‘Election of flag-bearers will test Ayu’s ‘party supremacy, internal democracy’ commitment’
The Iyorchia Ayu-led new leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in a fix on how to strike a balance between the need to enthrone a regime of party supremacy without hurting the 13 PDP governors’ interest.
Party leaders had at the two-day retreat organised for the new National Working Committee (NWC) members passed a resolution to compel the Ayu-led NWC to uphold party supremacy and internal democracy.
The communique of the retreat was clear in saying that, “The new party leadership should enthrone the principle of party supremacy in the PDP, so as to enhance order, discipline, unity, unanimity of purpose and, ultimately, landslide victories, come 2023 and beyond.”
However, as the Ayu-led NWC prepares for inauguration on Friday, some party leaders have expressed misgivings on how the principles of party supremacy could be upheld amid the governors’ control on the party.
Others expressed worries about the chances of having an independent NWC that would conduct free and fair primaries to produce flag-bearers for the 2023 polls.
The task before the Ayu-led NWC was summarised as the theme of a retreat tagged: “Rescue and Rebuild Nigeria,” recently in Abuja.
A member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) charged state governors to allow the Ayu-led NWC some level of freedom to carry out its responsibilities.
“If I were the governors, the best thing to do is to give Ayu and his team the freedom to operate. The governors have done a good job in ensuring that the convention that produced this new NWC was rancour-free. They have also instituted unanimity and political cohesion in the party. But all these will be badly damaged if they expect Ayu and his team to simply rubber-stamp whatever interests the governors push to them. It will be more damaging as we prepare to choose flag-bearers for the 2023 elections,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the PDP has shifted the inauguration of the new NWC members from Thursday to Friday.
A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, made it clear that “the party has approved the schedule of events for a smooth transition from the outgoing to incoming national officers of the party.
“Accordingly, the Valedictory Session of the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) has been scheduled to hold on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at the NEC Hall of the National Secretariat, Abuja at 11 am.
“Correspondingly, the presentation of Certificate of Return and Swearing-in Ceremony of the newly elected national officers has been scheduled for Friday, December 10, 2021, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, by 9:30 am.”