SIGNING OUT! (1)
By Ishaq Alhassan Qauranmata.
The National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has come and gone, leaving behind; Frustration, disappointment and jubilation!
For the ruling APC, whose soothsayers not only predicted an implosion but actually took subterranean steps to instigate same, the manner in which the PDP withered the storm of her many internal conflicts to achieve a near perfect convention was frustrating!
The success of the national convention was a source of deep Disappointment for the ousted national chairman (and the Masquerade behind him) whose blundering incompetence and self-serving actions either created the internal wrangling or nurtured it!
For the PDP family, the successful completion of the convention called for heartfelt celebrations.
However, it is hoped that the in-coming national leadership will honestly and sincerely appraise the situation of our great party and provide the necessary selfless leadership needed to heal wounds, right wrongs and build consensus. This is essential to return the party to its position of strength.
That the national convention has been concluded does not signify that all is well, or that the internal conflicts have been resolved or have died naturally.
Rather, the success simply reaffirmed the fact that party members are willing to make sacrifices towards rebuilding the PDP to rescue Nigeria and Nigerians from the misfortune called APC!
The new leadership must not loose sight of the factors that contributed to PDP’s electoral woes in 2015, especially the twin monsters of IMPOSITION and IMPUNITY!
Nor should they loose sight of the impact of clueless leadership and selfishness as main factors responsible for the terrible outing in 2019, especially in several states!
The new leaders will do well to take special interest on Kaduna state. It is no secret that winning Kaduna is a sign of the strength of any political party in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, Kaduna is one of the states where clueless leadership and crass opportunism combined to deny PDP the governorship despite the presence of ALL factors favourable to winning the election!
As we inch towards 2023, it is heart-wrenching to note that while the favourable factors are still present, so are the clueless and the opportunistic!
Between 2015 and 2019, those who styled themselves “leaders” of the PDP, practically abandoned the party and it’s members in the wilderness. The “leaders” abdicated their responsibity of providing a vibrant oppostion that would checkmate the excesses of government on one hand and give confidence to both party members and the voting public on the other. Worse, individual member-efforts to fill this vaacum was neither appreciated nor encouraged.
In Kaduna, the PDP’s journey from 2015 to 2019 was nothing short of a miracle!
With party elders, caucus and stakeholders at loggerheads with one another (manipulated by a deeply self-serving phenomenon ) and a clueless leadership that appeared to have lost all confidence in the party regaining power and intent only in using their position to “prepare” for retirement, it was only the megalomaniacal misgovernance of the APC that kept PDP alive!
The primary elections for both the local government and, later, 2019 elections were marred by irregularities and the imposition of unpopular candidates.
Where the people stood up to imposition and ensured the emergence of popular candidates, there were allegations of “selling out” to the APC. (Eg: Kachia-Kagargo Fed const).
Some local government chairmen who also won their election IN SPITE of the state party leadership had to crossover to the APC due to pressure from their own party!
Every NORMAL political calculation gave PDP success with a wide margin in the 2019 election.
Yet we “lost”.
Here, in addition to the allegations of “selling out”, there was the overconfidence of people who STRONGLY believed they have won the election and thus had no need for “extra-baggage”, which is how they see any party members not in their “cult”.
(a topic for another day!)
Now the same characters have used the Uche Secondus leadership to perpetuate their impunity all over again.
In the Wards and Local Governments Congresses; either sham elections were “held” (e.g. Zaria), or induced “stakeholder-consensus” were organized (e.g. Sabon-Gari) and where people stood up to them and insisted on electing their leaders, the list was changed after submission at the national headquarters in Abuja (e.g. Lere).
Yet, the Uche Secondus led NWC curiously capitulated to them with the result that in some areas, we have different lists ALL approved and signed by the NWC!
That, again led to the poor outing at the recent council elections.
It is a mark of the type of leadership we have that, in spite of the agony, frustration and despondency spread by the APC/El-Rufai government in the State, APC still “won” a majority of the councils.
Even the few that were conceded to us, it is glaring to anyone that internal conflicts within the APC were resposible for the “successes” rather than ANY serious outing by PDP!
Birnin-Gwari and Soba deserve mention here.
The APC gladiators in BG abandoned the council election in protest.
First, NOBODY from BG can be said to be a part of the El-Rufai gov’t in the true sense of the word.
Second, there is a near total absence of gov’t in the area in terms of beneficial projects that they could showcase to their people.
Third and more importantly, the gov’t appears to be totally unsympathetic over the unprecedented level of insecurity under which the people groan, except on the pages of newspapers!
Under such a scenario, they new it would be suicidal to attempt to sway the people towards APC.
Unfortunately, the due dilligence that PDP needed to carry the day was not there. Untill the gov’t realized what was happening and mobilized enough energy to claim “inconclusive” election!
In Soba, anyone except the PDP state “leadership” knows that it was the determination by supporters of the former APC coucil chairman to avenge APC’s raw-deal on the Makaman Gimba that got PDP the ticket.
Yet the state party is still chest-beating over imaginary successes!
It is important for the in-coming national leaders of the PDP to understand these historical antecedents, to appreciate the fact that the injustices are still not addressed and to take definite measures to ensure FAIRNESS to all.
It will do us all a load of good if the national leadership drums into the heads of the “godfathers” and their misguided “supporters” that politics is about PEOPLE and it is about building bridges, creating consensus and promoting understanding.
For now, some people, many of whom LOST their Wards and/or Local Governments to these same internal wrangling are busy throwing tantrums:
A BI LIMAN KO A CHANZA MASALLACI.