National Working Committee Of PDP Blames Party’s Electoral Failure On Its Governors, The Presidency And The Presidential Campaign Organisation
Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
These are not the best of times for embattled leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as it is now engaged in fingerpointing and seeking scapegoats, for its failures in the last general elections. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said undue interference of government functionaries and outright sidelining of the National Working Committee (NWC), in the campaign process, by its governors, was responsible for the failure. It also blamed the Presidency and its presidential campaign organisation for ignoring its advice during the electioneering period. The party leadership said anyone who sought to blame the colossal failure on the NWC must have a rethink as the NWC was out of the loop of the campaigns. Metuh said leadership of the party made several efforts at cautioning that the campaign office should focus her energy at enlightening Nigerians on what they stood to benefit from another four years of President Jonathan instead of attacking the person of the APC candidate, but her cautions were rebuffed repeatedly. Metuh also said the NWC made donations out of the N9bn it generated from the sale of forms to support its presidential, gubernatorial and assembly candidates. “I can tell you from my own record that we generated between N8billion and N9billion.
The first donation we made was half a billion naira (N500 million) to the presidential campaign funds even though we were not involved in raising fund for the presidential campaign,” he said. He adds: “The truth is that if we handled a campaign that ended in colossal failure, and you did not lead the people and the party right, we do not have the moral right to remain, we should resign. “However, our contention is that we did not lead the party to failure. Our contention is that we were not involved in the process of campaign; we were sidelined in the process of the campaign. We believed that if this working committee had handled the campaign of the President, we would have won that election. We were not involved as National Publicity Secretary of the party; I had absolutely no role to play in that campaign. “Our advice were ignored.
I can put it on record and call names of prominent leaders of this party that even when we tried to caution that this campaign is on positivity and it has to do with the benefits Nigerians will get from our continuing in office and not a question of name calling on the person of the presidential candidate of the APC, that the campaign is not an abuse, we were ignored. “So we have the moral right to remain in office because our suggestions, our advice was not heeded and we were not involved in the process of that campaign. That is why we insist that we must continue in office until our tenure expires; we cannot be held responsible for the campaign that our advice was ignored and we were not involved in prosecuting. That is the moral right we have to remain in office. “We have this moral right and belief that our competence will be clear to Nigerians three months after handover, where executive interference would have ended on party administrations at all levels. That is when people will know really whether this working committee has capacity or capability and we will showcase it to the entire country. “Judge us three months after handover of power then you will know if this NWC has working capacity or not”, he argued.
The PDP leadership also said the N21billion raised by the Prof. Jerry Gana-led committee, was not within its purview to dispense and cannot be held responsible for money that was not within its care.Explaining further Metuh said: “On how much money was generated from the sales of forms, we realized between, N8billion and N9billion.” “There was a campaign fund raising for the President that was done and they raised N21bn the party was not involved in it nor can it account for the money”. Commenting on the recent call for the resignation of the southwest members of the PDP-NWC, by a member of the party from the zone, Metuh said the call was unnecessary especially since he was a beneficiary of the party’s transparency process which led to his participation in the Ekiti primaries and subsequent emergence of Ayo Fayose as governor. “For us in the working committee, we are greatly pained that a person as Governor Ayo Fayose will call meeting insisting that the working committee should resign.
“It is on record that Ayo Fayose was able to emerge as governor because of the internal democracy and the way the working committee handled the primaries of Ekiti State. “At that particular time, he was called all sorts of names and some people refused to participate in that process. The working committee opened that process. “We felt that if his people truly love him, he should be allowed to participate in the elections. We had a transparent primary and he won. We supported him. We got involved in raising funds for his election bid. “At that particular point, the working committee was accused of taking N200 million to make Ayo Fayose Governorship Candidate. It is time for him, now that Ayo Fayose is greatly opposed to this committee, for him to make public whether indeed working committee took any money from him, we are pained.
“It is indeed a sad development that somebody who enjoyed the transparency of this national working committee would turn his back and hold meeting calling on this national committee to resign “Some of them have congratulated the Presidential-elect of the APC. We also hope that their congratulations are an attempt to cause crises for people to defect so that they will be forgiven for their perceived sins against the candidate of the APC,” he added.