We Failed PDP As Leaders -Babatope | Independent Newspapers Limited
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We Failed PDP As Leaders -Babatope

Posted: Aug 9, 2015 at 12:04 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Francis Onoiribholo Bureau Chief, Benin 

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, at the weekend in Benin City, Edo State, said elders of the party should be blamed for the defeat it suffered at the last general elections.

Chief Ebenezer Babatope

Chief Ebenezer Babatope

He blamed the elders for playing the ostrich in the weeks and years leading to the Presidential elections particularly, saying the various groups of party elders “made mistakes in the preparations of our party for the elections.”

Babatope who was in Benin to deliver a lecture entitled: “Nigeria’s 16 Years of Democratic Experiment-Which Way Forward.” organised by the New Dawn, a group under the PDP in the state, recalled that “for example, it was wrong for our party’s Board of Trustees not to have met when we were engulfed with the party campaigns for the elections. Our party played into the waiting hands of the opposition with this kind of situation.

“Any of the political parties in Nigeria that attempts to bring impunity to our system or that attempts to push off the effective voice of the people in the determination of its presidential candidate will kiss the political dust and sentence itself to total failure and collapse.

“The PDP having suffered defeat once in its 2015 experience in the hands of impunity and anti democratic process, will completely write itself off if it once again destroys the democratic process by closing its doors to popular opinion and democratic will in the selection of its candidates.

“If the APC decides to subvert the democratic process of nominating candidates for the election, it will equally sentence the party and the party’s operations to irredeemable frustration and despair. In other words, 2019 will decide many things for Nigeria’s future as a democratic nation” he stressed.

He agreed that the PDP lost the last Presidential election because it jettisoned its zoning arrangement after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010, warning that for the party to reclaim the presidency in 2019, it must pick its Presidential candidate from any of the states in the Northern part of the country.

According to him, “apart from the actions of impunity and arbitrariness as well as imposition and bureaucracy exhibited by the PDP during the elections, the PDP was never ever able to resolve the agitation by Northern leaders that the Presidency should be ceded to the North due to the sudden death of Yar’Adua, until the problem consumed the party and made way for the defeat of the party in the 2015 presidential election.”

Babatope who urged the PDP to imbibe internal democracy and allow the younger generation to take over its leadership, said however that the insinuation that President Muhammadu Buhari may not run in 2019 due to his age, “ may become a major problem that may trigger a dangerous split in the party’s arrangement for 2019.

“Therefore we must be ready for 2019. And no matter what it is, the political situation in 2019 may continue to be tense and over charged,” Babatope added.

The event was attended by leaders of the PDP mainly from Edo South senatorial district, led by leader of the group and former Chief whip of the senate, Senator Rowland Owie, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of the occasion, Dr Isimeme and Chief Samson Esemuede. Others include PDP governorship aspirant, Chief Solomon Edebiri and Ifaluyi Isibor.

Speaking earlier, Senator Owie urged “the 8th National Assembly to urgently commence the amendment of the Nigeria constitution which they have done twice to give autonomy to local government councils, but unfortunately some Houses of Assembly that are rubber stamps turned it down, because if you don’t have autonomy of the local government Nigeria can’t develop the rural area.

“In the next line of Amendment, any House of Assembly in Nigeria that vote against autonomy of the Local government, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the ALGON, the market women and men should take possession of their Assembly, they wouldn’t sit until they support the autonomy of local government because enough is enough of destroying that arm,” he stressed.