Imo business professionals of PDP leaning under the auspices of The IMO PDP INTEGRITY FORUM LAGOS heaved a sigh of relief and had most of their fears allayed yesterday 20/08/2017 when they were engaged by Barrister Charles Ezekwem, the Imo state executive PDP chairman who flew in from Owerri to share his vision and blueprint for a strengthened and more inclusive state party chapter.
The state PDP chairman presided over the inauguration of the forum and used the opportunity to educate the professionals on the inner workings of state party politics and the need for them to get passionately involved in grassroot politics so they can help put an end to the era of godfatherism and also directly participate in filtering the processes that lead to the election of party flagbearers in the state.
Taking the floor for over 45 minutes twice, apart from answering to questions thrown at him, the chairman passionately intimated and pleaded with the professionals of the forum to come home and get directly involved in all the processes that lead to the election of all political aspirants of the party in the state.
He noted that participation in the party congresses from the ward level to the state level would ensure that the right officials and appointees emerge, he also encouraged the professionals to aspire to become delegates for the party primaries so as to have direct participation in the processes and to filter the quality of the elected representatives of the state.
The chairman encouraged professionals who have ambition to run for any elective position to come to PDP and contest because the party will ensure a level playing ground for all aspirants. He reiterated that the era of giving tickets and writing results is over and the era of one person writing names of delegates that will vote in the primaries is also a thing of the past. He stressed that election of delegates will be conducted according to the specifications and provisions of the party constitution. No more impunity.
Various speakers at the forum notable among which were Engr Ben Ekwueme, Chief Obinna Duruaku, Adaobi Nwakuche, Duruebube Chimazuru Nnadi, Chief Samuel Egbukwu, Ben Uzoebo, Tony Ebi , Simeon Anunobi, Sir Stanley Ekezie, Ikenga Osita Okorie and many others, highlighted flaws and the difficulties prospective aspirants and party members encounter, and that they envisage in getting involved in active grassroot party politics.
The forum professionals bemoaned the poor quality of infrastructure in the state despite the huge investments they have made in the state. They pointed to the fact that the beauty of Owerri today is mostly due to private sector effort and that the infrastructure required to encourage their further investment in the state was lacking.
One of the speakers compared the state of Imo state university teaching hospital Orlu during the Udenwa Administration with the pitiful and dilapidated state of the hospital today. Others pointed to the phantom projects propagandised in the media and the abandoned projects that litter the state and also the desolate and dilapidated state of road infrastructure.
The professionals all agreed that to kill off Godfatherism and to improve the quality of PDP leadership and representation for the state and at the federal level, there was need for their direct participation in the elective processes of the party.
The Forum also agreed that this was the first time in the history of the PDP in Imo, that the private sector had been invited by a party chairman to join hands in strengthening the party and to purify the quality of state politics.
The chairman answered all questions thrown to him impressively and bemoaned the fact that party funding was a major factor encouraging godfatherism. He explained that because of the usual practice where the state government, some moneybags and few elected representatives fund the party in the state, previous state chairmen had no choice but to take direction and instructions from its sponsors. But with the financial participation of accomplished party members from the private sector in the affairs of the party, accountability and insistence on due process in party processes would be imperative.
The chairman offered the forum a seat on the table at non executive party meetings where they could gain useful insight into the inner workings of the party executive.
The forum thanked the Chairman for his rare offer of partnership in running the party and vowed to expand the forum and fully support and back his vision and blueprint to return Imo PDP back to the masses.