A former President of the Senate, Dr. Ken Nnamani, has quit the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nnamani, a foundation member of the former ruling party, announced his decision in a statement on Saturday.
The 67-year-old said the party, which gave him the platform to attain his highest status in politics, had derailed from the path of its noble vision and values.
He also said his exit was due to the fact that PDP had become corruption ridden and that all efforts to reform it have failed.
Nnamani was elected to the Senate in 2003, and was Senate President from April 2005 to May 2007 after his predecessor, Adolphus Wabara, resigned due to allegations of corruption.
Read his full statement of resignation from the PDP below:
PDP, the burden and my conscience
Without any iota of bitterness in my heart, I have decided to disengage from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and consequently step aside from partisan politics in the interim. I wish to express my profound gratitude to the party that gave me the platform with which I attained the height I did in the politics of our country.
How I wish the efforts I mounted with some of my colleagues (many of whom have left the party) to keep the PDP on the path of its noble vision and values had been supported by those who were privileged to be at the helm of affairs of the party, it would have been a different day for the PDP. It would have been a day of victory and pride not of defeat and shame.
I recall that the virus of corruption of values and mission was what those my colleagues and I set out to cure through the formation of the PDP Reform Forum in 2010/11. We worked hard to draw up a new direction for the Party.
This was to help steer the party away from illegality and impropriety so that PDP can fulfil its promise of being a vanguard of Nigeria’s political and economic development. A direction defined by strict adherence to basic rules and morality in the management of party affairs. Chief of these values is respect for choice of party members in electing party candidates for elections.
With more than half a decade of championing such a fundamental but simple idea, I regret that the PDP leadership continues to rebuff internal democracy. The party allowed itself to be blinded by hubris to believe that it will remain in power and influence for 60 years in spite of several gross missteps and grievous misnomer. We foresaw this ditch and prescribed how to avert falling into it. But we were dismissed as idealistic. Today the idealists have become realists.
Recently, even after our avoidable abysmal electoral defeat, I continued to believe that we can still chart a new course and retrieve victory from the jaw of defeat. I continued to urge the leadership of the party to believe that the time of defeat could be the time of renewal, and that renewal requires strategic thinking and bold actions.
I urged that this is a time to re-embrace internal democracy and principled leadership to reposition the party for new politics. We are living in different times and we need new tools, ethos and codes of conduct. We need to become a party of technocrats and professionals and not a party of mercenaries and rent seekers.
We need to become the party of young men and women with new ideas and not a party of political dinosaurs. It is clear now that these pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Every day the crisis of confidence and the contradictions in our party deepen. We continue to lose members and morale. The rebuilding some of us had urged on the leadership is not happening. Those who led us to defeat are determined to continue to lead the party as undertakers.
I do not believe I should continue to be a member of the PDP as it is defined today. This is certainly not the party I joined years ago to help change my country. I do not also believe that the PDP as it is managed today will provide an opportunity for me to continue to play the politics of principles and values which I set for myself as a young man on leaving graduate school and working for a large multinational in the United States in the 70s and 80s.
Therefore, today I resign my membership of the PDP. In stepping out of partisan politics for the meantime, I will continue to be politically engaged. I will also continue to support the government and all the elected officers in Nigeria to repositioning the nation. I will also constructively criticize them when by commission or omission they take actions that could damage the prospects of transforming Nigeria into a productive, merit-based and honestly governed country.
As I leave PDP, I wish the leaders a new awakening and ethical revival. I cherish all the friends I made while in PDP and hope the friendship will continue to flourish.
God bless Nigeria.