*Towards the elective congress of 9th December
By Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has been commended for upholding the tenets of internal democracy by insisting on a level play ground for all National Chairmanship candidates at the 9th December national convention.
A socio-political group, the Southwest Patriotic Forum in a press statement in Ibadan said that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led leadership of the party and members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) should be commended for their courage to stave off the dysfunctional position of the motley Southwest BOT of the party which over the weekend sought to re-enact trend of the much despised impunity and flagrant disregard for internal democracy which the party is now working assiduously to do away with.
The statement which was signed by the Forum’s General Secretary, Mr. Tosin Ayagboye pointed out that the purported pruning of national chairmanship candidates from the Southwest by some members of the regional BOT without due consultation was akin to a coup d’ etat and as such they should be subsequently penalised for the grave anti-party effrontery.
“For a few individuals to gather ostensibly prompted by interest outside the party to embark on steps that could destabilise the party and derail it from its ongoing repositioning effort remains an aberration and a despicable act of grand sellout on the party.”
“The fact that Governor Ayodele Fayose, who is not only the sole PDP governor in the entire region but also the chairman of the party’s Governors’ Forum and other major stakeholders were left out in the clandestine meeting where they arrived at the selection of weak-kneed aspirants vie on behalf of the region for the national chairmanship of the PDP, it became obvious that the usurpers of the region’s collective franchise were up to mischief.”
“By their action, they have not only sought to shut the door against the best national chairmanship materials the region could offer the party, they have also preemptitiouly sought to sideline the best presidential candidate the party can present for the 2019 election,” the group argued.
While not holding brief for anyone, the Forum said it considered it unthoughtful for any set of people to leave out the likes of Senator Rashidi Ladoja who flaunts one of the best democratic credentials right from his membership of the NADECO, the harbinger of the nation’s nascent democracy and as governor.
According to the group the next PDP national chairman must be someone who could sustain gains of internal democracy, the Makarfi leadership is putting in place and who could ensure party discipline at all strata of the party.
Saying that Nigeria’s democracy was a function of vibrant party system, the group advised the PDP to toe the part of due process at its forthcoming national convention and shun nocturnal trend that thwarted the Port Harcourt convention and resulted in the long fractionalisation of the party until it was recently resolved by the Supreme Court.