By EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has lamented the fate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West and alleged betrayal of the people there by the national and zonal leaders of the ruling party.
Noting the easy victory of the party in the 2011 presidential elections in all but one of the South West states, Abubakar said that it was easy to conclude that the party negotiated the presidential elections with zonal leaders at the expense of the gubernatorial, National Assembly and other elective positions.
“It still remains a paradox to me how the presidential candidate of the party would win massively in all but one state of the South West, yet the party failed to produce a single state governor in the region and could only produce 18 State Assembly members in the same election,” Abubakar said in a statement prepared ahead of the forthcoming zonal congress of the party in the South-West.
“My experience in politics tells me that this paradox can only be explained in one way, that the leadership of the party must have abandoned the party and negotiated the victory of the President at the expense of the party.”
Alleging insincerity on the part of some leaders of the party, the former Vice-President thus called for sincerity in the application of party rules and the abandonment of divide and rule policy in the handling of party affairs.
“Recent events have shown that the leadership of the party has demonstrated insufficient sincerity in resolving the numerous crises which are pitching the party members against themselves.
Political manoeuvring that relies on the politics of patronage and arbitrary application of sanctions will not sustain the popular will of the people through which the party can recover the lost ground.
“A group of concerned professionals with PDP interest from the South- West carried out a study in which a state-by-state analysis of the crises in the party was made.
“The body made far-reaching recommendations in their document which was submitted to the leadership of the party. If the party leadership had paid attention to some of their recommendations, the outcome of the election in Ondo State could probably have been different.
“It will be useful for the incoming South-West Executive Committee to study this report and prepare a blueprint for the reversal of the dwindling fortunes of the party in the region.
“The eloquent silence of respected leaders on the various crises is a disturbing sign which leaves majority of the members confused.”