Path To Take PDP Flourish Political Democracy -By Amaechi Oken

Filed under: Democracy & Governance |


The 9th December 2017 PDP National Convention smoothly conducted recorded flurry of success. When managed well sustains democracy. The National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus and other persons elected into other various executive offices are now saddled with the huge task of taking the party to enviable height. The destination rests on the shoulders of the National Executives, principally National Working Committee (NWC). The party has adequate constitution to drive the members. They should not be susceptible to the crazy anointment, by additional tenures of stay in governments in respect of executives and legislatures devoid of achievements on ground.

Vote along list is a regular phenomenon in politics. Ballot papers/votes are counted and collated at the end not guided by the perceived list. Greater number of the delegates if not enlightened would not know the identities of the contestants. Based on the outcome of several consultations and negotiation, electorate is advised by those they look up to. No compulsion is devised even in general elections. The ugly coup had been planned and hatched before 9th December, because of the protest and insistence by High chief Raymond Dokposi, the only contestant then from South-South, who vehemently opposed narrowing national chairmanship to south west. Though he lost out, the perfidy is about to shrink perilously the opportunity created by inability of APC government to sit up.

The major setback of the party lies with reckless amendment of provisions of the constitution to satisfy immediate demands, thereby leaving viable events in the long run helpless. The recent amendment that included National Vice Chairman of the six geo-political zones as national working committee has weakened the strength of the party at the zones. I heartily congratulate the six gentlemen on the elevation. No zonal chairman of the party at National Working Committee will dutifully discharge constitutional function at his zone which has average of six states to superintend. Since the state vice chairman, otherwise known as senatorial district chairman, was included to state working committee, the constitutional functions assigned to senatorial districts has collapsed and now the geopolitical zone follows suit. An attempt of insidious confrontation to the party constitution, hoping for immediate remedy is mere window dressing.

Zoning of positions, elective or appointive is fundamental requirement in political democracy. It takes care of wide range of people engage in discussion and deliberation on topical issues for spread and equity, by softening teething variables. Any attempt to jump to elections by making every position open to every section, disregarding zone will breed lopsidedness and is a clear infringement on democratic rights.

Granted that, there is no elected/appointed government official to pilot the government affairs whether at executives, legislative or judicial arm, at northern and southern block. It is as loose as the six. Any moment in Nigeria two blocks are mentioned it reminds us of Lord Fredrick Luggard, work on the amalgamation of 1914. It is completely out of place to term the zoned Nigeria into six units’ micro. Note that three protectorates were amalgamated not two. So do not forget Lagos in a hurry.

Much leaves to be desired if one is telling Nigerian that positions grouped to six geopolitical zones is micro. What shall zoning be called if the thirty six states primarily form the basis for the allocation? PDP was scarce with the truth and sincerity, to previously claim that national chairmanship was zoned to south and presidential candidate to the north. When the action sinks as honest mistake, prompt reconciliation to address the anomaly is welcome. Provided it is not deliberate. The ploy of clinging to hasty reconciliation to bring the aggrieved members to the fold will simply be day dreaming. The figures have not been faulted that the population of either northern or southern protectorates twenty years after was less than anyone of the six current geopolitical zones. We are concerned about sincerity and participation in general affairs and gains of democracy and spread of infrastructure.

How do we stand to be convinced that, south east that enjoyed the slot of chairmanship in the past and expressed the reluctance to continue be open to the three zones in the south and how also does PDP explain north west where late Musa Yaradua and Muhammadu Buhari come from, engage north central and east in the struggle for party presidential candidate.

In the course of zoning national chairmanship to north in future, will the party ignore the fact that north central and east had taken their slots in the past. There is no state in Nigeria one will claim does not have a formidable person to become the president of Nigeria or the party national chairman. No state has advantage over the other in terms of capability or competence.

Recall that the 1999 general election conducted by INEC Dr. Chief Olesugen Obasanjo was elected president without wining votes from south west his geopolitical zone. Had M.K.O Abiola were to be alive to stand the election in PDP, he would have swept the west along with the remaining five zones. It was the first time Dr. Chief Olesugen Obasanjo known to be vindictive, shielded his sword and allowed wisdom to prevail. He lavished the people with numerous juicy political appointments unprecedented. In his 2nd tenure he secured massive votes from the zone. If PDP robbed the west zone chairmanship on flimsy premise that the party lacked stronghold, does it mean the zone will remain dry as measure of penalizing the people for lack of support? Presently APC’s vice president is from the zone? Coercion will not serve any useful purpose.

PDP notably has a national outlook which should be reflected in its business. Mistakes made in the past need to be properly addressed now in order to make headway. So many aspirants who were denied nominations in the PDP primaries for various positions, such as Governors, Senators, Member House of Representatives and State Assembly, were later elected into same exalted government offices under another political platform. Others are being installed by courts of justice for resorting to fate. Obiora Okonkwo for Anambra Central Senator and the case of Chibuike Amaechi former Governor of Rivers State in 2007 are strong reference point. The five PDP governors quit to join APC in 2013/2014 because they were snubbed and neglected, on problems/trouble deliberations and repeated dialogue would have trashed amicably. Holding tenaciously to an office for long, blocking reason to prevail if it calls, you play down to your ambition for another person brings about downfall.

It is indisputable that the progress and credibility of political parties is weighed by the achievements of mainly the elected ones in governments which provide opportunity for the implementation of the party manifestoes and objectives. Facilities which charge all the streams of activities provided in the party constitution are operational. Party executives and other arms in every stage should serve as a watch dog. The executives should have good knowledge of party constitution, acquire more knowledge on ground of party administration and put them in practice.

Not even the President of a Nation boasts of having risen above the platform of a political party he rode on. Whatever magnificent transformation, life touching programs and projects at his disposal all fall within the party objective and manifestoes. So he is simply operating both in allegiance and loyalty to the provisions of the party constitution. Arrogation of another vanguard with personalized kite, to run parallel or for replacement paves ways for dictatorship. The uncoordinated divergent plan is devastating to democracy and administration of political parties.

Democracy truly provides avenues for people to participate in governance at different levels. The party is equipped to make constructive criticism and contributions. Further raise relevant questions appropriately, proffer solutions, for enhanced and improved government attention to our demands. PDP lacks the courage generally to compel APC government to sit up and rectify the dangerous mistakes of the Buhari government or boldly put up strong defense and explanation where necessary for public good. The beauty of democracy unfortunately is fast fading in that direction. Party administration is very dull without criticism. If one is duly recognized and accorded due protection, they wouldn’t have time to eye other position in government. Seminars, conferences will regularly be accessed to enrich and keep the parties abreast of new trends of events.

I am quite aware that the present national chairman will not fall into the same pit, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur found himself because Prince Uche Secondus, then national deputy chairman suffered too. Tukur forgot it was the same constituency that voted the chairman voted the other members in 2012, went ahead to appoint special advisers, SSAs at least two each to oversee the party administration and function for every executive office of his colleagues (Secretary, Pub sec, Org sec, Treasurer, Financial sec etc) NWC position as composed. None was left out. He made his colleagues redundant. He adopted dark and back door approach by displacing the elected party executives. Rigid on reverse meaning of democracy, always yield to the temptation of ill treatment without due process. No party executive, chairman not exempted has the constitutional power to render another colleague redundant. And none is indispensible. Collective efforts, at meetings, consultations negotiations help to convey message of the party to the members and general public as an enviable vehicle in elections.

When Tukur was flushed out, as a result of uncanny character, another dubious arrogant person came on board, Muazu past Governor of Bauchi State for eight years, was very lackadaisical in party administration. He was always busy announcing to the world in every forum that he was a Fulani man. Telling history of how Fulani conquered people of Kwara State, Benue, Taraba etc and enslaved them. Very boisterous, two sad examples, any officer who is interested in making progress will avoid.

Another vital process of involving party officials into serious business, so long as party elective executives are equitably and evenly spread, amendment of the party constitution is imperative so that all the members of the state working committees are statutory delegates to the national convention, and also delegates to the zonal executive committees. Strengthen the tempo at senatorial districts by pulling state vice chairman from SWC and return the exalted national vice chairman zonal chairman from national working committee to their zones. Ponder on these. Elder advisory committee to relevant levels will be encouraged to tap from the knowledge of people who serve in those capacities in the past.

Those who hardly stand on their own, and probably not interested to learn are not eligible to take up party administration. How can funding be actualized outside the whims and caprices of moguls in governments or other conditional donors? I am aware that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Please discourage the axiom in party affairs, where the society’s welfare is derived. Running of the affairs and sourcing of fund will not be removed from the laps of the members. There is no way a person can make it to the top without the tireless effort on few persons. Sometimes some other person initiated it. In the same light, your contribution to raise another persons or people up should not create room for enslavement. Service is dynamic and reciprocal when it is progressive and improves on the existing level. There should be constitutional amendment for unbiased funding to keep the party afloat.

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