic recovery”.
On Nigeria’s response to Covid-19 pandemic, Ndem noted that “we saw the full blown of the Covid from massive lock down which was done in Lagos and few other states. Lock out took place in Cross River state . We saw stay at home but when you are out, wear a mask. Fortunately for us, the approach adopted by the state government appears to be the one that most of the economies of the world decided to adopt”.
“Lock down completely had gotten a bad name because as predicted that the effect and the collateral damage of lock down would be much more higher than whatever effects Covid-19 would have on us. There is no doubt that Covid-19, is real but even the callous state of our economy, and the very primitive state of our healthcare system, then prevention is much more than the non existent cure. And that is what we have to encourage the authorities to do as media practitioners. It is better not to catch it than to say you have Covid and expect you will go to isolation centre which already is over crowded or non existent, he said”.
Therefore, he said, “my take is that there should be no further lock down in a massive scale. China could manage and lock down Wuhan very effectively because it has the capacity to enforce it. We don’t have any where near the kind of infrastructures needed to carry out that kind of exercise in Nigeria. So it is better not to carry out complete lock down this time around but to carry out preventive measures and enhance immunity and nutrition as our own response”.
“Fortunately as well, we have not died the way they said we should. That should be a challenge to our health care practitioners and researchers to find out what made us not to fulfill the dooms day prophesies. If the vaccine is the way out we have Vaccine Research institutes. What went wrong. Do the need any form of encouragement? Those are the kind of home grown solutions which I think that are necessary in these trying times, Ndem added”.