Worried by its dismal outing in the last general elections, the
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP recently inaugurated a 17-man
Election Assessment Committee. In this piece Assistant Editor,
MIKE ODIAKOSE, writes that PDP must purge itself and return
to the path of its founding fathers if it hopes to provide a virile
opposition and possibly bounce back in 2016

On May 29, the ruling Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP, will swap position with the All
Progressives Congress, APC, following
the trouncing of PDP in the 2015 general
elections. Most members and supporters of
the PDP are still in a trance over the defeat
of the party and it is already too late in the
day for the party to turn back the hands of
the clock.
Prior to PDP’s defeat, the party had taken
for granted the failed prediction of one of its
former national chairman, Prince Vincent
Ogbulafor, who boasted severally that PDP
will rule Nigeria uninterrupted for 60 years.
Immediately after the defeat of PDP, the same
Prince Ogbulafor was one of the early callers
on APC leaders, saying the party leaders are
his “friends”. Several other PDP members
have followed since followed Ogbulafor’s
cue and are now dinning with the APC.
Political pundits had severally warned
PDP to be cautious in their optimism that
the opposition cannot upstage them. This
call for caution stemmed from the fact that
PDP at a point lost focus and deviated from
the path pave by the founding fathers of
the party. Impunity, godfatherism, lack of
cohesion, absence of internal democracy,
imposition of candidates and zero respect for
the supremacy of the party became the order
of the day in the party. PDP even took the
electorate for granted as they hold tenuously
to the belief that the opposition was too weak
to wrest power from it.
When the opposition realised that they
cannot upstage PDP as individual party
and went into alliance to for the APC the
ruling PDP waves the merger aside saying
they are strange bed fellows and that the
marriage will crash as soon as they pick
their presidential candidate. The APC came
out of national convention stronger but this
was not enough to put PDP on red alert, as
the party leaders remained complacent. The
PDP leaders allowed the lack of internal
democracy to characterise its primaries last
year and imposed unpopular aspirants as its
candidates in several states.
These aggrieved candidates went to the
APC where they picked the party tickets and
eventually trounced PDP candidates during
the election. At the end of the day, it was
clean sweep for APC as the party used its
broom to sweep PDP out of power.
PDP would not have suffered this
unprecedented defeat if the party’s leaders
had listened to some of founding fathers like,
Dr. Bamanga Tukur, who last year warned
that the party was heading for the rocks
unless they took urgent steps to return to the
right path.
Speaking early last year at the 63rd National
Executive Committee, NEC, of the party
which was also his last official engagement
as National Chairman, Tukur said the public
faces of the PDP comprising its elected party
and government officials must be people of
integrity and character, with proven track
record and capability.
“Only by so doing can the people of
Nigeria continue to invest in us or any other
political platform with the confidence, trust
and mandate to administer and manage their
public affairs,” he said.

The former chairman said the
decline in nationwide support
of the PDP is to be expected
and advised members of the
party to prepare to and make
the necessary sacrifice required
to grow the party.
“PDP has performed and the
prospect for the party remains
good, while current challenges
are surmountable. We must
constantly strive to fulfill
our manifesto on the basis to
which our mandate to govern
derives, and on that we shall be
judged,” he said.
Mr. Tukur said it is only by
upholding internal democracy,
transparency, fairness, and
probity in all its dealings;
as well as delivering good
governance and service that
impacts positively on the life of
the people that the ruling party
can reinvent itself.
He advised members of the
party to avoid unnecessary
disagreements and conflicts,
which will eventually affect the
party.
“Gloating over being in
power, and remaining in
power no matter what is,
dangerous, destructive and
anti-democratic,” he said. He
added that pre-occupation
with power tussles and undue
confrontation has strangulating
effect on any political party,
and PDP cannot be different.
“Our excessive preoccupation
with the pursuit
of power, self-aggrandisement
and materialism has been
destructive and hurting. It
slows down our match towards
achieving our national goals, of
development,” Mr. Tukur said.
Bamanga Tukur’s successor
and current chairman of
the party, Adamu Muazu in
January also had cause to
caution the party members to
mend their ways and warned
that PDP must readdress its
reward system if it hopes to
keep its loyal members that
sacrificed for the party.
Speaking at the inauguration
of the PDP Presidential
Campaign Organisation,
Muazu said one of the reasons
PDP members are aggrieved is
that the party make the baboon
to work while the money reaps
from the victory of the party
after elections and decried the
culture of ‘using and dumping’
of members in the party, saying
it must stop.
He also stated that the
culture had reached ‘fratricidal’
proportions and must be
truncated. “The developing
culture of using and dumping
has reached fratricidal
proportions in the PDP and it
must end,” he said.
PDP went into the election
with the impunity of the
old order still entrenched at
all levels in the party. The
outcome of the election also
tore the party to piece as
leaders of the party engaged in
blame game before President
Jonathan called them to order.
The president reminded PDP
leaders that this is not time to
trade blames but rather to come
together and fashion out how
they can reinvent the party.
In the quest to rebuild PDP,
some visible malice Mu’azu
suggested the PDP leaders
should address are the constant
changing of the chairmen and
NWC every year saying the
changes will impact on party
cohesion, which is a vital
ingredient of winning.
“Lessons of candidate
imposition, deepening of
internal democracy in our party
and other obvious lessons we
need to learn from the outcome
of the 2015 elections.”
For PDP to reinvent itself
Mu’azu said the result of the
2015 presidential election
is the elixir the party needs
to reinvent itself and retake
power in 2019.
“Our game plan is to
provide a virile opposition to
the new government, which we
have already graciously given
a lifeline by conceding defeat
and avoiding a calamitous
battle in the courts.
“It is therefore time for
our great party to reinvent
ourselves, show great maturity
and map out a strategy that
will return us to power in 2019.
“It is also time to end the
spate of in-fighting and blame
games currently dominating
the political discourse among
our membership and the
leadership.”
“Mu’azu has already taken
steps to reverse the negative
fortune of the party by
inaugurating a 17-man Election
Assessment Panel headed by
the Deputy Senate President,
Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The
committee’s terms of reference
include:
•Identify the remote and
immediate causes of the
relatively poor performance
of the PDP in the 2015 general
election.
•Trace the origin and
process of the seeming decline
of the party in its electoral
performance.
•Take a critical look at the
preparations and build-up of
the PDP to the general election
and determine its adequacies
and lapses.
•Review and determine the
adequacy of the structures
for the 2015 general elections
and how those structures
functioned “To ascertain the
degree of anti-party activities,
compromises and outright
sabotage that may have
contributed to the misfortunes
of our party at the elections.
•Look at the funding of the
elections to determine whether
or not the funds meant for the
campaigns were adequate and
whether disbursements were
properly done.
•Identify different groups in
the party which were to play
critical roles before and during
the elections, and determine
the effectiveness or otherwise;
•Determine any other
matter that may be considered
necessary in the interest of the
party.
•Propose a road map for the
party to recover its past glory
and definitely win the general
elections in 2019.
The post-election assessment
committee and the need to
rebuild PDP have already
received the endorsement of
President Jonathan and other
leader of the party, including
the Senate President, David
Mark.
In a press statement issued
by his chief Press Secretary,
Mr. Paul Mumeh, after the
deputy president of the Senate,
Senator Ike Ekweremadu who
heads the PDP post-election
assessment committee visited
him, Mark expressed worry
over the continued acrimony
between factions in the party,
while frowning that “the PDP
is already hemorrhaging.”
He maintained, “Unless
we halt the bleeding and find
the necessary therapy, we
may be heading for the final
burial of the party. The party
is already in a comatose status
and we should do all we can
to resuscitate the party rather
than this unnecessary rancour
and bulk passing,” he stated,
adding, that emerging factions
are absolutely unnecessary.
The combatants must sheathe
their swords and embrace
dialogue. My appeal is that we
should not do anything further
that would damage the already
fragmented house.
“Everybody should come
together and rebuild the
party. We have gotten enough
bruises. We need not inflict
further pains on ourselves,
with continuous bickering.
“Enough of this blamegame,
we should return to
the drawing board and need
not wash our dirty linen in
the public, anymore. I believe
a useful lesson has been
learnt from the PDP electoral
misfortune.
“As for me, it is time to
put on our thinking caps and
chart a new course. I trust
Senator Ekweremadu that he
and his team will do a good
job and unearth the remote
and immediate causes of
our misfortune and make
recommendations that will
enhance the future of the
party,” he stated.
Senator David Mark called
on all stakeholders to rise above
the present circumstances and
work hard to rejuvenate the
party, saying the new status
of the party as an opposition
is a challenge, which we must
face with all honesty, sincerity
of purpose and dedication to
duty.
Governor Emmanuel
Uduaghan of Delta State is
of the opinion that PDP will
bounce back if it learns from its
defeat at the polls and reinvent
itself to provide a robust
opposition in the country.
The governor spoke, at the
second University of Ibadan
Alumni Association National
Public Lecture he delivered and
entitled, “Good Governance as
a Catalyst for Development:
The Delta State Experience.”
He said that the PDP must
learn lessons from its loss at
the last general elections dig
into its reserves and provide
credible opposition in the
country, stating, “The PDP
has to show that it is a party
of credible leaders with robust
and visionary programme.
“As opposition party, the
PDP has to be effective as a
party and as the conscience of
the nation. This is not the time
to despair. This is the time for
hard work.
“I call on all committed,
knowledgeable and mature
leaders to step forward to
pick up the pieces. If the New
Patriotic Party and National
Democratic Congress could
do it in Ghana, the PDP could
yet bounce back. It has the
resources to do so. We may
have lost the election but let
us not lose the lesson of the
defeat,” he added.
Political watchers are of the
view that PDP stands a good
chance of making a strong
comeback by faithfully purging
itself of the malice responsible
for its defeat.
The party already has the
needed structure in all the
electoral wards nationwide
and what is required is strong
national leadership to drive
the reinvention of the party.
It is imperative that the party
provide strong and virile
opposition and leaders with
the character of Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, who tenaciously
sacrifice their personal
resources to pursue their
dreams to logical conclusion.
If PDP is unable to provide
strong and virile opposition in
the next four years, the party
might as well forget the idea
of returning to the presidential
villa in 2015


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