Posted On: Sun 18 Jun 2017 By THE NATION NG
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has raised the alarm about the danger posed to Nigeria’s democracy by the ongoing crisis in the main opposition party.
In an interview with The Nation in Lagos, Dickson, who is the Chairman of the PDP’s National Reconciliation Committee, described the crisis as needless. He argues that the nation was the loser since the former ruling party could not play its proper role, providing virile opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“What is happening in PDP is a great danger to Nigeria’s democracy,” he said. “But what is happening in PDP is not just peculiar to PDP, it is also happening in APC. For our democracy to be secured, we need a strong party in government, strong cohesive united party in government, pursuing their democratic agenda as well as a virile party in opposition.”
Dickson decried the fact that PDP members had to resort to the courts to resolve what was an internal problem and says that the judicial intervention was an indictment of the political class.
He said: “Relying on the court to resolve internal crisis is an indictment of the political class; it is an indictment on the democratic credentials of all players. My belief is that the judiciary is overworked or over-labored unnecessarily by political actors of all parties.
“We have abdicated our responsibilities as political players; we have surrendered too much to the judiciary. We have involved the judiciary in too many unnecessary political issues, thereby exposing them to ridicule and we are not helping the judiciary.
“Political leaders who are key players in the democratic system should show the maturity, the political temperament to be able to recognize and solve problems within themselves and see politics as essential element of democracy, which is a market place of ideas. We all do not need to belong on one political party.”
On the recent quit notice issued by some youth groups to Igbos living in the North, the governor condemned and backed all the steps taken by the Northern Governors Forum and their counterparts in the South East to promote peace.
Dickson blamed the APC-led federal government for increased ethnic tensions and said it could have been done more in the area of promoting national unity in the country.
“Government has not done enough to promote national cohesion, whether in the national management of federal political power, appointments or in evolving a national strategy to deal with the menace of herdsmen. The government must evolve the right strategy to contain all these as quickly as possible,” he said. READ FULL DICKSON INTERVIEW ON PAGES 46 & 47.