President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday implored the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to discipline and call him or any other highly placed member of the party to order if they should misbehave, saying neither him nor any elected officer was superior to the party.
Speaking when he hosted the new PDP National Working Committee (NWC) members Monday night at House 7, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan who noted that he could not be a maximum ruler urged the NWC to ensure that members are disciplined because if the party could not enforce discipline, the PDP would just be operating like a platform for independent candidate.
He said: “PDP is a political party and as a party, you must have guidelines and no matter the office you are holding, the party must be in a position to discipline or admonish Mr. President if he deviates. In South Africa, ANC can admonish the President because the party is superior. And that is why in the gathering of the party, the party chairman takes precedence in order of protocol. It shows that the President himself is under the chairman.
“The President cannot be a maximum ruler; the President is selected by the party and must serve the party not the party serving the President. So, if the President is deviating, the President must be called upon so that all we know that the party is supreme and we must all follow the dictates of the party.
“Nobody in the party, from the President to the least person at the ward will be superior to the party. So, you have a lot of challenges in this direction to make sure that you instil that kind of discipline. We will give you maximum cooperation.”
Comparing the party at its present state to what it looked like at inception, the president observed that there were some changes, adding that “every society is dynamic and we expect to even get more and better changes positively.”
Jonathan stated: “My cabinet is totally committed and we will not come up with any major programme without involving the party. Both the Executive and Parliament members belong to political parties and political parties have manifestoes so whether you are in the executive and parliamentary arm of government, we all belong to our party and we must project the agenda of the party.
“Therefore, before we come up with any major decision, we must present it to the party and of course the ministers should know that from time to time, the party will ask you to brief them on what you are doing. It has been a part of PDP that from time to time; the party will call you because the party must give the direction for both the executive and parliamentary arms of government.”
In his goodwill message, Chairman of last national convention committee, Chief Ojo Maduekwe noted that the party was on the threshold of a new beginning, adding that the credentials of the new NWC members were intimidating and that with the new chairman, Bamanga Tukur in charge, PDP has truly come of age.