SELF-SEEKING LEADERS DESTROYED PDP IN SOUTH WEST - PROF. ADENIRAN
The loss of the south -west geo-political zone by the Peoples' Democratic Party, (PDP) to the Action Congress of Nigeria, [ACN], had simply been attributed to the internal dissension within the PDP itself. But a chieftain of the party and aspirant for the office of national secretary of the PDP, Professor Tunde Adeniran has identified lack of vision which made it possible for self-serving individuals to find themselves in exalted offices within the party as a fundamental factor that contributed to the political misfortune of the party in the south-west.
He spoke exclusively with Daily Sun in Abuja.
Why are you in the race for the office of national secretary of PDP?
I am in the race, because of the conviction that the party which we started as a founding member needs to be re-energized and re-positioned for effectiveness, so that the objective, particularly the vision that inspired the formation of the party can still be pursued and we will be able to realize the goal of making it an ideal political party, to do the work of a political party, in the interest of our nation and national development in particular.
I believe that only those who know why the party came into being and who are aware of what it takes to build a good party through which to ensure good governance can really do the job. That's why I came in, with a mission to salvage the party, because there is so much that has to be done. That's why I have decided to be involved.
A mission to salvaged the party. Are you saying PDP has lost track?
There is so much to achieve and we are rather far from the ultimate objective in some areas. We have done well enough by giving stability to the polity, by ensuring that we have been able to throw up some good materials; we have provided platform for some good materials to come up and for some degree of stability to be, but at the same time there is still so much to be done , in certain areas and I believe that these are challenges that have to be faced.
We should be growing as a party, we shouldn't be losing in some of the grounds that we have recovered and more importantly, we should be consolidating the democratic process. We need people who will be focused, put the vision of the party in mind and I have the capacity and the necessary background and orientation to do this. Running a party isn't something that anybody can just do; we need the right people, with the internal workings of the system and what it should take and what will take to build a virile party to get it done and that's why I am there.
In other words, I am suggesting that there are challenges facing our party and these challenges have to be faced. One of them is the issue of internal democracy, which has created problem and we need to deal with this and we also need to deal with the issue of proper mobilization of the people. That's one of the key works or tasks of a political party and that we haven't done, sufficiently well. We need to be in the vanguard of those that will be educating the Nigerian people to democratic ideals; that we have to do and we need to be giving the government, the type of backings that will make it get focused, be progressive in its dispensation and responsive to the yearnings of the people.
We thank God that we have very good government in place. Now, that government needs to be backed by also a very solid political machinery.
Talking about restoring internal democracy; some have made the observation that attempt by serving governors, at the states and at the federal level, the presidency to appropriate the party structures- in other words, making government and party mutually inclusive have been responsible for lack of internal democracy in PDP.
Do you share that as the major hindrance to restoration of internal democracy?
I believe that nature abhors vacuum. When there is a vacuum, there is a tendency for that vacuum to be filled. There are some areas where you see, maybe some chief executives of states giving the impression of autocracy or actually practicing it, because there is certain vacuum.
Those who are in charge once they know what they are doing, that will not arise. The governors have so much to do and the parties should be left to be run by those who are running the parties, if the parties are being run properly. But when some governors believe that, look it is also in their own interest, in the interest of the state, in the interest of the government for the party to be properly run and maybe there are certain weaknesses here and there, of course, there will be a tendency to move in and fill that gap and ensure that they aren't messed up because of inadequate comprehension of the party political processes by those who are running it.
Of course, if those who are in charge if they are doing their very best, no chief executive will want to mess around with it. The ideal vision, even though they have to work- hand-in hand the party and the government must work hand-in-hand, because it is the policies of the party that the government will be implementing and those who are best placed to guide the government in terms of what the government should be doing are those who are the guidance of the party: understands the party policies, the party processes and the ideals of the party.
This isn't to say that those people referred to - whether you are talking about the governors, the president aren't part of the party leadership - they are part of the party leadership and they also ought to be interested in what is happening within the party political processes. So, it is the responsibility of all of them to be involved, but it isn't for anyone to usurp the responsibility of the other. In fact, the chief executive should see it as their duty to provide moral leadership for both the party and the government and while working diligently, assiduously to provide the needs of the people, to meet the aspirations of the people by providing good governance, they should at the same time be collaborating, be cooperating with the party leadership to ensure that the necessary backing is also given and that the party itself is also run in such a way as to guarantee the success of the government.
You aren't the only one in the race from the south-west for the office of national secretary of PDP; what is your unique selling point, your competitive edge that you think will give you advantage over the rest of the contenders?
I believe that my background and experience as I said earlier on, will make me more attractive to those who will vote for the occupant of that position.
I was a founding member of the party; by virtue of my training, I am a political scientist; by virtue of my experience, I was present, if you wish at the creation; by that I mean during the formation of the party. I know why the PDP was formed and I know what our goals were and what our mission was and that mission and the goals are still there. I know what it will take, I know the internal workings, I believe that I understand democratic processes and of course, I know what it takes to build a great party and because of the experience that I have had in the course of my life and people do appreciate my little contributions here and there, they believe that I stand out as one of those who could do the task that we have before us; that's, repositioning the party, consolidating democracy and giving the necessary platform for good materials to continue to emerge.
My party people believe that I don't compromise when it comes to issues of due process, of transparency, and of course, patriotic commitment to the ideals of political parties. I also believe that at the end of the day, some of those who are coming out will realize the difference and the gap between my humble self and them and decide to cooperate to join me in facing the challenges ahead.
In other words, by the grace of God, the many differences between me and some of these other aspirants will inform the decision of some of them to join those who are already supporting me and for those out there whose support I am seeking to endorse me and support me to the end and make me succeed, as the national secretary of the PDP.