Leading national pro-democracy group, Nigerians United for Democracy and Good Governance, NUDGG, has urged leaders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to close ranks and support the party’s caretaker committee for the overall benefit of democracy.
A statement signed by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ustaz and National Secretary, Prince Edward Adewale, warned that if the party’s current crisis persists, democracy will be greatly imperiled.
The group argued that the current political and legal crisis bedeviling the party could have been averted if common sense had prevailed and aggrieved members settled for internal conflict resolution mechanisms instead of rushing to the court to procure all manner of injunctions.
“The PDP has well developed and tested internal conflict resolution mechanisms that could have resolved the contentious issues rising out of its planned national convention, therefore it was unnecessary to advertise its problems in law courts,” the statement added.
Continuing, the group stressed that “it is not late in the day to dismantle all the legal challenges sitting in various courts, rally round the caretaker committee that is the product of unified and non-fractious ward, local governament, state and zonal congresses, support and assist it in the urgent task of re-building, re-positioning and re-branding the party ahead of a new national convention”.
The group stated that the caretaker committee is made up of credible and morally sound national leaders like Senator Ahmed Markafi, Senator Ben Obi, Senator Abdul Ningi and Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who are capable of turning its fortunes around and unify the various tendencies struggling for space within its ranks.
The group urged party members to give the committee a chance to operate without hindrance as it is already enjoying the unalloyed support of NEC, Board of Trustees, National Assembly caucus and Governors’ Forum.
“We particularly appeal to the immediate past National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff, to play the role of a statesman and re-engage the party by working hand in hand with the caretaker committee and not be perceived as a single person that is standing between it and total unity.
“He should rein in his supporters, work towards the withdrawal of cases they filed against the party and reap the benefits of being a team player and not a spoiler for years to come.”
The group declared that even though it is not a partisan organisation, it is alarmed that if the crisis in the PDP persists for long, Nigeria’s democracy will ultimately pay a huge prize.
“Let us declare that in as much as we are a non-partisan entity, we are deeply worried that if the crisis rocking the PDP is not settled quickly, if the caretaker committee is not permitted to carry out its mandate to its logical conclusion, Nigeria’s democracy will be hugely imperiled.
“A stable democracy requires the functioning of at least one key opposition party, the absence of which can plunge the nation into a period of political instability and social unrest on the heels of the authoritarian and increasingly despotic space a ruling party harnesses and utilises without challenge and contrary opinion.
“It is thus incumbent upon the All Progressives Congress not to gloat over the crisis in the PDP, but to show understanding and concern, after all, its own very existence occurred under the watch of a PDP president and government.”

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