By Chibuzo Ukaibe,
Former ministers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared yesterday that a new chairman of the party will emerge by merit.
They also said they will support the current national leadership of the party financially ahead of its non-conventions, just as they stated that the era of impunity and exclusivity is over in the party.
The former PDP ministers, after a meeting in Abuja, noted that the new leadership of the party which is expected to emerge from the anticipated elective convention must be by merit.
Chairman of the forum and former minister of special duties, Tanimu Turaki, while briefing journalists after their meeting said their conviction is that the best candidate should emerge as candidate.
Noting that the party is replete with credible members that can serve as chairman, he said, “We will support meritocracy. We have gotten to a level where Nigerian consciousness has been awakened. We intend to look for the best”.
He further added that they are not averse to the zoning arrangement which has zoned the national chairmanship to the entire South in line with the zoning of the party’s presidency to the entire North.
He however noted that party leaders from the South can micro-zone the chairmanship to any part of the region they wish, just as leaders from the North can also agree to zone the presidency to any part in the region.
Stressing that former ministers will financially support the current party leadership ahead of the convention, he added that what the party needs ahead of 2019 is a vibrant leadership to provide virile opposition to the APC government.
He stated that the era of impunity and lack of exclusivity in the party is over, noting that it is now open for all members of credible standing to participate.
However, the national publicity secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the PDP can reclaim states in South West in 2019 provided they remain united.
He lamented that the loss of those states was because of the internal crisis of the party in that region, adding that the victory secured by the APC in the states of the region were minority votes.
The opposition party spokesman however noted that the peace effort in Anambra State is already yielding fruits, disclosing that a substantive caretaker committee for the state will emerge next week.
Also, the chairman of the party’s caretaker committee, Sen Ahmed Makarfi, hinted yesterday that new entrants into the party will not enjoy special privileges.
Makarfi who stated this while receive the PDP rescue group at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja said the decision was aimed at avoiding the mistakes made by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group was led by former governor of old Gongola State, Wilberforce Jutta, who pledged loyalty to the Makarfi-led leadership.
Makarfi said, “We are open to reconciling with everybody. We are open to accepting new entrants into the party but no special privileges for anybody coming into the party. That is not an issue to be contemplated. No exclusivity. It will be inclusive without any special privilege to anybody or group of individuals.
“That is how APC got it wrong. We should learn from how APC got it wrong. What we need to do is that we will create a level-playing field. We don’t lord it over those who have slaved for the party.
“The Party must evolve mechanism for dedicated and loyal party men and women. That is how people can remain committed. But if there is none, people can question themselves, ‘why do you have to continue exhibiting such loyalty and commitment to the party?’
“People can as well also be nomadic politicians and migrate to where the pasture is greener for whatever reasons. In some African countries, we didn’t hear of this kind of mobility, but in Nigeria, we are nomadic politicians. We have many nomadic politicians and they should behave well. They will be welcomed but I stand by what I have said earlier”.