By Jude Audu and Alexander Idris
Chief Sam Eke,Ph’D has emerged as the presidential candidate for Citizen Popular Party (CPP) and he is still the National Chairman of the party. The convention took place on 7th of Decemeber, 2014 at Confidential Hotel, Nyanya, Abuja, where members of the National Executive Committee were duly elected to hold various offices for the next four years.
History was mad at the National Convention as a woman, Hajara Ishiaku, emerged as the National Secretary. The 1st time a women is being elected as secretary of any political party in Nigeria. All of these exercises were carefully monitored by Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Nigeria’s electoral umpire.
Citizens Popular Party (CPP) is one the parties that survived deregistration of political parties by INEC. It was party founded by the renowned legal luminary, Olisa Agbakoba,OON,SAN;a man known for his zero-tolerance for injustice, his spirit of nationalism and passion for the citizenry. Created initially as the Green Party, it was renamed the Citizens Popular Party in 2006, in review of the recommitment of the party’s mission; to serve Nigeria a democratic government in practice and not in theory.
The CPP recently, on the 29th of November, 2014 held its State Congresses across the country; during which ward local government, state, and zonal leaders were nominated to contest in the forthcoming general elections in 2015. The State Congresses were devoid of violence and dissenting views and voices. They were conducted peacefully and harmoniously, as security officials were on hand to make sure of that.
Over 40% of the National Executive Council of the party is made up women. Over 45% of nominated candidates to contest for various offices in the 2015 general elections are women. Two women also emerged as chair persons of the party in Kogi and Oyo States. In addition, all female members were given nomination forms free-of-charge. All these are in line with the ratification if the 35% of women in political participation.
The youths and the physically challenged are not left out of the Citizens Popular Party political pursuits, as their interests were addressed at the National Convention. Two physically challenged people emerged as chairmen of the party in Ekiti and Ondo state. Youths are also represented in the NEC of the party.
The party’s national chairman and presidential candidate, Chief Sam Eke is an accountant by profession and politician by present practice; A man of impeccable intelligence, zest and a large heart. He hails from Ikwuana Iga of Abia state. He has had a taste of the grassroots, as he began his schooling experience in the Local Education Authority (LEA) primary school, Amukoko Apapa, Lagos. His secondary schooling was in Odofin Secondary School, Lagos. He then advanced to the Federal Polytechnic, Akanu Ibiam and then the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro for his tertiary education. In the quest for further knowledge on his field of study, he went abroad to the Pacific Western University, Janus University and the state University of New York, all in the United states of America, to acquire a post graduate certificate and then his PhD.
Chief Sam Eke is a man that knows the true meaning of service, loyalty and dedication. During his National Youth Service (NYSC) year, he worked as a teacher of Account, Commerce and Economics in the Comprehensive Secondary School, Akwa Ibom. He has worked as an accountant in various prominent organizations such as Hall generators boilers ltd, Namibia High Commission, Protea Hotel and a host of others. He has served in the CPP at various levels, namely: the National Administrative Secretary, the National Publicity Secretary, Inter-party Advisory Council(IPAC) and most recently, appointed the Chairman of the party.
Chief Sam Eke, told our correspondent about the issues concerning the recently concluded National Convention and the State Congresses. He commended the manner in which the aforementioned events were conducted, stating that they were “peaceful, natural, rancor-free and very much gender-sensitive”. He also stated that “there were no parallel congresses or conventions, as was in the cases of some parties” he would not mention to avoid “name-calling”. He added that the implications of having a number of people individually declaring themselves as winners of primaries were that those political parties lacked internal democracy; a key ingredient in governance, he stressed. “This situation would lead to many legal battles in 2015”, he said.
Furthermore, Chief Sam Eke also stressed on section 14(2)b of the 1999 constitution that emphasizes on security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of the government; a key role in which the present government is woefully failing at fulfilling. He added that any government that could not guarantee these does not have any business in governance. “If am elected I will create an environment that will not be fertile for insurgency”, he said. He mentioned that he will implement the party’s manifesto to the letter because in it lies the blue print on how to salvage Nigeria from its present prostrate posture.
Chief Sam Eke observed that there is massive corruption in the country. Asked how he will address the issue, he said he will lead by example. “You cannot be embezzling money and expect your subordinates not to follow suit”, he said. He added that he will start an exemplary leadership by declaring his assets as soon as he gets elected as the president. He also shed light on the fact that the government has given waver to a single capitalist to monopolize the trade of certain goods. That there were some sectors that should not have been privatized due to their sensitive natures.
Chief Sam Eke also debunked the statement made by one Dr. Charity on the NTA, that the CPP has endorsed Goodluck Jonathan for presidency in 2015. He stated that this statement is false and that he is the sole candidate for presidency for the party, come next year. “No such decision was taken at the recently conducted National Convention; we hereby call on Nigerians to disregard such dubious statement by an unknown and non-CPP member. The Nigeria Police should arrest and prosecute her for such a statement for impersonation. The media, especially the government-controlled media should verify the authenticity of such statements to avoid legal battles”, he said.