We have learned a lot of lessons, we won’t allow imposition of candidates again — PDP
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed optimism that the main opposition party will be re-launched now that the legal battle regarding the February 25th presidential election is rested with the Supreme Court judgment and the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is out.
Recall that ahead of the presidential election, the PDP was enmeshed in crisis which was later blown out of proportion when Atiku emerged as the presidential candidate of the party, and the call for the resignation of the then national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu fell on deaf ears.
The party went into that election as a divided house with the creation of an opposition group in the party, the group of five governors, popularly called the G5 and led by the then governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
At the end of that election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of the election. Tinubu polled a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, who scored 6,984,520 to emerge second.
Atiku and the party headed to court and unfortunately for them the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) and later the Supreme Court, affirmed the victory of Tinubu.
The chieftain who confided in Daily Independent said that the party lost the election because Atiku didn’t handle the issue of zoning well and failed to put pressure on Ayu to resign when he emerged the candidate of the party.
He said, “We’re going to regroup, and a lot of things will be clarified for the PDP.
Number one, we know that Atiku cannot come back, no matter what he wants to do. Number two, we know that we have a lot of work to do to repair the damage that has been caused, particularly in places like Lagos State.
Leaders who imposed candidates on people won’t succeed again. We have learnt a lot of lessons. I can tell you the way I see the immediate future: everything starts from the top, once we get it right from the top, then we have a formidable party.
He added, “What happened to us, once Atiku and the rest didn’t accept that the presidential candidate will come from the South, the party broke up. That was what killed us in the last election. The Igbo community which is the backbone of PDP left the party and went to the Labour Party.
“Now the party leaders are making plans for the future of the party. About three months ago, Segun Sowunmi and some of Atiku’s spokespersons were talking about running for national chairmanship position in the PDP. Sowunmi boasted he will defeat Bukola Saraki in any election. If it happens that a southerner becomes the national chairman of the party. It means the presidency will go to the north again