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Reining in the dissident PDP group



Reining in the dissident PDP group

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, for long, been in one form of crisis or the other. PDP, which started tottering on the brink of precipice a year to the 2015 general elections when five sitting governors from its fold, among others, decamped and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), appears not done yet with its plethora of crises.

Soon after the 2015 general elections, when it lost the centre to APC’s Muhammadu Buhari, the party was to be embroiled in another crisis over the control of its machinery between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee. That was eventually resolved at the Supreme Court this year, giving way to the National Convention of the party held on December 9 in Abuja.

To an observer, the National Convention, which produced the National Working Committee (NWC), led by Prince Uche Secondus, would have been the end of the crisis that has bedevilled the party since 2014. A mere observer would have believed that PDP has suffered enough and deserved to be at rest. But that has not been the case.

Just last week, a new group, going by the moniker, Fresh PDP, emerged in Abuja, opening its secretariat at a three-bed room flat in Asokoro, Abuja.
That is despite the fact that PDP’s duly recognised national secretariat has its location at Wuse, Zone 5, Abuja.
The slogan of the new group is “Fresh PDP, PDP First.”

The faction was reportedly formed by a group of five men – Prince Obi Nwosu, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, Chief Olusola Akindele, Chief Godwin Duru and Franklyne Edede.
Although it is not clear who is behind the group, there are insinuations that they may be loyalists of one of the chairmanship aspirants in the party’s national convention held on December 9.
Nwosu, who claimed to be the leader of the group, told journalists that the process leading to the emergence of the Uche Secondus-led NWC was fraught with illegality and abuse of electoral process.

For a party expected to present a formidable opposition to the APC government going into the 2019 election, the appearance of the splinter group now is an unwelcome development that must not be tolerated by any sane minded fellow.
Our reasons are very clear. One, PDP cannot continue to move from one crisis to the other, just because it lost an election and is now in the opposition.

Nigerians expect the party to rise to the challenge of opposition to APC, towards fostering good governance in the country. Since it lost the elections in 2015, PDP had, at best, played the Ostrich, hiding its head behind its multiple crises, while APC continues to run the country without any voice of opposition.

We believe that for a party that held the reins of power for 16 years in the country before it lost election, PDP owes Nigerians much. We also believe that Nigerians have given the party enough in the 16 years that it should now give back to Nigerians by ensuring that APC did not repeat the mistakes it made in its 16 years of service to the country.

Second, we believe that any aggrieved party to the convention has an opportunity to go to court as one of the chairmanship candidates, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja has done. We hold, strongly, that in a democratic dispensation such as ours, courts are open to all shades of people to air their grievances. We strongly advocate that members of the party should not resort to self-help in seeking a solution to their anger.

That would be counterproductive to the democratic process.
Again, we are bearly a year to the 2019 general elections. PDP, by now, should be thinking of putting its house in order to be able to make effective impact at the elections. It is common logic that the party cannot achieve this with a splinter group, no matter how small, trailing it.

It is gratifying to note that governors of the party are solidly behind Secondus. It is also good to note that Secondus has not taken his victory as winner takes all. He has, through the Governor Seriake Dickson reconciliation committee, tried to reach out to aggrieved party members, especially in the South-West. The move, we believe, is a step in the right direction towards bringing the party together as a formidable force it used to be.

It is therefore our submission that the NWC of PDP should deal decisively with the latest development with a view to nipping in the bud, any untoward development within the party. There are internal mechanisms that could be used to solve the problems of the party, no matter how big.

That is why we expect that PDP should act as the big family it claimed to be and arrest the ugly situation. Time for PDP to return to relevance is now. Any delay could mean the end of the party.

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