Major Steps the Peoples Democratic Party Must Take to Become a Viable Opposition and Possibly Wrest Power from the All Progressives Congress in 2019:
It saddens me greatly to see the Peoples Democratic Party so badly enmeshed in leadership crisis. This is because it is indeed very bad for our democracy and will go a long way in hurting our developing democracy.
One of the hallmarks of democracy as a system of government is the existence of a viable and formidable opposition party which will constantly put the ruling party on their toes, give them sleepless nights and make them critically consider any action they take before taking such actions.
Sadly, since the loss of the last presidential elections to the now ruling All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party has become enmeshed in crisis that has affected it’s ability to live up to expectations as an opposition party thereby disappointing the masses and leaving Nigerians at the mercy of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The PDP must endeavor to quickly put its house in order so as to enable it put certain structures in place that will ensure it acts as a viable opposition to the ruling APC and possibly wrest power from it come 2019.
Below are some suggestions I have outlined. Feel free to criticise them and add more.
1. Solve the persistent leadership crisis: the party cannot move forward at all if it keeps on having constant leadership crisis. All stakeholders must come together to find a lasting solution to the persistent leadership crisis as the persistence of such crisis only goes to show that there are fundamental errors or shortcomings with the present system with the attendant consequence of weakening the party.
2. All Stakeholders must put their personal interests aside and work for the collective good of the party. The reason why leadership and other forms of crisis will keep coming up is because the party members are now so used to allowing their personal interest override the overall interest of the party and the generality of its members.
3. The party must at this point make sure internal party democracy is fully entrenched as it is clear that the party has been considerably weakened due to obvious lack of internal democracy. Getting a ticket to contest any elective position in Nigeria under the PDP is no longer a function of the ideal procedures and the tenets of internal democracy but a function of who you know at the National level. This shouldn’t continue, it must stop. Allow the delegates of the party to emerge in the manner prescribed by the Party’s Constitution and let the delegates select party flag bearers on the basis of what such flag bearers have demonstrated in terms of capacity to do the job and win the seat and not teleguiding the emergence of delegates as well as unjustly manipulating them to favour a certain candidate even when such candidate doesn’t have what it takes.
4. The party must embark on a sincere reconciliation drive to reconcile with aggrieved members who left the party for one reason or the other and bring them back into the fold. This will go a long way in repositioning the party.
5. Inaugurate a very competent team which will be headed by the National Publicity Secretary to help rebrand the image of the party and constantly issue statements on the activities of the ruling APC so as to check their excesses. In fact, to put it simply, the party needs it’s own ‘Lai Mohammed’.
6. The party must allow the youths more participation in its affairs albeit under the guidance of the party elders. I believe we the younger generation are ready to take the baton from the older generation. This group of old politicians can constitute themselves into a group to be known as the Council of Elders which will provide the necessary advice and contacts while the youths take the bull by the horn. The younger generation is brimming with fresh ideas, enthusiasm and so much passion but the older ones have refused to give way. There are certain men who shouldn’t have any business engaging in active politics again. I wont mention names.
I think I will stop here for now. Nigerians need PDP, Nigerians need a viable opposition and we are seriously yearning for one.
Ugah Michael Chukwuemeka (Dr. Possibilities)