The formation of a Political Party and it’s ultimate survival must be subjected to National Interest. National interest is the superior interest among the conflicting interests of citizens within a sovereign state.
The superiority of interest is determined either by Parliamentary decision or by the majority of aggregate choice of individuals or sub- groups within a nation.
The Organizational objective of a Political Party and it’s strategy to achieve such objective can only be faulted if it’s offensive to the collective interest of the citizens . The collective interest of the citizens is the National Interest of Democratic nations.
Nigeria is a developing Democracy and it’s core National Interest is good governance. In every democracy, whether developed or developing, government is constituted by the choice of the electorates in periodic elections. Good governance is an index of a developed democracy and it is determined by two factors:
-1- Free and Fair elections to enable the electorates make their free choice.
-2- Elected government that is accountable to the citizens and to the Constitution of the country.
The evidence of an internal Democracy of a Political Party is a foundation and preparation of a Political Party that is ready to win general election and offer good governance to the citizens.
PDP Leadership over a given period has evidence of internal democracy in the conduct of National Convention and Presidential primaries.
The 1999 PDP Presidential primaries in Jos that elected Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was credible and had all the tenets of internal Democracy.
It was supervised by the pioneer National Chairman of PDP, late Dr. Solomon Lar and actively supported by the present National Chairman of PDP, Dr Iyorcha Ayu.
The 2018 PDP Presidential primaries in Port Harcourt that elected Atiku Abubakar was free and fair. It was supervised by the former National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the Convention Chairman was the present Vice- Presidential candidate of the PDP, and governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
The 2022 PDP Presidential primaries in Abuja that elected Atiku Abubakar was transparent and demonstrated internal Democracy under the leadership of PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu.
The PDP background to internal Democracy and it’s present leadership is a strong foundation and evidence of preparedness to win the 2023 general elections and offer good governance to Nigerians. Good governance is an index of Democracy and the core National Interest of our dear country. This should be the focus of PDP leaders and all members.
No reasonable organization will sacrifice it’s best team in any competitive engagement. Electoral contest is a national competition among the Political parties. Nigerians are committed to task INEC and the support of President Buhari for the conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria. When elections are credible, the political Party with the best team will win.
PDP has the best team for the 2023 Presidential election in Nigeria. PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu was elected, (not appointed), as the National Chairman of PDP in a credible national convention of the Political party.
His democratic credentials and positive asset to national electoral contests are known to Nigerians. Ayu is not just a politician, but a scholar of international repute that will always have the listening ears of University lecturers, students, traditional rulers, religious leaders, Nigerian Patriots, .
If there is any person that can quickly resolve the lingering crisis of ASUU and University education in Nigeria is Dr.Iyorcha Ayu. He is not a ceremonial National Chairman of a Political Party, but a democratic leader in Nigeria that will lead the PDP national campaigns and deliver a message that will be trusted by Nigerians and earn the support that will give PDP victory in the 2023 Presidential and other elections in Nigeria should not allow personal or group interest to becloud a phenomenon that is evidently contributory to the pursuit of National Interest in Nigeria.
The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has been consistent in the struggle for Democracy in Nigeria.Atiku’s connection with late Gen.Musa Yar’Adua in the formation and organization of People’s Democratic Movement,(PDM ),indicated his early commitment to the return of Nigeria to democratic governance after military intervention in the second republic. His role in the formation of defunct Social Democratic,(SDP),and decision to withdraw from the SDP Presidential primaries in 1993 in order to pave way for the election of MKO Abiola as the Presidential candidate of SDP and subsequent election of Abiola as the President of Nigeria are records of his commitment to National Interest.
Atiku’ s role in the formation of PDP in 1998, his decision not to contest the Presidential election, support for the election of Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo as the Presidential candidate of the PDP and subsequent election of Gen.Obasanjo as the President of Nigeria are records of patriotism and commitment to Democracy in Nigeria.
Atiku’ s role in the formation of All Progressives Congress ,( APC) ,and the subsequent election of President Buhari was not driven by tribal, religious or personal interest, but a participation in a broad alliance of different political parties and political leaders across the country that decided to respond to the erosion of internal democracy in the ruling Party, the PDP and dissatisfaction with the response of the PDP federal government to the increasing challenges of Nigeria at that time .
As a true democrat, when it was clear to Atiku Abubakar that the APC government was not keeping it’s electoral promises to Nigerians and the PDP President Goodluck Jonathan government that was defeated in the election was better than the APC President Buhari government, he decided to return to his party ,the PDP to join in the efforts to reorganize the party for the restoration of internal democracy and strong foundation to win election for the return of good governance to Nigerians .
Atiku is a distinct democratic leader that cannot be compared to the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu that decided to assume the national leadership of APC and remain as the Chief praise singer of APC government and an undertaker that endorsed the speedy destruction of Nigeria by the APC federal government while waiting to have his turn in the voyage of APC hypocrisy.
The Vice- Presidential candidate of PDP, the governor of Delta State, Dr.I feanyi Okowa is highly an intellectual, a gentleman and an achiever.
His primary to University education is excellent..He is well experienced,from a successful local government Chairman, member of Delta State Executive Council, Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria and a two- time governor of Delta State.The former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori through his commitment to community Policing and Social integration restored peace to once troubled Delta State.Ibori’s policy of the restoration of peace in Delta State has been sustained by the focused administration of Dr.Okowa.There is no gainsaying the obvious that the experience of the PDP Vice- Presidential candidate when elected will be useful to the federal government of Nigeria in addressing the challenges of insecurity and national unity in Nigeria.
The PDP has a unique combination for the 2023 Presidential election in the trio of the National Chairman, Dr .Iyorcha Ayu,the Presidential candidate,Atiku Abubakar and the the Vice- presidential candidate ,Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
The 2023 Presidential election is an important contest and Nigerians are anxious about good governance . The name that is mentioned after Atiku among the Presidential hopefuls in this expectation is the former governor of Anambra State, the Presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi. The popularity of Peter Obi is not vitiated by the geo- political zone of the National Chairman. Barrister Julius Abure ,the National Chairman of Labour party is from Edo State, South- South and the Presidential candidate is from Anambra State,South- East.In 1993 ,the Presidential candidate of the SDP, late MKO Abiola was from the South- West. The National Chairman of the SDP,late Chief Tony Anenih was from the South- South. The Vice Presidential candidate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe was from the North- East. SDP won the presidential election in a landslide victory. Nigerians trusted the message of the SDP and voted for the team.
The outcome of the 2023 Presidential election will be determined by the conduct of INEC,the leadership role of President Buhari,the team of the Political party with a trusted message and the decision of majority of Nigerians to elect a trusted team that will deliver good governance.
What is important and required now is for PDP under the leadership of the National Chairman to ignore any act of personal interest, focus on National Interest and proudly showcase it’s attractive team with credible message to Nigerians for the election of Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa as President and Vice President of Nigeria.
Atiku’ s background of commitment to National Interest and Democracy with the support of Ifeanyi Okowa will offer good governance to Nigerians. When Atiku Abubakar is elected as the President of Nigeria, his philosophy of Re- structuring will ensure national unity, federal character principle in federal government and sustainable development in Nigeria. All PDP members and Nigerians in all geo- political zones know that the victory of Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa will guarantee balancing of government and Political party positions among all geo- political zones in Nigeria .
Dr. Isaiah Osifo, Pioneer Chairman ,Edo State chapter of the Association of Local
Governments of Nigeria ,( ALGON),and National Vice- President, ALGON,1999-2002.