Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olabode George has identified selfish interests and indiscipline as the main cause of the crisis which is tearing the fabrics of his party to shreds currently.
The PDP has been in the news for the rift in the leadership of the party and just recently sacked its National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff at a controversial national convention in Port Harcourt.
Speaking to Vanguard, Bode George highlighted the reasons for the continued conflict in the party that ruled Nigeria for 16 years and the way forward to resolution and resurrection.
These are the 7 things he wants Nigerians to know.
- Two wrongs don’t make a right
The PDP chieftain has some words for the warring factions of the party, he said, “Why I am saying that is if there is no credible opposition, with the PDP being split, there would be no effective opposition. Whatever the government does, PDP will not be in a good position to advise, correct or go against them.
“That is why I have been appealing to both sides to cool their temper. Once you run into parallel conventions, you are almost at the brink of total collapse. We can disagree on issues because peoples’ perceptions differ; but we must never be disagreeable.
“We can disagree, we can discuss and that is why I am still appealing to both sides. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
“We are in the political field. We should be able to play it the way it is done in the civilized world, there is no perpetuity in everything. Let us look at the scenarios: I have seen that there are just two major issues.”
2. A divided house is a defeated house
Regarding the squabble of party members on where certain positions should be zoned to or who should emerge as presidential candidate for for 2019 election, Bode George said, “These are not fundamentals, we can meet, remove all emotions, bring back all the wherewithal of the resilience of the party as exhibited from the beginning and come to terms.
“If they continue on parallel lines, it will never meet. A divided house is a defeated house, I am appealing to both sides. As an elder of the party, as a member of the BoT, two wrongs can never make a right.
“Let us forget about these differences, come to the table and discuss. We have had worse crises like this in the party, everybody has made their own point, all cannot be right, all cannot be wrong. Individuals should forget their personal interest.”
3. PDP must assist APC
Surprisingly, the PDP chieftain advocated that PDP should assist the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, “This nation is on the threshold, serious crossroads. We don’t know whether to turn right or left but of course because the new party, APC, is new in the governance of this country, they are still groping in the dark on what they should do. We must assist.”
4. The PDP will give APC time to perform
In continuation, Bode George said, “I like the issue of Buhari saying please give me time. We know how it can be when you come into government fresh, there are so many areas to be blocked, so many policies coming and it takes a critical mind to start sorting things out. Since they asked us to please give them time, let us give them time.
“I cannot start poking things in their mind now or in their heads because we have a log in our own eyes why should I be talking about the spec in their eyes. There is a log now in the PDP’s eyes which we must remove.”
5. Personal interests and indiscipline are the cause of the PDP crisis
Bode George thinks that the problem with the PDP “is a combination of too many things: personal interests and lack of commitment.”
He also listed indiscipline as one of the problems while noting that the party was still within the sphere of redemption, “I don’t think the PDP is beyond redemption. You see all sorts of court cases being filed all over the place, that is the height of indiscipline.”
6. Nigerian judges are also adding to the PDP crisis
“This party has it in our constitution that no party member goes to court without exhausting the internal dynamics of the party. All these people flying in and out of court, immediately, should be suspended from the party.
“I believe there was a time a Supreme Court judgement of non interference by the judiciary in the internal wrangling or internal affairs of political parties.
“The judges, who are now firing injunctions should know that there is a subsisting judgement by the Supreme Court. I am not a lawyer but we have been in this game for long. It is an unnecessary intervention and it is creating a crisis that can spell doom and consume everybody including the judiciary.
“I want the Chief Justice of the Federation to save this nation’s democracy, they should play the role of arbiter and not interfere in the internal affairs of political parties.”
7. Politics should not be a source of income
Bode Goerge explains why some PDP members are loyal to Ogun state senator, Buruji Kashamu, who he insisted cannot buy loyalty with dollars and currency, “Some will follow him because they see politics as a source of income to them and that is not politics, that is poli tricks. Politics is the management of the resources of the community for the betterment of that community.
“These ‘politricians’ following Buruji and Buruji himself, see it as an investment and that there must be return on investment. Let them go to the capital market and do that there. It shouldn’t be a free lunch for them and gradually, our country is moving in that direction because a lot of those educated persons, who refused to join politics, now know that they cannot leave it in the hands of jokers.
“Politics is too serious an issue to be left in the hands of jokers because your future is involved.”