By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—The immediate past Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, yesterday announced “temporary withdrawal from active partisan politics”.
Ohakim, who announced his current decision to scores of his supporters at his Okohia, Isiala Mbano local government area country home, however said: “ While we retreat to reformat, I shall devote my time to mentoring and working with the youths of my home state, Imo and indeed, Nigeria “.
While emphasizing that there was nothing behind the decision other than the need to have time to pursue other matters of terrestrial interest, outside partisan politics.
“Of course, I am not the only Nigerian, both within and outside the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and indeed among members of the political class, to so desire but even more enthusiastic about our collective democratic future was the ordinary Nigerian who, though desired a change from the status quo ante, still believed that for the needed balance, the PDP should remain strong,“ Ohakim said.
While lamenting that the party failed to key into this general optimism, “its key gladiators became overwhelmed by the burden of the defeat and failed to appreciate the goodwill it still had among Nigerians, despite the challenges of its 16-year long rule”.
“The final result was the split into two factions which have remained irreconcilable despite wise counsel from well-meaning quarters within and outside the party and indeed, despite pronouncements of the law”, Ohakim said.
Expressing regret that the party leaders have been taking deliberate steps to destabilize it, party faithful have also watched helplessly as the leaders undermine each other in pursuit of self-serving interests.
“Outside the PDP, the general political environment has not helped matters. Contrary to expectations of Nigerians that the political class has learnt the relevant lessons from the outcome of the 2015 general election, which is that the people’s preference must count, the latter has returned to the old antics of election rigging and violence”, Ohakim said.