Bar Peter Uwadia is an erudite scholar and lawyer. When you are in his office, you easily know that he is a very busy man, what with the pile of files mounted on his table, and the retinue of visitors that he has to deal with daily. But apart from that, there’s a saying that a person’s eyes are the windows to his soul. Only look in Bar Uwadia’s eyes and you get the feel this is a businesslike person who knows his onions and understands his terrain. He was recently appointed publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC Edo State at the last Congress of the APC. In this interview with journalists in Benin City, Bar Uwadia gave a glimpse of the direction and the quantum leaps his party the APC is moving as Nigeria and Edo state moves to the Presidential elections come 2023.
Team of Journalists: A good day to you sir…could you kindly introduce yourself to our readers?
Bar Uwadia: My name is Prince Peter Igbinigie Uwadia, publicity secretary, APC Edo state.
Team of Journalists: You were appointed publicity secretary at a very sensitive time. The Presidential Elections of 2023 is just by. There are many issues in Edo State politics, and we are curious to know how you intend to take your party through it all?
Bar Uwadia: Well the All Progressives Congress in Edo State and in Nigeria is the most organised Party in Nigeria. If you were a part of the Congress that the APC just held a few weeks ago in Benin City, you would have observed that the unity demonstrated by our party cannot be comparable to what obtains in other parties. The APC is one party where all the members have a grasp of what politics is all about in Edo State. Permit me to reveal to you that we have mapped out significant strategies, particularly the present Exco, to ensure that the tyrants who are occupying the positions at the Osadebey Avenue are shown the way out through the normal process of balloting. We are not people who do not know why we lost the last Election. And since that last election was conducted, there has been a lot of in-house reorganization within the party fold with a view to ensuring that those areas where we lost are taken care of.
Edo state today is an APC state. Let’s not pretend otherwise. It is not a PDP state. From the time Oshiomhole took over the reins of governance in Edo State, and with the giant leaps that Oshiomhole took which changed the narrative in Edo State, more people now embrace APC as a party. The remnants that were left in the PDP, left with our very reverend Pastor when he left the PDP to join the APC and contested the last election. The people you now have in the other party, the PDP, are people who have no idea why they are there in the first place. The skirmishes currently going on in that party today would make you realize that the party has been Balkanized, is rudderless and there is a lot of disillusionment. A man just wakes up one morning and issues a proclamation that because he is the leader of the party, and that he wants to take over the structure of that party. God forbid…! All parties are guided by their constitution. The Constitution of the PDP, does not suggest that when a man becomes governor of a state, he must destroy people that have been elected to statutorily tenure positions. Their tenures must run their course.
But today what we see in the PDP is that the Governor is trying to remove people who have been duly elected even when their tenure is not over. Their constitution makes room for modalities concerning removal of elected officials from their positions. But what the governor is doing is that he is trying to change the goalpost at the middle of the game. That is why there is disarray in that their party. And if I must tell you this: that we are going to start by harvesting their remnants in no distant time, because there already have seen the need to be in a more united party like the APC.
Let me reveal this to you: when we were going for our Congress, the unity in the party was demonstrated. A few persons who wanted to contest the elections, like the Kabiyesi, and who realized that the party interest is beyond personal interests, decided to forego his ambition because he has the party at heart. And that is the highest respect any party member can give to his party. And we all in APC embrace that. My Chairman was happy with that demonstration of love and for the unity of our party. In a political party, that’s the way to go. We are going to bring to manifestation that unity that was demonstrated by our party members during our last Congress.
And when will that be? Be assured that because we are just entering an election year, we would start demonstrating our unity and sense of purpose. When campaigns will start by year 2022 towards the presidential elections of 2023, Edo people will know that there is APC and others. We will lecture others how political parties are managed. I am happy today to say that the caliber of persons that have been elected into positions in our exco are tested, tried and who know the rudiments of the game of politics. This will see from the kinds of action that would be taken in no distant time.
Team of Journalists: There is this reasoning in Edo state that the APC is not doing enough to hold the present administration to account. What do you say to that?
Bar Uwadia: A few days ago, my chairman said that what we are going to embark on in the APC is what is known as constructive criticism. If you have been following the trend since the last congress, the acting assistant publicity secretary has been reacting to government actions and inactions most of which have negatively impacted on the people of Edo state. The APC is not docile, and we are not as quiet as what some people think we are. We are looking for the right time to let the world know that what you have in Edo today is not a government. And is if listen to our chairman the other day, he said the present government is a scam. That said, I want to assure you that we are ready to face the party seemingly in government headlong at the appropriate time. The ‘appropriate time’ will come when the need arises. We do not just criticize for the sake of criticizing a government. When the need arises for criticism, the APC has always lived up to expectations. You can attest to the fact that our acting assistant publicity secretary Mr Ofure Osehobo has been reacting to government actions and inactions that are inimical to the wellbeing of the people of Edo State. I must reiterate however that we don’t have a government in Edo State for now.
Team of Journalists: Sir, other publicity secretaries of your party have come and gone. What are you going to do differently to move your party to glorious heights?
Bar Uwadia: My relationship with the Fourth Estate will be put to use let the Edo people know that we are here to change the present sorry narrative particularly as it affects the wellbeing of the Edo populace. We will let the world know that even though governance is a collective responsibility, those who are saddled with the responsibility to improve on the welfare of the people must meet the expectations of the people. We are going to put every organ of governance, and every government functionary in Edo state in check as to their actions and inactions. Be assured that when we do that, and the Edo people are seeing that being done, you will now know that a brand new APC is in place in Edo State. That is what is going to manifest in the very near future.