The former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and aspirant for the national chairmanship of the party, Chief Olabode George, yesterday sent a warning to those members whose actions led to the crisis in the party that despite the â€œno victor, no vanquishedâ€ position of the party, they might still face disciplinary action.
George said this at a press conference in Lagos where he stated that the alliance between the PDP and the Labour Party to field joint candidate for Saturdayâ€™s local government elections in the state still stands.
â€œWhile we now preach and acknowledge that there is no victor and no vanquished, we are now eternally vigilant against those serial dissidents and reckless characters who insist on betraying the partyâ€™s trust. We will not sit down and watch if anyone tramples on the core value of our party again.
â€œWe will no longer tolerate those sleek, dubious and ambivalent characters who pronounce allegiance to PDP in the day time while they hobnob with APC in the shadows of the night. We are not fools. We know who our leaders are. We know the authentic voices of statesmanship and men and women of honourable heritage who never wavered amid the severe challenges of the tumultuous period.
â€œAs we stretch out our hands to embrace the prodigal sons, we insist that the rules and the tenets of the party constitution remain sacrosanct. We insist that there will be no sacred cows. The party remains supreme. The constituents and the ideals of our constitution must never again be eroded without the necessary consequence.
According to him, â€œeven as we insist that there is no victor and there is no vanquished, we cannot ignore the glaring lessons we have learned from these torturous two years of self-imposed chaotic eruptions that almost annihilated the cohesiveness of our party and invariably provoked a monolithic one-party state, shattering the normative essence of plural democracy. But we thank God. The legitimate and responsible opposition is back! That is the core value of democracy.â€
He posited that what led to the crisis in the party was the insistence of some persons to impose some persons who do know the history, tenets and core values of the party on the members.
â€œThe first lesson here is that a free association like a party is always guided by its own rules, its own norms and principles. And once you are part of such association, you must abide by its laws. In this wise, no one is greater than the summative essence of a party. No one can rewrite the very defining identity of an association just to soothe his fancy.
â€œSecondly, individual ambition can never override the general principles and practices of a collective organisation. The third lesson is that leaders must never play God. You cannot impose your whims and caprices upon everyone without suffering its consequences.
â€œThose who brought Sheriff may be well meaning. But they forgot that to lead an organisation you always need those who are tested, proven and well accustomed to the tenets and the norms of such organisation. When you bring someone who is not well attuned to the rule of the game, the result is always disastrous. That is what provoked the near destructive grapple we just went through.â€
Although George did not say any word about his ambition to contest the national chairmanship of the party, he however hinted that only those who are tested and know the inner workings of the party should be allowed to hold top position in the party as the 2019 election approaches fast.
â€œLet us now look ahead with a firm grip and with a renewed focus. Let us now forge ahead with calm distinctive vision and with thorough purposeful resolve. We must never revisit the vitiating mistakes of the very recent past. We must never again mortgage our party for personal ambition. We lost Edo and Ondo because we were not united. Enough of this divisiveness.
â€œLet me reiterate again that this is not the time to be scheming in the shadows for personal ambition. This is not the time to engage in perpetual blame game and continue to slug it out in the barricades
â€œThis is the time of purposeful reflection and rebuilding. This is the time to mend the broken places and rectify the wounds of old. This is the time to move forward with great contemplation and determined zeal.â€