C'River PDP : I don't know it all but I know enough to lead the party, Ikem says as he declares for Chairmanship

Barr. Venatius Ikem

Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples' Democratic Party, PDP, Barrister Venatius Ikem has formally declared his intention to become the next State Chairman of the party in Cross River.

Ikem, a former Adviser you President Olusegun Obasanjo and a founding member of the party amongst others said that his experience in party administration makes him a perfect fit for the job. 

In a speech titled "Peoples' Democratic  Party 2020 Congresses: A Call to service 2" the experienced politician who has served in all the three tiers of government said that he may not know everything about party administration but he knows enough to lead the party.

Read the full speech below : 

A message to my Party men and women in CRS. 

2. "To everything under the sun, there is a season; a time to tear down and a time to build" 

Ecclesiastes 3:3 

3. Please indulge my use of this medium to reach out to you on my preliminary indication of interest to contest for the position of our Party's chairmanship. 

There were concerns that my first appeal had a "tribal" connotation because I declared on my local platform. I tender my apologies. In the age I come from all politics was local. Your base remained critical. 

3. We must also accept the social media as a veritable presence and influence in this generation. It's use is always legitimate as a means of Mass Communication. 

I intend to follow up with adequate individual consultations. 

4. I am very happy to share this message of hope with us all because I am an incurable optimist in all that is good and possible. 

It is true that even such a one like me can also almost despair sometimes  

But sometimes it is in our  lowest moments that we find the strength we need to go on. 

I have been at the mountain top and I have been in the lowest valley of the politics of our party and our dear state.

5.  I still don't know it all but I know enough to want to be in a position to contribute to the solution. 

We will define the problem as we go along. 

6. I have grown and lived under the intense scrutiny of politics. I am not perfect. I am only human. Pardon my many shortcomings. 

In the limelight, you know who I am and what I represent. I am transparent and have nothing to hide, warts and all. 

 At 55, with adequate field and cognate experience, spanning 30 years, serving my Council , my State party and State Executive Council, my party at National level and my country as Special Adviser to the President,  I believe we are at a critical juncture where our state Party chapter needs people with my experience to step up to the plate and rebuild the fabric of our party as a necessary step towards reinvigorating our society's social fabric and complement Govt efforts.

7. Government cannot do it alone. For Govt to succeed, she needs adequate mobilization for a stakeholder buy in to her policies, programs and projects. A political party is an instrument critical for that social mobilization; Mobilization for socio-economic advancement,  different from, but  in addition to mobilization for the ballot box! 

8. While we seem to have perfected the former, we have failed abysmally in the later. 

As our democracy inches above two decades it is a imperative to refocus on the critical role a very successful political party like the Peoples' Democratic Party can play in our society, having come of age, beyond just winning elections. 

9. Political Parties  are more than tools for winning elections, because elections are not an end unto themselves but a means to a desirable end: a proper and effective mobilization of especially human resources for the advancement of our collective wellbeing. 

10. I have indicated interest to contest as the next State Chairman of our party. 

I am conscious of some contentious issues in the party and the polity and I say to you all , do not despair! 

11. We can reinvigorate the energy we started with that made us become almost a one party State! From a minority in the State House of Assembly and representatives to the National Assembly in 1999, today it seems like an aberration to lose one seat in a general election like we just did in what should be one of our safest constituencies!
12. The pain is even worst when you realize that it was avoidable. The joy though is that we "lost" the seat to one of our own ! 

14 It is, however, clear from that Election that we have lost some of our best and brightest needlessly due to what for lack of a less acrimonious phrase I will call "management inexperience".  And that is where people like me with a robust history of the party and electioneering experience of another age can make a difference. 

15. But we can recreate that age.

*An age when it wasn't so fashionable to display cultist credentials as  critical to political advancement.

* An age when very poor candidates won elections because their constituents adjudged them best suited to represent them. 

*And age when some of our bright indigenes were invited to serve because of their proven accomplishment in their fields of endeavour elsewhere so they can add value to society not because they excelled in thuggery during the elections. 

* An age when the party did not wait for handouts from Govt before it could engage on tours to ramp up it's base across the state.

* An age when the party took pride in leading it's own team to inspect projects of it's Govt and offered useful advise and proffered solutions, to complement Govt efforts. 

*An age when there was mass mobilization for community support for Govt policies and activities.  

Yes, we can recreate that age! 

16. We can bring back all the veterans we lost along the way because we didn't have proper means of effective communication. 

17. It was by no means a perfect age. We had our issues too but we always resolved them! That's what made us "family"!
Family was not a euphemism for something dark and  oppressive. Family meant a bond of unity! Family didn't mean Blood! 

18. For us Africans, family is everything. It must not be mistaken for a cabal.

 The admonition of  HE Donald Duke, in one of our state caucus meetings echoes loudly in my head as I write this. He said 

"...caucuses are good. But let us resist the temptation to transform our caucus into a cabal; because cabals by their very nature consume their own..."

We almost got there but we can retrace our steps.

 I offer you the torch through that path if you let me. 

20. By all means the past is gone and development has moved on. But in  moving forward, the lessons of the past are as critical as our projection to the future. 

21.I will help enthrone those family values  of dialogue and communication as a critical factor in decision making. I will ensure that we acquire a legitimate understanding through dialogue to allow the party organs to function. 

22. The agitation for fair distribution of opportunities will not be resolved by conflict, they will be resolved through dialogue by timely engagement of all necessary organs of the party as well as stakeholders.
 I know how we started and I know where the banana peels lie. I know how to evade them too, by God's grace. 

That's the beauty of democracy. 

23. I promise to return the party to live up to it's true name as a  DEMOCRATIC PARTY!   

24. I am happy with the welcome I have received since I made my interest public and  I believe that the mobilization has indeed began for a rebirth. 

I will proudly lead that rebirth with your support. 

25. I do not want to be the best chairman PDP Cross River State never had. I need your support to become the first chairman PDP Cross River State actually "ELECTED"! 

I believe those who know our history will understand. 

26. Thank you and God bless Cross River State! 

Vena. Ikem

Calabar, 06/02/2020.
Politics 3703694342257869936

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