Ahead of the 2023 elections, the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has advised national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu not to take side with aspirants vying for the various elective positions, particularly the Office of the President.
Chairman of the board, Senator Walid Jibrin stated this Thursday at a special meeting of the BoT with the newly inaugurated National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
This is as Senator Walid pledged the readiness of the board to work closely with Ayu to deliver victory to the party in the next general election cycle.
“Do not be detracted by the ambition of individual members but keep the party as formidable as possible. Concentrate on your duties and not more of who shall be the President, Vice President, Senate President etc. Do not side any individual with self ambition and please, try to reduce the state of Godfatherism. Please respect the dignity of individuals and dynamism of a group.
“May I urge the national chairman to use his wealth of experience to make the party great as it remains the largest party in Africa. You must try to reconcile Individuals, states, and national issues,” he said.
On his part, Ayu reiterated his commitment to transparent and participatory stewardship saying “this party requires a lot of openness and courage to carry everybody along. That is the only way that this party will move forward successfully.
“We want to assure you that we will do just that. Every member of the BoT, every member of the party far and wide will have access to all members of the National Working Committee. If you call me and I don’t answer, you will know that I am busy but I will return your call. I will be so open to everybody,” he assured.
Reflecting on the highs and lows of the party since its formation in 1998, Ayu predicted glorious future for the PDP under his watch.
“When we built cohesion in the party, it was possible for us to have 21 governors and President. We increased this number to 28. Our declined started in 2011. Today, we are down to only 13 sitting governors but never you worry. Very soon, the number will increase to the appropriate level.
“When this party was formed, in a meeting at Professor Jerry Gana’s house, the idea of a BoT was mooted and I remember vividly that one person who was so passionate about this was Dr. Alex Ekwueme. The idea was that the Board of Trustees will be the conscience of the party.
“If there are difficulties, it will be referred to them in an advisory capacity. It was advisory but very powerful advisory body because of the calibre of people that were to be represented in the BoT. People who had experience, people who will be respected, people who will stand objectively to guide those who are running the path.
“I am proud to see that the BoT has risen from that modest number of 15 to over 100 members. Now, I think the first 15 had no woman representative but today, we have so many women on the beard which shows that the party has grown. Even the conscience of the party has expanded. I want to congratulate the woman who are today members of the BoT. We hope in future there will be more women than men in the BoT.
“The BoT has over the years played a very pivotal role in the affairs of the party. We have run into all sorts of crisis and I thought the BoT would have fallen apart with the recent crisis that led to the change of leadership of the party.”
Ayu also called for adequate recognition to be afforded the BoT insisting that “we must return the party to the corporate processes of initiating policies at the National Working Committee.”
He continued: “The various critical organs of the party must be carried along. One of those critical organs is the BoT. We also have the caucus, the governor’s forum, the National Assembly and the state chairmen of the party.
“The moment you begin to take decisions that isolate these organs, it means the party will be working at cross purposes. It is very important to me and my colleagues in the National working committee that we constantly regularly consult with all members of the BoT.
“If we do that, the party will move smoothly. And if the party moves smoothly, it means we will be stronger, then if we are stronger, It means we will win more elections because the objective of a political party is win elections, not just to create unnecessary intrigue within the party.
“I personally have no any personal interest. I will not be part of factions in any state and we are not encouraging factions. I also want to say clearly that no single individual can win elections in the states.
“State leaders must work as a team. If you work as a team, you will win elections in your state. Most of the elections we lost in PDP is because PDP defeated PDP; that should never be encouraged. And part of the problem is because the leadership of the party sometimes take sides with certain factions,” he added.