A group championing reforms in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is encouraging members to openly rebel against suspicious attempt to hijack and pocket the party.
The PDP Reforms Group also decried what it called the insensitive posture of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee to the economic reality in the country.
In a statement signed by its conveners, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Brume Best, the group urged party members to show greater responsibility in the affairs of the party by protecting and upholding its foundational ideals.
The full statement reads:
The choice before concerned party members at this critical juncture is between mortgaging the PDP at the coming National Convention to a few persons dangling deceitful carrots which are no more than poisoned chalice ahead of the next general elections, and the need to take urgent and courageous steps to salvage the party by returning democratic powers to the people.
With the benefits of history, reach and remarkable political exploits, the PDP is by far greater, stronger and bigger than any individual or a few persons trying to aggregate, appropriate, manipulate and confiscate our collective interest to suit their narrow, selfish and myopic political interest.
There are, at at least, two groups within our party who are working to hijack the national structure and use it as a compromised instrument to negotiate with the Buhari Presidency to retain power, broker continuity deals and secure their political base. While they are free to negotiate their future individually or as a group within the unstable Nigeria democratic space, we must however prevent them from using the party’s national structure to do this.
Consequently and ahead of the December 9, 2017 National Convention, we are calling on all concerned party members to be strengthened by the foundational ideals of the party, a promising future, and to show enormous courage, determination and greater political will as a patriotic motivation to openly and strategically rebel against a few party leaders who are conspiring to undermine all of us and the party.
We make bold to say that the overall interest of the party is far greater than the ephemeral position some persons are holding today, which they got through the party, but are now using it to breath down on everyone because, over the years, we had sadly built a party that is not thriving on the payment of membership dues, but one that is always at the undignified mercy and patronage of some elected, appointed and influential party members.
Therefore, our clarion call to party members, is not only to act and stop the shameful and disgusting attempt to pocket the PDP by a few persons; we are also demanding for responsibility and commitment on the part of all party members to pay dues, obey the PDP constitution and work for the reform of the party.
We align ourselves completely with some concerned and audacious members of the party who are demanding for explanation, accountability and stewardship from the former National Working Committee members. We support the informed protest to stop some of them, who have been accused of erecting a toll-gate inside Wadata, extorting aspirants during the 2015 general elections, from returning as NWC members.
We decry the thoughtless and insensitive posture of the current leadership of the party to the economic reality in the country, who in spite of the the hard-earned money wasted by some aspirants during the last two inconclusive conventions in Port Harcourt, still went ahead to impose exorbitant nomination fees on old and new aspirants. This sad development is nothing more than an extortion, and we are demanding for at least 50 percent refund and an explanation on what was done with the previous nomination fees, and if necessary a refund.
The PDP once outlived men and women stronger than those who are presently trying to pocket it; it is our candid belief that the PDP can outlive them and regain its prowess as a truly pan-Nigerian political party and become the best in Africa. But there is a serious danger ahead; there is just one man they are trying to foist on the party against our collective interest, who cannot even win a fair contest in his zone, and whose unlikely emergence will spell doom of an unimaginable proportion for the PDP. Time to act is now.