Two prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have said that impunity, lack of internal democracy and greed made the party lose at the general polls in 2015.
A member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Ebenezer Babatope, particularly attributed the party’s defeat in the election to its inability to curb impunity in its fold.
He also said that the lack of internal democracy in the party destroyed its chances of retaining power at the center in the keenly contested polls.
The second republic politician stated this while delivering a lecture entitled “Nigeria’s Sixteen Years of Democratic Experiment – Which Way Forward?” organized by a group called the New Dawn.
Babtope said for the party to regain power in 2019, it would have to look to the north to provide a suitable candidate to fly its flag.
Babatope said the jettisoning of the political virtues established by the late Nigerian President, Umaru Musa Yar’adua may have sounded the death knell for the PDP.
He however said all hopes were not lost for the party.
He urged the PDP to imbibe internal democracy and allow the younger generation to take over the mantle of leadership of the party.
Babatope reasoned that President Muhammadu Buhari may not run in 2019 due to his age and therefore urged members of the PRP to be ready to fight for a return to power.
“And no matter what it is, however, the political situation in 2019 may continue to be tense and over charged. The fact remains however that we PDP leaders made mistakes in the preparations of our party for the elections. For example, it was wrong for our party’s Board of Trustees not to have met when we were engulfed with the party campaigns for the elections. Our party played into the waiting hands of the opposition with this kind of situation,” Babatope opined.
He said the party must be willing to learn from its mistakes in order to move ahead politically.
He added that the PDP could equally bounce back if the All Progressive Congress, APC, made similar mistakes in judgment.
“If the APC decides to subvert democratic process of nominating candidates for the election, it will equally sentence the party and the party’s operations to irredeemable frustration and despair. In other words, 2019 will decide many things for Nigeria’s future as a democratic nation,” Babatope said.
At the event, another PDP national leader and Chairman of DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, explained that the New Dawn group in Edo state was formed to rebuild the PDP.
He added that the group was determined to reconstruct this party and bring it back to power in Edo State in 2016 and at the Federal level
He also attributed the loss of the PDP in the 2015 polls to impunity and greed.
“We lost our way and I want to on behalf of the PDP, tender unreserved apology to each and every one of you; the youths, the women, the leaders, for the grievous mistakes we all made. I plead for your forgiveness. We provided bad leadership, we were self centered, only thinking of our interest, not the interest of all of us, it will never happen again,” Dokpesi said.
He affirmed the party’s determination to wrest power from the APC in 2019. He also added that the battle to retake the government house in Edo State was already on course.
“PDP is ready to fight to get back in Government House in Benin City. At the national level, I want to tell you that there is nothing that the APC government is claiming today that wasn’t done by the Jonathan administration, they are only posturing,” Dokpesi said.
Earlier in his welcome address, leader of the New Dawn, Roland Owie, a senator, urged the 8th National Assembly to commence the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to eventually grant autonomy to the local governments.
He said that it was depressing that the state assemblies had turned down the proposal due to selfish interests.
“In the next line of amendment, any state house of assembly in Nigeria that votes against autonomy of the local government, the Nigeria Labour Congress, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON,
market women and men will take possession of their assemblies. They wouldn’t sit until they support the autonomy of local governments because enough is enough,” he threatened