Acting Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed said the Party failed because it jettisoned the zoning principle.
Barely one year after moving the motion for the adoption of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the sole candidate for the 2015 Presidential elections, Acting Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed said the Party lost its elections to its jettisoning of its zoning principle.
The former minister of Defence who said this in a press statement signed by his media assistant Mr. Emeka Nwapa noted that the death of zoning by the party in 2011 destroyed the party.
Haliru who delivered this punchline yesterday moved the motion for the adoption of Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party on Wednesday, 17 September, 2014 during its National ExecutiveCommittee meeting which held at the wadata House.
In adopting President Goodluck Jonathan as the party Sole Presidential candidate he said “we have never taken a wrong decision before”. “We cannot change a winning formula that have been working for us since 1999. “In PDP we have a tradition of queuing up behind our leaders. President Jonathan has performed creditably well as attested to by all the organs of the party.
“Therefore, for the good of Nigeria and for the good work that the PDP is doing for the country, I move that the NEC endorse the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s candidate in the 2015 election,” Mr. Haliru said. The motion was seconded by a former governor of old Anambra state, Jim Nwobodo.
However, the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party only yesterday realized that the decision of the party which he facilitated by his motion was responsible for the rapid decline in the fortunes of the party to the abrogation of its policy of rotation and zoning in 2011.
He lamented that this aberration severely undermined the principle of justice and equity on which the party was founded in 1998. He added that the shameful defeat in the last Presidential election was the sad price the party had to pay for jettisoning its policy of rotation and zoning.
Mohammed, who noted that the shortcoming led to widespread crises of confidence in the party, said that the zoning policy was a major attraction to the party, which offers all members equity, justice and a sense of belonging. His words: “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 overtime, 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. “The PDP remains the only true national party in the country with its flag in all nooks and crannies whose members are assured that they can always aspire to any available position as long as zoning and rotation hold sway as a cardinal policy of the party.”
He advised that something must be done about the practice of putting the party at the whims and mercy of moneybags and the highest bidder to the exclusion of many 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 said.
He called for party supremacy in all affairs of the party, stressing that elected and appointed office holders should not be allowed to dominate party decisions while party meetings should be restricted to party offices in the states and the centre. “The policies and manifesto of the party should also guide the activities of public office holders who are either elected or appointed on the platform of the party in line with good governance and best practices,” Mohammed said.
-Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja