Following the successful conduct of its National Convention which produced a new set of leaders for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the leaders have been urged to give party members new orientation.
Director-General Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, gave this charge in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.
He urged the newly elected PDP leaders to build on the new atmosphere to start a new beginning for the party.
“Ordinarily, the successful conclusion of the PDP national convention should only be celebrated by PDP members”, the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart said in the statement.
“However, given the important role, the party has played in orienting politics in Nigeria for 16 years between 1999 and 2015, during which Nigerian politics was made to be opposed to negotiations.
“It is important to acknowledge that the October 30, a national convention is about the first time since 1999 perhaps, that there is some semblance of negotiations to produce leaders of the party.
“Whether in the end, the new leaders will be allowed by the power blocs within the PDP to facilitate negotiations, is completely a different matter,” Lukman said.
He said this should be based on honesty, respect for one another and recognition that politics was all about negotiations and agreement.
The PGF DG noted that while people were free to disagree with decisions of the majority, such disagreements should respect the rights of the majority to direct how parties, society and nation should be governed.
Lukman explained that when disagreement turned to rebellion, it was either that those who disagreed were not democrats, or they lacked the capacity to negotiate and through negotiations win the support of the majority.
He added that the fact that the PDP could elect a young person, below 30 years as its National Youth Leader meant that its leaders had recognised that the old culture of arrogance and impunity must be avoided.
He said this was important especially if they were to win the support of Nigerians, adding that this in itself was a confirmation that once processes were managed democratically, the right results would be achieved.
The PGF DG said Nigerian should wish the PDP, its leaders and members well.
He said it is expected that PDP leaders would build on the successes of the national convention to re-orient their politics based on honesty and respect for one another.
He, however, added that being honest should be about taking responsibility.
According to Lukman, the PDP national convention would have been reduced to window dressing rituals and legitimising the instructions of its kingmakers if it was in power at the federal level.
“Perhaps, everything leading to the PDP national convention happened because there is no serving PDP president acting as the leader of the party.
“Good enough, being out of power, PDP leaders had to respect the democratic process, which raises the hope of especially PDP members that the party is being reformed,’’ he said.
He noted that while the convention indicated that the PDP was ready to depart from its old ways, many of the speeches of its leaders at the event demonstrated a lack of commitment to take responsibility.