PDP’s NEC, NWC should dissolve current Lagos chapter structure, says Oyefusi
Princess Abiodun Oyefusi contested the Lagos East Senatorial election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019. She was one of the party’s senatorial aspirants for the last bye-election. She spoke with SEYE OLUMIDE on the crisis in the Lagos chapter and suggested solutions
What caused the latest crisis in Lagos PDP after its defeat in the December 5 Lagos East bye-elections?
There are always crises in political parties; so, Lagos PDP is not any different. Unfortunately, Lagos PDP crisis is a perpetual one and what magnified it is because the party never got its act together to win an election since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule. However, the situation will soon change, because with the dismal failure in the last Lagos East bye-election, it has become audible, even to the deaf, what the problems are, such that even the national body of the party can no longer fold its hands, to prevent the party from imminent collapse. Tough decisions must be taken and it must be taken fast to save the state’s chapter.
How do you see the controversial suspension of Adedeji Doherty on allegations of anti-party activities?
Come off it. PDP is not a mushroom party. You are a learned person. A duly elected chairman can never be removed in such ridiculous, motor park like ‘coup d’etat way. The party has rules and constitution, which must be followed. Doherty remains the chairman and they must follow due process to remove him, unless he resigns as chairman. This shenanigans and publicly embarrassing this party by all sides in Lagos must stop as a matter of necessity. All have failed this party in Lagos and they must now sheath their swords to allow meaningful solution to the problem by the leaders and NWC. Our great Governor Seyi Makinde and leaders and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) must act meaningfully and swiftly now to rescue the Lagos chapter.
I have learnt in life, especially in politics, that anyone that places an anti-party allegation at the door of others without real evidence is likely the perpetrator of that offence. Instead of facing the real problem, members of the party have been accusing one another of being APC mole or working for the ruling party since 1999. They would rather look in the mirror and see APC than their own failures, as it is easier to blame others for your mess. If PDP’s wall does not open, the APC Lizard cannot enter.
The fact is that Lagos PDP’s foundation was made of clay and it would continue to cave in until it is rebuilt. The party is the typical example of pouring new wine into an old win skin; it will burst and it is now at a bursting point and we must build a new skin to pour in new wine, so we can achieve in 2023. Therefore, it is not an issue of anti-party activity, but we need internal restructuring and cleansing.
One of the reasons adduced for the defeat PDP suffered in the last Lagos bye-election is that some of you that contested the primary eventually abandoned the campaign. Was there any issue?
Babatunde Gbadamosi was the author and finisher of his own faith. He ran his campaign as he deemed fit and he got the result he wanted. Full stop. He can’t say PDP did not support him; he was given a platform to showcase himself and supported with every machinery of the party, including finance, just like his former party, Action Democratic Party (ADP) supported him for governorship in 2019. And just like his governorship attempt in 2019, it was a woeful failure, the worst failure in the history of Lagos PDP. The party has never been so woefully defeated in any election in Lagos East. The party has never lost any bye-election in Lagos East like that.
The messages from the public were loud and clear. We must never take the electorate for granted, even in the worst of times. Election is not about making noise on social media or living in your own created bubble. It is about the people. It is power by the people for the people. We have now learnt that lesson going forward to 2023.
What’s the way forward for the party?
Two things we need to do immediately before it is too late. The National Executive Council (NEC) and national Working Committee (NWC) must dissolve the current structure of Lagos chapter and bring in a steering committee before the next congress in 2021. The committee must comprise a diverse group of equal men, women and youth and not entirely from Lagos. They are to be tasked with the responsibility of getting the state and party ready for the congress as well as management of its affairs prior to the congress.
Secondly, a structure must be set up to drive new membership and a database of real members in each local government in preparation for the next election.
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