The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, has commended the Peoples Democratic Party over its successful national Convention at the weekend.
He stated this in Abuja Monday in a statement titled: “Opposition Politics and Campaign for New Nigeria”.
The DG said the PDP leaders should be commended for electing their leaders peacefully. According to him: “With the successful conclusion of the PDP National Convention, credit must be given to leaders and members of the party for being able to manage the process and elect a new leadership for the party,” he wrote in the statement.
“Whether in the end, the new leaders will be allowed by the power blocs within the PDP to facilitate negotiations is entirely a different matter.
“By the way, the fact that the party can elect a young person, below 30 years as National Youth Leader means that PDP leaders have recognised that the old culture of arrogance and impunity must be avoided if they are to win the support of Nigerians, which is very positive.
“It can be predicted that had PDP been the ruling party in the country, the approach would have been different. Probably, as was the case with all previous PDP leaders, new leaders would have emerged without any negotiation, and the National Convention would have been reduced to a window dressing ritual, legitimising the instructions of a serving PDP President.
“Perhaps, everything leading to the PDP National Convention happened because no serving PDP President is acting as the leader of the party.
“Good enough, being out of power, PDP leaders had to respect democratic process, which raises the hope of especially PDP members that the party is being reformed. “
“The problematic issue is that notwithstanding some of the departures from the old abrasive PDP, just as Nigerians would want to wish PDP well, it must be pointed out that many of the speeches of PDP leaders at the Convention demonstrated lack of commitment to take responsibility. This is mainly because, as far as PDP leaders are concerned, all the problems facing Nigeria today are creating APC.
“Almost all the speeches of PDP leaders during the Convention were about winning election in 2023 and returning to power. Sadly, at any point during the Convention, there is no indication showing how the party intends to solve Nigeria’s challenges. Not even a reference by any PDP leader during the Convention to any provision of the party’s manifesto, which must have gathered dust in the cabinet of INEC.
“Perhaps, apart from the few founding members of the party, almost all the delegates to the National Convention have never seen the manifesto of the PDP.
“Above all, how does PDP intend to govern Nigeria differently, if Nigerians are to elect them back to power? As much as it is rational for PDP leaders to campaign against the APC and its leaders, being a party that acknowledges its mistakes in 2015, PDP leaders should understand that mobilising Nigerians to vote them should take its bearing from how they want to govern the country differently from the way they did between 1999 and 2015. Anything short of that will be dishonest,” he wrote in the statement.