PRINCE Vincent Ogbulafor, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) knows how to give advice from experience.
When he asked those dissatisfied with the running of PDP to leave, he was advising them from experience.
Many would have forgotten that the man from Abia Central Senatorial zone left his party ten years ago when he was unhappy with the way the party was run. He quit to join PDP where he flew through the ranks to party chairman.
When he left the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) he landed in the greener pastures the PDP represented. Ogbulafor contested against Governor Orji Uzor Kalu in 1999. After the election, he challenged the results at the tribunal but was later persuaded to withdraw it in the interest of political harmony in the state.
Shortly after, he was made the Minister for Economic Matters and Chairman of Tenders Board in the Presidency. Later, he became the National Secretary of PDP, dislodging has childhood friend, Okwy Nwodo.
His services must have matched the unwavering undemocratic standards for which PDP is notorious. He has been rewarded accordingly. He was PDP National Secretary General and later National Chairman. The party mouths internal democracy, boasts about its humongous size, but its national conventions have never elected the partyâ€™s national executives since inception.
Ogbulafor, a beneficiary of this warped democracy could not have supported primaries. His convictions lie elsewhere, he has become used to an arbitrary system that rewards those who serve the big party wigs.
PDP aspirants to the governorship candidacy in Anambra State had thought that there would be primaries. They went through rituals the partyâ€™s national executives had initiated, thinking the millions of Naira they shelled out to contest, meant anything to the party.
They were in for a shock. PDP took their money and shut the door on their faces. Some were livid enough to challenge the processes that threw up Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the partyâ€™s candidate. They are the ones that Ogbulafor is asking to leave PDP if they cannot abide by his decision.
Ordinarily, a political party should have ways of reining in its members. The methods must be within the party’s rules and acceptable to the members. The brazen manner of Ogbulaforâ€™s response shows his frustration at the failed expectation that aspirants would not oppose his views on Soludoâ€™s candidacy.
When he asked uncooperative aspirants to leave PDP, where would they go? Has PDP not shut down the political space? Are the likes of Ogbulafor not responsible for the absence of alternatives in our democracy? One of the most democratic things PDP members can do in the Ogbulafor setting is to keep challenging the absence of internal democracy in the party.
President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua is reportedly disappointed with Ogbulaforâ€™s mishandling of the primaries. Yarâ€™Adua can do more than being angry.
Whether the others are candidates in the election or not, they are already asking questions that can help the safe delivery of democracy.