Nigeria’s democracy depends on PDP stability

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By Patrick Andrew


Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former military President, retired General Ibrahim Babangida, has urged the party to take advantage of the December 9 National Convention to reposition itself and ensure a stable democratic practice in the country.
The former military ruler said the founding fathers of the party and other stakeholders hope for an orderly and truly democratic convention that would restore hope and confidence of Nigerians on democracy as the only means of ensuring good governance for the people.
In a statement issued yesterday and signed by his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, General said there is the pressure to collectively assure Nigerians that the party has learnt bitter lessons from the party which led to its defeat after 16 years on the saddle.
“Following the defeat of the party in the 2015 election, it is incumbent upon us as leaders and stakeholders to use the opportunity of the convention to sober reflect on the challenges confronting us, identify our flaws and seek plausible ways to correct them in order to come out stronger in subsequent elections.
“An elective convention presents as it were, a rare opportunity and veritable platform to elect in a holistic manner a credible, tested, down-to-earth and truly urbane candidate with enough stamina, distinguished character and national acceptability who is driven by incurable optimism and passion for a united Nigeria.
“At this point of our political history as a party, we need a National Chairman who is driven by uncommon initiatives, creativity in ideas and a rich content of character to lead and stabilize the party in line with the laudable ideals of the founding fathers of the party. Such an individual must possess national recognition to be able to galvanize political opportunities and transform them into tangible outcomes in our democratic engagements.
“In any democratic engagement, the people decide the outcome of elections through popular and inclusive participation. The monetization of our electoral process is disturbingly eroding that power which should ordinarily reside in the people.
“At this critical stage of our political secretions, we need men of stature, discipline, character and commendable conduct to breathe fresh air into our party and not persons whose political relevance is the product of naira and kobo bargain across the counter.
“We need a National Chairman that would not bend to the vagaries of individual selfish interest but one who is strong enough to apply the rule of law without fear or favour. We must begin the process of interrogating processes that lead to outcomes and not just the outcomes. We must interrogate our leadership recruitment process and encourage our delegates to exercise the power of their thumbs in making their preferred choice among the candidates.
“Our party, the PDP, must re-invent and re-enact itself on account of her recent history of factions and fractures. The new leadership must therefore be one that enjoys the confidence of the majority stakeholders and members in order to have a seamless transition.
To achieve this template, such a chairman must be the outcome of delegates’ election without manipulation and inducement.
“One would have thought that after the 2015 dismal outing, followed by months of leadership tussles, individuals would have put to rest their selfish and egocentric interest and pursue goals and objectives that bear true testimony to the ideals of the founding fathers; but the sound bites of monetization of the process are utterly demoralizing and benumbing,” part of the statement said.

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