WHERE is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, heading? It is doubtful if the PDP, any side of it, knows. The matters are complicated, so complicated that the intentions of its members are unknown. In analysing the confusion that PDP is throwing into the polity, it is important that we consider the size of PDP and its pervading influences.
It is equally important that we note that the insistence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that the PDP follows the provisions of the party in electing its national executives, is responsible for most of the recent slide that hit PDP. Other interests have fed on this to unleash anger at the party leadership.
Hardly any PDP leadership has gone through the challenges Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as chairman has faced. Members oppose him. Back home in Adamawa State, the party is fractious. The State chapter could be among those that would be in Abuja with different delegates for the party’s special convention.
Tomorrow’s convention, would attend to the circuitous crisis that imposition of candidates has bred. Should PDP not be moving away from such undemocratic practices that exclude the ambitions of other party members? Why would a democratic party shun internal democracy in its operations?
Imposition of candidates under whatever guise is undemocratic. PDP is not the only party involved in this practice, but with its stature as the leading party its examples are important.
After several failed attempts to have the convention to fill vacancies in the executive, there are still fears that the affair may not proceed smoothly. The stakes are heightened by the fast approaching 2015 elections. The contentions are for vital positions from which to influence party decisions.
The public’s concern in these matters is the distraction that the tussles in PDP provide. They affect non-party members too. With the number of States PDP controls, and its dominance at the centre, resources, including time, the importance of which is often undervalued, are expended in resolving one party issue or the other.
State governors have spent too much time in Abuja this year attending to endless party crises or the other. Governance is suffering.
Those who expect that the wrangling would tear PDP apart do not appreciate the allure of power which PDP holds for most contestants for office. PDP would not break up from its disagreements. The central interest in PDP is access to power. It is an aspiration too important for such interests to leave the party.
Internal party democracy is important to growth of democracy. INEC should be commended for insisting on it with PDP. It should extend the requirement to the shrouded operations of the other political parties.