By Henry Umoru
Following recent internal intrigues and squabble which may lead it to abysmal performance in the forthcoming general elections in 2011, the National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Okwesileze Nwodo, pleaded with the Nigerian media to help shape the ruling party to enable it get it right.
Dr Nwodo, who made the appeal weekend in Lagos after unveiling the party’s reform package aimed at restoring the core value of the founding fathers of the party, said the party needed the press to help Nigerians buy into the need to have a new PDP.
Media aide to the Chairman, Mr. Ike Abonyi, in a statement quoted Dr. Nwodo as telling some media chiefs that when PDP gets it right, Nigeria would have got it right in its journey to democratic Eldorado.
He said the need to create a new PDP became necessary when it was discovered that while the party was winning elections, it was not winning the heart of Nigerians because of some waters that passed under the party’s bridge in the last 12 years of its existence.
Nwodo, who said the nation’s media’s reasonable contribution towards the sustenance of the country’s democracy, charged them to ensure that through their write ups and analysis, the PDP was not hijacked by very few interests, but always see the people as the place where power should domicile.
Nwodo said the core of every democracy was having internal democracy within the parties, adding that PDP’s reform package was aimed at making its members imbibe this ingredient as the only way to go.
The National Chairman explained that the leadership of the party as coordinated by members of the National Working Committee, NWC, has resolved to give the party internal democracy and provide level playing ground for all its aspirants at all levels.
According to Nwodo the option for the party to do the right thing is limited because the body language and the action of President Goodluck Jonathan as underscored by the appointment of Prof Attahiru Jega as the boss of the electoral body as well as his continued commitment to providing Nigerians free, fair and credible election makes imperative that the party go into the race with its first eleven.
He said that creating new image for party is not going to be easy because those holding the party through undemocratic means and who cannot stand the test of the people would not want allow it but noted that with the press spreading the message that the best way is to return to the core values and allow democratic tenets take root in our system the journey would have started to the right place.