A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godsday Orubebe, has urged the party to embrace urgent reforms to prevent its demise.
He lamented that the PDP “is still lost in depression and suffering from a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), adding that the platform had crossed the bridge from pride to shame.”
Orubebe noted that imposition, impunity, arrogance and greed were responsible for the party’s electoral defeat in 2015, stressing that the crisis rocking the platform was compounded by the mishandling of its last national convention.
The party stalwart, who caused a stir during the collation of the 2015 presidential election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, said the PDP would need vigour, courage and sustainable ideas to bounce back to reckoning.
In an open letter to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, published in this edition, the former minister said the party must accept that it made mistakes while in power for 16 years.
Chiding the party for not living up to expectation as a leading opposition platform, he said: “We have gone from a PARTY of Pride to a PARTY of SHAME and Gradually Receding into the ABYSS of political reality. For the simple reason that the nation is witnessing calls for the rise of a “third force,” we are fast becoming a Shadow of Ourselves.”
In Orubebe’s reckoning, the PDP had regressed to the same imposition, impunity, arrogance and greed that heralded its electoral misfortune, adding that its leaders are not building a culture of democratic representation.
Referring to the domineering role of the PDP governors, he said “the party is gradually coming under the control of certain individuals, who are exhibiting dangerous levels of undemocratic behaviours.”
The former minister said unless the grandstanding and imposition gave way to a healthy competition, the party could avert a looming doom.
He said the party should be liberated from the jaw of its exclusive funders, who have held it hostage.
Orubebe said: One of the biggest challenges that the PDP faces is balancing its needs for funding with established egalitarian values and internal systems. If the party continues to be held hostage by few major donors, it will continue to find it difficult to instil the values that will endear us Nigerians.
“We must take our appeal to Nigerians and through our reforms, let the party truly become a people-funded party. Small donations from millions of Nigerians will go a long way in the party’s financial requirements and will create the necessary atmosphere for true ownership among members of the party.”
Urging the party leadership to embrace reforms, Orubebe said the leadership should re-organise to break down the silos of loyalty and allegiance within the party.
He added: “It is my expectation that the necessary reforms will be put in place before it is too late to salvage what we have left.”