The acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed has blamed the misfortunes of the party on violation of the PDP’s zoning principle in 2011.
In a statement released yesterday, August 19, by his media aide, Mr. Emeka Nwakpa, Mohammed said the adoption of former President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate severely undermined the principle of equity and justice on which the party was founded, The Nation reports.
According to him, that the zoning policy was a major attraction to the party, which offers all members equity, justice and a sense of belonging but it was violated, leading to widespread crisis in the party.
Mohammed said: “When the founding fathers formed the party in 1998, they established the principle of justice and equity whereby power resided with the people, who could decide who became what at any point in time.
“But over the time, the party swerved away and breached the principle thereby disrupting its internal democracy. When in 2011 the party abandoned its zoning formula, the party dealt on itself a major blow because that action served the first notice that it had disconnected with the masses. So we must go back to the culture of zoning and rotation of offices.”
He explained that the PDP has paid dearly for its mistake with the loss of power at the centre in the 2015 general elections.
The chairman said the supremacy of the party should be upheld and appointed office holders should not be allowed to dominate party decisions to the exclusion of other members.
“We must run away from a practice that leaves the party at the mercy of moneybags who, more often than not, seek to hijack the processes of the party at the detriment of promoting genuine internal democracy through which only capable, credible and popular candidates can emerge to contest elections with assurance of victory”, he stated.
Mohammed called on the PDP to give more attention to elders and founding fathers of the party, who are still in the party but are indifferent to the affairs and fortunes of the party, owing to lack of patronage.
He said they need them more now for advice and counsel.
It happens that it was this same Mohammed, who moved the motion for the adoption of Jonathan as the party’s sole presidential candidate for the 2015 general election. He had moved the motion at the party’s headquarters in Abuja during a meeting of the national Executive Committee on September 17, 2014.
The motion was seconded by Second Republic governor of the old Anambra state, Senator Jim Nwobodo and it was adopted by the gathering of eminent party leaders.
Despite massive criticisms from other members of the party against the adoption, PDP leaders still insisted on pushing ahead with the sole candidate decision as originated by Mohammed.