It is my considered opinion that Alh. Bamanga Tukur, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has grossly missed the point in his reported 12-point Agenda aimed at repositioning the party.
According to the Newspapers, the National Chairman was reported to have come up with a 12-point agenda meant to transform the PDP and Nigeria, which include Triple-R, Triple-E and Triple-D. Although reconciliation, equity and justice are mentioned, the central focus of the agenda is on terrorism, energy crisis, insecurity, corruption, environment, food security, education, defense and diplomacy.
While these constitute critical challenges in the life and well being of the people of Nigeria, but with all due respect to the party chairman, I thought these are what PDP formed a government to perform. To me these are clearly outside the purview of the party and squarely the responsibility of government. It is either the party feels that the government it put in place to undertake this responsibility is failing in its duty to adequately tackle these challenges or the issues are not contained in the PDP manifesto. But I know for a fact that all these issues and many more are contained in the party’s manifesto; it could well then be that the party is not satisfied with the performance of its government and need to buoy the government up. However, this also has the risk of literally creating parallel governments in the polity.
I think what the party leadership needs to do is to use the several channels open to it to quietly make its input to the government on such purely governmental matters and concentrate on issues relating to the re-building and re-strengthening the party such as ensuring the standardization of party membership and Registers, creating level-playing field and equal opportunities within the party by being fair and just to all its members and aspirants in all manner of elections to elect either party EXCO or nominate party candidates for all public offices, guaranteeing internal democracy within the party, maintaining party discipline, sanitizing election processes within the party and above all enforcing the rule of law in the formation of all party Organs and implementation of all party activities.
To me these are the central responsibilities and duties of the party that need urgent attention of the Party Leadership. Their diligent resolution will automatically help to resolve the issue of aggrieved members and facilitate for easy reconciliation. To me, nothing short of these will solve the current problems bedeviling the PDP; certainly not delving into purely governmental affairs will help the party, no matter how well intentioned!
How can the party leadership earn the respect of members when it is seen to be clearly colluding with illegitimate party organs against the vast majority of its members? For example, the Adamawa state chapter of the party purportedly being led by Alh. Mijiyawa Kugama, is manifestedly illegitimate not just because INEC wrote and contend so, but also because Alh. Kugama, on behalf of the State EXCO, had gone to a Court of Law and sworn to an Affidavit asserting that he and his State EXCO Members were elected for their second and final term in March 2008 and that the term was going to end in February, 2012. Amazingly, however, Alh. Kugama and his team are today said to have been re-elected for a third term against the provisions of the party constitution which stipulates only two terms and no more. Being from Adamawa State, the National Chairman is fully aware of this serious constitutional breach; yet he is putting up with it. With such anomalies going on in the party, how can the National Working Committee (NWC) be taken serious by the nation?
Adamawa is just one example, but there are many of such issues littered all over the country. One would have thought that a more serious NWC would engage itself in the resolution of such grave issues and stop delving into where it has no business. I think the National Chairman and the Members of the NWC, and their horde of Advisers should rethink, reflect and reconsider the 12-point agenda and cut it to a 2-point agenda – i.e. ensuring level-playing ground for all party members through justice and fairness; and enforcing the rule of law and constitutionalism in the party.
DR. UMAR ARDO (Adamawa State PDP Stakeholder).