The Tasks Before The New PDP Chairman
The unfortunate circumstances that led to the resignation of Dr. Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the ruling People's Democratic Party is one incidence with many lessons for the current occupier of the office and for anyone who will aspire to occupying the he post in the future! It is a case of not properly understanding the structural configuration of the party and not been able to reconcile vested interest, stakeholder's interest and the peoples interest and still move the party forward. Sometimes, a leader may know what to do, but, he may have problem with the method he chose to do it, which may require thoughtfulness, tactfulness and sagacity.
Nonetheless, I must commend the former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur for reducing the powers of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) during his reign in Wadata Plaza. It will be recalled that, before Tukur's emergence as the Chairman of the PDP, the Nigerian Governors Forum reigned supreme in the land as it was the talk of town in Nigeria, and by that virtue, the Forum was becoming the major determinant of political activities in the country. Following the successful enthronement of Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as the National Chairman of the party in the 2008 convention by the Forum under the leadership of former Governor of Kwara State, Senator Buckola Saraki, against Dr. Sam Egwu who was alleged to be the anointed candidate of the powers that be; that success gave the Forum members the impetus and the effrontery to introduce their own brand of assertive politic in Nigeria. Also, it was the last minutes political horse-trading between the
Presidency and the Governors Forum that produced Dr. Bamanga Tukur as a compromised candidate in the 2012 PDP Convention that produced him as chairman. Where it not for that, the Forum would have sprang another surprise with their candidate probably emerging at the convention. Hence, it was understandable why on assumption of office, Dr. Tukur chose to wage war on the Nigerian Governors Forum, but, the mistake he made was that, he started the battle without an exit plan. He allowed the battle to linger on until it became unpopular in some quarters.
Besides, how can a National Chairman of the largest political party in Africa be quoted as saying he would give automatic tickets to all the PDP serving Senators, when out the 18 PDP Governors, 14 of them will be completing their second term in office and based on the growing rate of disloyalty of Senators to their state governors, most of them would like to go to the Senate in 2015 where they would still be relevant to the system.
However, it is now a known fact, that no one can challenge the firm grip of governors on the party structure in their respective states. Any one daring them where they have shown interest must have large war chest and support across the spectrum. In fact, there are two Senatorial Districts analysts and commentators should closely watch in 2015! There are Enugu West Senatorial District where the state governor, Barrister Sullivan Chime will be slogging it out with the Deputy Senate President and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who is alleged to be interested in returning to the Senate for the fourth time in 2015. Honestly, it will be a clash of the titans.
The second Senatorial District is Cross River Central, where Governor Liyel Imoke will slog it out with the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who is also alleged to be interested in returning to the Senate. Both Ekweremadu and Ndoma-Egba have the needed war chest and are also ranking Senators. But, can they defeat the almighty Imoke and Chime? Only time will tell.
However, the new PDP Chairman Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu should roll-up his sleeves to hit the grounds running; he should try his possible best to bring back the five defected governors whose bodies are in the opposition APC, but their spirits are still In the PDP. He set should set powerful machinery in motion with the mandate of taking back Ekiti State and Osun State from the current tenants occupying them. He should also set up committees that will bring back all aggrieved party members to its fold. He must not take unilateral decision on salient party matters, but, must consult widely before taking any decision. However, stakeholders of the party must be carried along. He must not fall in to the temptation of trying to erect his own structure in his home of state of Bauchi State, because, been a former governor of that state, his political allies may regroup to use his name and contact to cause unnecessary rivalry in the state.
Similarly, the new PDP Chairman should embark on a new membership drive that will focus mostly on the youths, because some of the founding fathers of the party are now going on retirement. So, there is the need to bring young people on board who will learn from them and sustain their legacies in the party and move it to the next level.
Furthermore, he should not run a reactionary PDP that will be trailing behind the opposition, but, he should run a proactive PDP that will be setting the pace for the opposition to follow!
Finally, since the party has a very good product in the person of President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan, the National Chairman should try his possible best to bring it to the market, because the consumers wants him to continue.
Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is a renowned Activist
Political Strategist, Media Consultant and Public Affairs Commentator with verifiable track records.
Reach him on 07065862479, 08076134054
No. 9, Imgbi Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.