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– PDP'S CONVENTION AND 2023 ELECTIONTHISDAYLIVE – THISDAY Newspapers

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held its convention on 30th October to elect new NWC who will oversee the activities of the party in the next four years. To the surprise of many Nigerians, political pundits and even the ruling party, the convention was rancour-free with 18 executives out of the 21 emerging through consensus. Only the positions of deputy chairman North, deputy chairman, South and national youth leader were contested. With this outcome, the opposition party which held power for 16 years before losing it, seemed committed to reform itself and wrestle power from the APC in the 2023 general election. Is this possible? Beyond the success of its convention, the party needs to show act of maturity, tact and justice during future engagements, especially in forthcoming primaries. It is during the party’s primaries that candidates are fielded to contest various elective posts. Here in lies the need for competent and acceptable candidates to fly the party’s tickets.
Can PDP replicate its convention’s success in their forthcoming primaries? The new chairman of the party, Dr. Ayorchia Ayu, who was former Senate president is not new to the party politics. His emergence as the chairman did not come to many Nigerians as a surprise. He is a grassroot politician with strong network across the country. Ayu should use his wealth of experience to re-jig the party ahead of 2023 election. He should ensure that the next party’s primaries will be conducted transparently. He also needs to reach out to other aggrieved party members who, due to some problems, left the party. The party which is poised to take power from the centre in 2023 should learn from past mistakes and do its homework properly. The issues of zoning will soon come up and if not properly managed, it will divide the party or fling it into another crisis. It does not matter which zone will produce the party’s presidential candidate, what Nigerians need is a competent, sellable candidate with good qualities. The candidate should be someone who will promote peace, unity and serve the interest of the country at large if elected.
For the PDP to win the 2023 general election, it has to convince and tell Nigerians the pragmatic actions it will take to address the persistent cases of banditry and general insecurity in North West states and other parts of the country. What about the emergence of separatists calling for the dismemberment of the country? I think the party should tell us what it is going to do to bring an end the madness orchestrated by IPOB and their accomplices. The economy is in a bad shape with the naira depreciating on daily basis.
Though, the ruling party has constantly accused PDP for mismanagement of the country’s economy for the period it ruled, there is the need for the party to prove this wrong and unveil a new economic agenda for Nigerians. Let the party assure Nigerians that if elected in 2023, the naira will be made strong, stable and regain its lost glory against the mighty dollar. The World Poverty Clock’s report of over 80 million Nigerians living below one dollar is terrible and frightening. The PDP should tell Nigerians its policies aimed at reversing the sad reality.
The PDP should reach out to the youths who constitute over 60 percent of the voting population. Interestingly, the election of Suleiman Kadade, 25, as national youth leader, can be seen as a big plus to the party.
• Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna State

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