Those Who Are PDP Problems Cannot Be The Solution, Says Akinjide
Chief Richard Akinjide, a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and currently a member of its Board of Trustees (BoT) spoke to ABIODUN FANORO dwindling fortunes of the party and recent efforts to reinvent it.
It appears some of you, the founding fathers of the PDP, have abandoned the party, as you were not part of recent efforts to revive it?
I have not abandoned the party, but you cannot run a national forum with third-Eleven and hope to succeed. That is the heart of the problem.
A lot of the prominent people who should be at that conference were not there and I don’t want to mention names. It seems the people have not realised the gravity of the problem facing the party and enormity of what has to be done. If and when they do, they will allow the right people to summon the right people and to hold the right conference.
That conference they held, in my view, to a large extent was not serious. I will like to be involved in efforts to revive and re-build the party to return it to its former position of first-Eleven.
But we have not reached that stage. If and when we reach that stage, we will do it and we will succeed. I have no doubt about that.
My belief is that the PDP is still a very strong party and it will succeed at the right time, when the right people are at the helms of affairs.
How come some strategic stakeholders were not carried along?
I was never invited to that conference. People like Dr. Alex Ekwueme were not at the conference. Alhaji Adamu Ciroma was not there, and I can mention several people from the six geo-political zones.
My belief is that it was not the right thing in the right way and if you do it right, you will succeed, but I don’t think we have reached that level yet.
A lot of people placed on the first roll at the conference should be placed on the second or third roll, and that is some of the reasons why they failed.
I am aware that people are discussing, especially elders of the party. People are talking, when the time comes, you will see how things will move.
The PDP is extremely a strong party and those who are opposing it are not as strong as they believe they are. I don’t want to say more than that at the moment.
You said some of the PDP founding fathers were invited to the conference, but did not turn up. Does that not suggest that they have lost confidence in the party?
No! They have not lost confidence in the party, but they have lost confidence in some of the people who are posing or parading themselves as leaders of the party.
Those parading themselves today as leaders of the party are actually the problem of the party and should not play the role they are purportedly playing.
I think that is the heart of the problem.
Does it mean young elements have hijacked the party?
I will not say that. The youth are very important, but they should play the role they should play. There are times when youths should not play leadership roles.
I will not talk on the young elements, but when the right people at the right time at the right place are in charge, you will see the difference.
You will know that at the last election, a lot of people who were candidates should not have been candidates at all. And that is why many of them failed. They should play the role they should play but don’t play the role you shouldn’t play.
I have reasons to believe that the PDP will do well when the right people take the mantle of leadership, not people who cannot even win in their own constituencies.
The indifference of the PDP leadership to happenings in the party before the last general election largely led to its defeat at the polls. Is this not the same path the leadership is taking now?
The path the new leaders are taking now is even worse than that. The path they are taking is disastrous and cannot lead them to any success at all.
I like the PDP to succeed in future elections. I like the PDP to win and we have the material to make them succeed, but we need to have the right people at the right time and at the right places.
All over Nigeria, we have very eminent people who could make us succeed. I like to sit down with those people, eat with them and see them holding leadership positions in the party.
Some people believe your party’s failure to adhere to its zoning formula was largely responsible for its defeat at the last polls?
There are times in politics when you take decisions that are wrong, but you don’t have to say it at the wrong time and at the wrong place. Those people talking like that are talking rubbish.
Assuming that they are right, is that the right time to say it? Is that the way to say it? And are those people to say it?
And the presidential candidate was an eminent person and he did his best to the best of his ability, but he failed, and he was gallant enough to admit failure. This is what people did; this is what has happened recently in Burma.
When is that right time?
I cannot give any advance verdict now, but let us wait and see what will happen. In the first place, we must have the right leadership to drive structures and the right policies. Then things will come back.
Does that suggest that consultations are actually going on?
Definitely, among the right people at the right time and at the right places. Yes, they are taking place, but nobody is going to make noise on the radio or television or on the pages of newspapers or mentioning certain successes or failures we should not mention.