By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, has dismissed insinuations on plans to dump the party.
Jibrin was reacting to a newspaper report that the Ahmed Makarfi faction was approaching some aggrieved chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC ) to form a new political party.
Jibrin, who described the newspaper report as false and unfounded, said there were no such plans, adding that posterity would not forgive any member of the party who has an ambition to kill or dump it.
The PDP has been embroiled in a prolonged leadership crisis leading to the emergence of two factions led by former Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Jibrin said every organ of the party was working hard to strengthen it to enable it maintain its power and play its role as an strong opposition party in the country.
“I wish to say authoritatively that there is no any plan to dump PDP as it was never discussed or any discussion taken by any organ of the party.
“If we do that, posterity will not forgive us because PDP is already a household
name dearly loved by every household in Nigeria.
“Posterity will judge any one with the ambition to kill PDP for his ambition. It is quite contrary to the hard work of our founding fathers and mothers who worked so hard to produce the brand PDP.
“It is wishful thinking for anybody to think that PDP will abandon its qualitative and acceptable product for any new born baby that have to start all over again by learning to sit, crawl and walk before getting its bearing to Nigerians” he said.
He also ruled out the possibility of changing the name of the party, saying that taking such action would be a disaster for Nigeria’s political development, “especially when we cast our mind back to hardwork and foresight of our founding fathers and mothers that came up with the brand name, PDP, which is fully accepted and cherished by Nigerians.”
He said abandoning the name “PDP “ will be a very costly venture as it will be very difficult to ask all members to leave the party collectively at the same time for a new brand.
According to him, “dumping PDP will mean leaving entirely the party to somebody or group with all its assets; the Wadata plaza, legacy house, Peoples Democratic Institute, and billions of naira uncompleted headquarters of the party.
“We cannot also stop any person for hi-jacking the already legally registered brand the PDP. It will open more court litigations in attempt to share the great assets.
“We will have no guarantee of stopping some original PDP members in remaining with the PDP even if we attempt to change the name.
“What we need is a genuine alliance that will woo other parties and individuals to PDP and still not changing its name in order to make its strongest,” he said.
However, in spite of the division within the party, Jibrin expressed optimism that one of the factional candidates of the party in the forth coming governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, would emerge the winner, although the court is yet to determine who among Jegede and Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, a candidate of the Sheriff led faction of the party will emerge the candidate of the party in the election.
He said further that the PDP is hopeful at the Edo State governorship election petitions Tribunal as its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu is expected to reclaim victory at the tribunal.
Commenting on the war against corruption by the current administration, the BoT chairman, maintained that any war against corruption should pursued holistically and should not be limited to a particular group or segment of the society.
According to him, there is corruption in every facet of the Nigerian society pointing out that a serious programme for eradicating corruption is required to tackle the menace.
“Corruption in Nigeria should be looked at realistically with a programme and not just picking people like that.
“Not all PDP people are corrupt, I am telling you. There are very honest and respected people in PDP. But everything is being blamed on PDP members. Most of the people that are in APC today were PDP members. Do you mean to tell me that there are no corrupt people in APC?
“This is not fair. I think we should have a programme of eradicating corruption in Nigeria, a very serious programme for a period of five years.
“There is corruption in every facet of our lives, so why are you blaming only a segment and you are condemning judges because of few individuals? The case of judges is like the case of PDP.”