It’s Time to be Political ‘Born Agains’: Open Letter to the New PDP Chairman

 
Prince Uche Secondus,
The Acting National Chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)
The Acting National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
National Secretariat, Abuja.
 
Dear Sir,
Time to become Political ‘Born Again’, is now, next month may be too late
Good day Sir, Prince Uche Secondus, I hope this letter meets you in sound health and high political spirit.
I consider this open letter to be very expedient for a number of reasons.
One, because of the unfolding incidences in the Nigeria’s new main opposition party, PDP that culminated into the resignation of your party National Chairman and the Chairman of Board of Trustees is disconcerting.
 
Two, the likelihood of your party not being able to manage this post-2015 election fiasco, based on the first point, is unsettling and the possible problems might leave in our body polity, if not properly handled, may not be too palatable for Nigeria as a nation.
Thirdly, the possibility of your party fading quickly into oblivion or at best becoming a regional party, dictates that well-meaning Nigerians should call you and your party members to reason so as to encourage a dynamic opposition party, just as the then opposition party provided Nigerians and your party led government.
Without doubt, anyone who follows my postings on social media write-ups will realise that I naturally lean toward APC in the build-up to presidential election particularly during electioneering campaign.
 
This is not necessarily because I am a lover of partisan politics but because I was and still fed up with the way the PDP-led government, especially under President Goodluck Jonathan has been directing the affairs of this nation. But, I am afraid my hope may be dashed and expectations thwarted if your party do not provide a credible opposition. For the sake of our collective national interest and your teaming party members, you need to get your house in order.
Else, your party must, as a matter of urgency, give Nigerians a hint that it will not be able to perform the role of the leading opposition party commendably, so we could look elsewhere.
The 2015 elections may have come and gone but the fact the supposedly largest party in Africa, which was expected to remain in power unchallenged for sixty years lost dejectedly in the elections. This calls for serious concern.
Prince Uche Secondus
The fact that your party lost the presidency and the majority seats in the Senate and turned out to be minority in the House of Representatives is definitely not a small loss to bemoan; just as the distressing loss of governorship seats across the many states, including the defeat of the incumbent was no less a small let down for the party.
Within a span of two years, just after the exodus of the five of the G7 Governors, your party and its typical aura of preeminence has unfortunately malformed rather than transformed to almost a point of non-recognition.
 
Could this have been because of the clamour for change? Your party and its members used to be the masters of the Nigerians’ fate. Could it be that you assumed your party was too big to lose just as many Nigerians did?
Now that you are being forced by the shocking catastrophe of the 2015 polls, it is quite essential to have a rethink. It is time for you and your members across the country to fight not only to save your faces but to also save the party.
We all make mistakes. It happens to everyone, even the best among us, ANPP, ACN and CPC had made several mistakes in previous elections but years later, they have displayed to Nigerians they learnt from their errors. Therefore, PDP will have to take lessons from the history of the defunct parties that merged to form APC and quickly learn the way to relate with failure. No Party wants to fail, but your party needs to eagerly take the plunge, and embark on critical self-analysis.
 
If Nigerians had not given your party the opportunity to fall short of your goal in the last election, you probably would have remained incapable of noticing that the party is a sinking ship with a clueless captain surrounded by sycophants. The party has the worst of all advisers and ‘attack lions’, as one of them prefers to be called.
Your party wouldn’t have seen any reason to take responsibility for all that happened in the last 16 years.
The PDP under President Goodluck Jonathan portrayed its affinity for wickedness by its uncanny closeness to the State of Israel, the leading racist government in the world, by displaying a cultural tolerance of letdown that the Israelis call ‘constructive’ or ‘intelligent’ failures;. In fact, at one point, critics satirically held that the presidency had either ‘moved’ the seat of power to Tel Aviv or the Israeli embassy to Aso Rock.
Unsympathetic grip
Whereas, a saying holds that success is not final; but your party on the other hand wrongly assumed that election triumph of 2011 was final and anticipated that the dominance will endure for 60 years!
Your party conducted itself like the ‘too big to fail’ characters of the Wall Street and pushed Nigerians to a level where some felt it was a crime to be a Nigerian. Undoubtedly, your defeat at the last general election gave hope of change to the common people who felt liberated from the unsympathetic grip of your rapacious government.
One is drawn to conclusion that you all know why the ruling party lost the elections and would accordingly take necessary lessons from the incidence. Hiding under the garbage campaign funds swindle and veiling behind the smokescreen of calls for resignation are absolutely not the way to go. You should all rather ruminate over some of these problems as already raised by many before, during and after the elections.
Let me assist you with some posers: Where are the G34 that founded your party? With an exception of those who are dead, your party frustrated most of them out or at best silenced them in the party they co-founded?
What about the first president, the first vice-president, and the first speaker elected on the platform of your party? What became the fate of virtually all your National Chairmen? Which of them left honourably? Were most leaders not discouraged out of the party?
You degraded those who could engage the opposition intellectually and chose to celebrate mediocrity to the highest heaven. You also chose to embrace criminality and corruption, granting direct and indirect ‘amnesty” to renowned criminals and letting off the legal hook, the very corrupt individuals.
The impunity witnessed in your party-led government was probably as immoral as those recorded in some military regimes. Your party rejected court verdict that ordered the Osun resilient political leader be reinstated as the National Secretary of the party.
It maintained criminal silence when some of your members insisted that sixteen (16) was greater than nineteen (19) in Nigeria’s Governorship Forum fracas. The leadership of PDP also kept felonious silence when similar impunity was committed in Ekiti where seven (7) legislatures suspended twenty-one (21)!
 
The temptation of power blindfolded you from foreseeing the impending poor outings in the general election. When your party lost five governors in a swoop, you brushed it aside as immaterial, saying being the biggest political party in Africa, the vacuum left by their exit would hardly be felt.
Sir, you will remember that your party rejected all sensible counsels to allow internal democracy to thrive and tolerate additional presidential aspirants to at least pick nomination forms. The party arrogantly defended the stand while immodestly insisting that only one form was printed.
If your party unashamedly showed the world of its incapability of breeding internal health rivalry, then, how dare you blame the aggrieved of treachery and disloyalty when you ultimately led the way?
This, of course, led to internal wrangling and mutual distrust that further weakened the party and its structures. Your primaries across the states were characterised with fraudulent practices and blatant manipulations.
 
The list is endless. From Lagos to Adamawa, Rivers to Oyo, Nasarawa to Ondo, and Ogun among many other. You will also recollect that your party went into the 2015 elections with many albatross. The ruling party condescends to the point that your political rallies across the states were more of campaign of hate and calumny.
Mr Acting National Chairman Sir, remember that PDP resorted to disseminating of barefaced lies, and damaging propaganda with no justifiable cause. Your party made panicky effort to divide Nigerians into North and South and attempts were equally made to polarise citizens along religious lines.
You took your campaigns to the pulpits which practically led to allegations and counter-denunciations within the body of Christ and Muslims organisations that should rather be the country’s spiritual guide.
Sir, what manner of response were you expecting from Nigerians when you allowed your presidential candidate to give free rein to spoilers like the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Special Assistant on New Media and Mr ‘I have evidence that he will die soon’ to be his spokespersons?
 
Your party did nothing when your party leader went ahead to pick Mr See-it-all, Know-it-all as the Director of Publicity of his presidential campaign.
What kind of regard did your party expect from Nigerians when it gave senatorial tickets to alleged drug baron, wanted by the Interpol and a personality who had to let go, a juicy ministerial position because of the heat generated by N250 million BMW car scandal?
Even if we accept your party’s argument that elections are not won on social media, you inadvertently irritated the fans of the irrepressible boss of the INEC by attacking the umpire jaggedly. Your clamour against the card readers was counter-productive.
 
Sir, your party frittered away the political capital profoundly given you to on a platter of gold. You expected too much from us as a people, believing that we could have no choice even as you cruelly neglected us for so long. Just as you recently affirmed, a teaming number of your members seriously lack discipline and respect for party supremacy.
We, however, will not write your party off permanently for the copious bad performances. What you and your party members need to do is to take heart and understand that your failure at the #Nigeriadecides2015 may not be terminal.
 
What really matters in this circumstance is the audacity of your members to continue with; and the courage to remain in the party without: the usual ‘national cake’, juicy appointments, salacious contracts, scandalous projects unhindered access to milking Nigerians’ fat cow.
This will largely be determined by uncommon ability to run the party on meagre fund and how best you play your new role as the major opposition party. At this critical period, PDP needs respectable national leaders that can command the respect of members and call them to order. It needs true leaders that will stop them from taking to social media and dailies to express their grievances.
 
It is a known fact that no failure can be turned to success until the subject acknowledges the faults, learn from its errors and decides to make amends while hoping for a new dawn. It is expected therefore that your members would find reasons to truly accept their misdemeanour as an error, engage in sincere repentance and become ‘political born agains’.
Sir, my honest advice to the members of the PDP, therefore, is that you’ve all got to be political ‘born agains’. This may be a sour pill to swallow and a bitter truth to admit, but what is not in uncertain is that your party, as a matter of urgency, truly needs a ‘Jagaban’ or a Master Strategist.
 
We look forward to seeing you again @ ‪#‎Nigeriadecides2019, but that is if you have the courage to turn this ongoing ‘unintelligent failures’ to both ‘constructive failures’ and ‘intelligent failures’.
We are tired of reading about your ‘civil war’ in national dailies… Wake up to the reality and give Nigerians a good opposition party or ‘commot for road’.
Ola Balogun is a social commentator and Policy Analyst

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