PDP NWC urged to enforce discipline, resist takeover by ‘rogue governors’


The Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been urged to resist the move by some individuals elected on its platform to take over the party.

The call was made in a statement by a group, the PDP Leadership League, which called on the Senator Iyorcha Ayu-led National Working Committee, to do a post-mortem of the party’s performance during the 2023 general elections and identify members and leaders who deliberately sabotaged its efforts to rescue Nigeria from the reign of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The group noted that it is a known fact that many members, including some PDP governors, especially the Nyseom Wike-led G5 governors worked against the party in the election.

“Governor Nyesom Wike, despite his public statements and actions against the presidential candidate of the Party and the NWC, secured a court injunction restraining the Party from disciplining him; as did Governor Samuel Ortom; but we are pleased to see that other party leaders who betrayed the Party and their own followers are being suspended and expelled by the National Working Committee (NWC). We applaud the Party’s decision to respect the Courts, and once the injunctions are set aside, we urge the Party to show the world that no one man is bigger than the PDP; no matter how much power, wealth or violence he may claim to control. We also urge the NWC to give all offending members fair hearing, no matter how grievous or provocative their actions may appear to be. We cannot, in pursuit of discipline; become guilty of violating fundamental provisions of our own Constitution,” it added.

While calling for a reform of the party, the group said the PDP will not be able to fulfil its mandate as envisioned by its founding fathers if its constitution are flagrantly abused.

“Just as you cannot build a society where the Rule of Law is ignored; we cannot build a Party where leaders believe they are kings and emperors; untouchable because they see themselves as above the law,” it said.

It also advised Wike and other aggrieved leaders to respect the courts and the party’s constitution in their actions.

“The recent demolition notice to AIT is curious; because the case is in court and is slated to be heard on the 6th of April. Any animus, real or perceived, Gov. Wike might have with the company and her owners surely does not give him the right to act in contempt of court processes?,” it said.

While challenging the Party’s NWC to be forward looking, the statement which was jointly signed by the quartet of  May Ubeku, Ose Anenih, John Shuaibu and Babasola Kuti, lamented that diplomacy, compromise and negotiation were absent in the build-up to the 2023 election. They added that some low-hanging fruits must be quickly addressed if the party ever intend to truly represent the dreams and aspirations of the electorate.

“There are a few low-hanging fruits we, as a Party, can adopt: we must eschew the delegate system and embrace direct primaries. Card carrying members of the Party should be able to elect their delegates. We also need to wean the Party from the deep pockets of individuals. We propose that members be encouraged to pay their dues (an incentive could be introduced that only financially paid-up members can participate in congresses and primaries). We must also pry party membership registers away from the clutches of gatekeepers and throw open our registration to all Nigerians. There is no reason why anyone desirous of joining the PDP should be unable to do so online. This will require constitutional amendments; but the experiences of the last elections should be testament to why we urgently need to make our Party more inclusive and welcoming for youths, women, and everyone seeking a break from the status quo,” they added.

The group which enjoined all members to submit to the constitution of the party, said no individual is bigger than the party.

“And this point must be stressed repeatedly: no man controls the PDP. To claim to do so is hubris of the highest order. The PDP is a national party. It was not formed as a vehicle to grab power; neither was it formed as a platform of convenience for the expression of regional ambitions. We are a national party; owned by all Nigerians who yearn for a better and brighter future for themselves and for their children. No man can buy the dreams of Nigerians; no man can buy the PDP.

“We recognize that in politics every vote matters; but we also recognize that Party discipline must be seen to equally apply to all members. Any member with a genuine grievance can use official channels and platforms to air these concerns. And if these grievances are so irreconcilable then the honourable thing to do is to leave the party and find familiar bedfellows elsewhere; rather than remaining within the PDP family with the sole intent of destroying those who made you who you are. That is a cowardly thing to do,” it added.