Author Topic: ‘PDP ‘Ll Consolidate At Grassroots’  (Read 298 times)

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‘PDP ‘Ll Consolidate At Grassroots’
« on: December 08, 2017, 07:46:16 AM »
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship aspirant Chief Uche Secondus spoke with reporters in Lagos on his plans,  waivers for defectors and other issues.  Musa Odoshimokhe was there.

What is your agenda for the PDP and will the party return to power in 2019?

Part of my agenda is returning the party directly to the grassroots, the people. And how do I want to do this? We will empower the states PDP, through that it will move to the electoral wards and possibly the units. Again, one way to do it, is to put the party in a position, where the people at the grassroots will decide who their representatives will be. Unlike before, where the whole thing was done from Abuja and which ends there, we want to return the party to true democracy. We must allow the people to make their choice and then move the party forward. Now that we are no longer in power, the people should be allowed to make the choice, which is the beautiful thing about democracy. We can no longer stay in Abuja, to do things the way we just feel it should be done. The ward system in the party is being eroded, it is the people who wear Agbada that call the shot, whereas the people who suffered and actually vote don’t even come to the light. The most important thing is to win election, those who work to deliver their wards, are no longer in the picture of things. This time around, we are going to have things done differently. The people should be carried along, so that they are part and parcel of the process. There is the need to build confidence in the people at the grassroots, so that they will have that sense of belonging. If that is achieved, the party will be gradually repositioning ahead 2019 and of course this goes along with aggressive massive membership drive. That will build the confidence at the grassroots and allowing them to participate in all the decisions taken. One of the key factors is that, when you do that and a popular person is elected in a constituency, the people will massively support that person. That is because he is the choice of the people and they will be able to defend their votes. This is the different thing we are going to do which is different from the old order. We will work with the people, build confidence in them and allowing them to make their choice. This was not there in the last few years when we were in power.  I have done a census and by the grace of God, we understand where the problems are and we are prepared to tackle them. We have less than one year to go for the election, it will be the practical thing to start building the confidence almost immediately. When we do that, I can assure that they will see what we are doing in practical terms. The grassroots will be allowed to make their choice and not the big men from Abuja making the choice, it will not happen. We will totally abolish that and allow the will of the people to prevail.

How will you address the issue of waivers for new people joining the party?

We will be taking memo to the convention, before the last NEC meeting; we agreed that we will totally eliminate waiver, it will no longer hold new members down. Now waiver is going to be automatic because we want more members. It no longer going be two year, you barely be spend one month, so that the bottleneck and anything that would be a stumbling block to new member will be totally eliminated. People are free to come in and contest when they are popular. They have equal right as the old members. We know that Atiku had come back and waiver is no long an important issue. It used to be two years, at the convention in Abuja, the bottleneck will be removed.

How can the party hold a hitch-free convention?

The caretaker committee had devised some level of order for the convention. This was discussed when we signed our memo of understanding. We believe that people can have differences, but the bottom line is that on that day members are going to show that understanding. I believe that it will be very peaceful on that day.

You were at the centre of event, when your party lost the 2015 election. What major thing are you putting in place to correct your party’s shortcoming?

When I took over the affairs of the party after we lost the election, I constituted a committee that had to look at what led to why we lost the election. The finding discovered that we have to go back to the party constitution. There was an agreement that after the first tenure of former President Jonathan, we should return power to the north, but this was not followed. So, the major issue was zoning arrangement and immediately we got that report, we took that up and as the Ag. National Chairman, we wrote a memo to NEC and it was approved that we must return to the zoning arrangement. It was after NEC approval, I announced to our members that we had zone the Presidency to the north. Some people were not happy, but when you see that right thing should be done, you must be bold to do it. That was what I did and the convention also approved. For now, there is no controversy, we have returned to the zoning formula which our founding fathers enshrined in our constitution. The party must protect certain offices in order to ensure all parts of the country have a sense of belonging.

What will you do to the Southwest, if you become the chairman?

This is part of our constitution, offices must be zoned. There are lots of offices and you know that the Presidency has been zoned to the north. Apart from the party top leadership, I believe that the major ones, the President, Vice President, the Senate President, Speaker and others are there. There is no way none of these positions will not go to the Southwest, I believe that the party leadership will take care of that.

There is the understanding that the Southwest will either get the chairman or nothing else…     

We are not being driven by sentiments or emotion, if you go sentimental in any election, you will not move on. We are not considering that but, we know that we must all work together, if we must win election in 2019. And all the zones will be well represented in the PDP.

Do you think your leadership can win election for PDP?

Our mission is to hit the ground running. All hands must be on deck and we will get there. We cannot be claiming here that we can win it now, but we will hit the ground. We will get there; you don’t start a race and begin to look back.


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‘PDP ‘Ll Consolidate At Grassroots’
« on: December 08, 2017, 07:46:16 AM »

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