People's Democratic Party
By Chuks Okocha
Stakeholders and chieftains of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) at a retreat have called for a reformation of the party or in the alternative, face self destruction.
Also, Chairman of THISDAY Editorial Board, Olusegun Adeniyi has listed what he described as ten media commandments for the survival of Publicity secretaries for any of the political parties and public relation officers.
Former Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan when he was a Vice President, and former Youth Leader of PDP, Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa said, "if positive changes along the lines discussed are not initiated and vigorously pursued, the PDP stands the risk of liquidation, after all, it is becoming self evident that the only serious opposition to PDP is PDP.
"In this project of panel beating and renewal, the party must search for the big idea that stands it out from the crowd. Institutions survive the dynamics of constantly evolving forces of time and space if they are clearly identifiable by what they stand for.
"So, PDP's strength is guaranteed, if only it is organized around the defined big idea that gives it unique and distinctive identity. The mark of such a big idea is the political praxis that is unique to it. Without this, whatever strength is injected into the party will only be artificial and temporal".
On the absence of internal democracy, he said, "A big challenge to evolving strong party chapters is the problem of ensuring party supremacy over god fatherism"' explaining that there is problem where loyalty is not collective but indirectly through the god father and hence undermining party supremacy.
The former Special Adviser also lamented what he described as deficit in political reward system. This, many of the stakeholders blamed on the appointment of non PDP members into the federal executive council and other government offices.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Vice President, Abba Dabo blamed indiscipline and absence of internal democracy as some of the problems confronting the party.
The stakeholders also identified factional politics as some of the problems confronting the party, explaining that the party has no identity, but only a party used to drive away the military and the elites used to win elections.
They challenged the current National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to address the problems of god fatherism and lack of internal democracy if the party intends to become a truly national party and mass oriented political party.
In his paper, Adeniyi listed several ways of ensuring access to publicity by its states publicity secretaries.
He listed access and cooperation with journalists as one of the tools of helping the course of their duties. He advised the states publicity secretaries to always be helpful and careful with journalists in the course of doing their job.
Adeniyi further advised the PDP spokespersons in the states to avoid "the no comments position" when their Comments on issues are needed mostly, bearing in minds the pressures some reporters face from their editors from the offices.
He further urged the publicity secretaries in the states to avoid having favourites in reporters as that could negatively affect their jobs, as those not favoured could respond negatively in their reports against the party, as the case may be.