In spite of the defeat it suffered at the recently held presidential election and the loss of several states to the All Progressives Congress, APC, there is a compelling need for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take immediate steps to re-invent itself. While it is true that the party mismanaged the goodwill it had from Nigerians and which led to its loss of presidential power, sight must not be lost of the fact that the polity needs the experience it gained over the years for stability.
In particular, the nation needs the experience and exposure of both the party itself and those individuals who operated on its platform as a strong countervailing force to check the APC, what is described in a more common parlance as credible and strong opposition. If full cognizance is taken of the full essence of democracy, it would not be out of place to state that Nigeria needed the fall of the PDP to strengthen its democracy. But that will further depend on if the politicians realize the fact that beyond the glamour of holding public office, democracy can only thrive through the strengthening of institutions, especially the political parties.
For fifteen years on the stretch, the PDP held sway. Although an appraisal of its performance during that period is not the present concern, it needs no exaggeration to state that at a point, Nigerians began to clamour for an alternative platform on which to pursue their collective destiny. That opportunity came with the coming into being of the APC which paraded elements whose antecedents and pedigree a majority of Nigerians felt could offer a window of opportunity to do things differently. It was in exploiting this window of opportunity that majority of Nigerians voted for the APC at the just concluded general election.
This newspaper is of the view that in expressing their preference for the APC at that 2015 general election, Nigerians were not necessarily saying that the individuals who ran on the platform of the PDP or managed its affairs are all devils who should be ostracized. What they did was to merely state that there was need to try another set of people.
And for all intents and purposes, they, Nigerians, deserve that right. It therefore, follows as a corollary, that next time, Nigerians will similarly reserve the right to ask the APC to step aside for them to try another group of people. This is how it is done elsewhere, especially in those places where democracy has thrived.
Hallmark is of the view that the crop of Nigerians who constitute the PDP should not see the rest of Nigeria as their enemies. What happened is for the collective good, especially of the future generation. On the other hand, PDP and its faithful must not be demonized, much as it failed to live up to the full expectation of the people. Differently put, there is need for the party to be encouraged to rise quickly from the ashes of the current defeat and forge ahead in the strategic interest of the nation.
This newspaper is totally against any tendencies that would advocate for the complete annihilation of the PDP because it is not in the best interest of our country. The PDP is the only political party in Nigeria as of today that can put a check on the APC. If we accept the fact that the country did not benefit from a situation where the PDP reigned for fifteen years without a strong opposition party, then we will be contradicting ourselves in saying that the party should be allowed to die.
However, it needs no emphasis to state that the re-invention of the PDP will begin from within itself. Its members, especially its topmost leaders, should be sports-like and patriotic in their attitude to the setback the party has suffered and see it as even a bigger opportunity to serve the nation better though in another capacity.
It is for this reason that this newspaper sees the current bickering and buck passing among the party’s chieftains as both unbecoming and uncalled for. Rather, they should close ranks to rebuild the party to represent it. Needless to say, its key operatives must be ready to make personal sacrifices and eschew any tendencies that would constitute a stumbling block to the process of re-inventing the party.
Hallmark is of the view that the first step is for the current leadership of the party to give way for fresh blood to be injected into it. We would liken the current situation to a football tournament wherein after a bad outing, the coaching crew is disbanded and a new one put in place to prepare the team for the next tournament. And it is on this score that we ask the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, to heed the current call for his resignation as chairman of the party in order to allow for a more conducive environment for the party to begin a new journey. We acknowledge that the Nigerian factor may make it hard for him to take that decision but we hasten to point to him the recent development in the United Kingdom where the heads of the major political parties resigned their positions only a few hours after their parties lost at the general election held a few days ago. We call on His Excellency, Mallam Adamu Mu’azu, to borrow a leaf from these gentlemen and save the party and the country at large from further anxieties.
As we noted above, Nigerians do not see PDP chieftains like Mu’azu as demons or never-do-wells. After all, Mu’azu and even others in the leadership of the party had served the nation creditably before in different capacities. They should thus see the call for their resignation as a way of contributing further to the survival of our democracy.