As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) heads into its national convention, a public affairs commentator, Emmanuel Bello, said the nation is eagerly waiting to see if truly the party has rid itself of past mistakes and ready to take the lead again.
Bello, a former commissioner for information in Taraba State, said that Nigerians still reserve a measure of faith in the party, in spite of the bad press orchestrated mostly by a virulent opposition media.
Bello stressed that the PDP remains the most inclusive party in the history of Nigeriaâ€™s democracy, judging by its cosmopolitan politics. Its revival, he said, would put the nation on the path of development and growth again.
Speaking with news men in Abuja, Bello, who is also the current Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs, said that as soon as PDP gets its acts together, many big wigs, who left the party due to disenchantments, would re embraced it. He said for many Nigerians, the PDP is still the party of choice.
He said, â€œif you are students of Nigeriaâ€™s politics, you would have noticed that the PDP was the most formidable political machine out there for a long while. Its founding fathers were true democrats. Remember when people like Alhaji Isyaku Ibrahim, late Chief Solomon Lar and the likes were its main inspiration.
â€œ It was an ideological party too which had the masses at heart. Power was truly in the hands of the people. The burst started when the party started taking people for a ride and becoming bellicose. Undemocratic strategies like imposition, doctrines of necessities, supplanting, gangsterismâ€
and all the rest took over, with garrison commanders manning out posts. Overnight, PDP went from being the peoples dream to their worst nightmare. And they, sadistically, pushed it out.â€
Bello said Nigerians are warming up to the party again. â€œThe new upswing started after the Supreme Court verdict that recognised the Ahmed Makarfi led CTC. It was like the rebirth of the party and almost everyone irrespective of their political leaning connected with the justice done. That tells you something about the real Nigerian. We love justice as a people. So, if the PDP would do the right thing and not hurt people by promoting whatâ€™s unwanted, the party would be on its way.â€
Bello, who is a former Editor of the Leadership newspaper, said the party must not make an error in the pick of central officers. He said, â€œthe convention would be the last litmus test. It is crucial. If it gets it wrong in the choice of a National Chairman, the old issues would return and hurt the party again.
â€œNext would be the choice of a spokesman who can work with the media to rebrand the party and sell it to the nation. Everyone is waiting for the PDP to pick the right leadership at the convention. Putting round pegs is square holes would be PDPâ€™s biggest undoing in its chequered history. In fact, I can wager a bet that if the PDP doesnâ€™t get it right this time, it would finally dash the hopes of the common man and really endanger Nigeriaâ€™s democracy.â€