Weekly Trust


Why PDP needs robust leadership

The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is in an urgent need of repositioning through robust and fresh leadership that can hit the ground running and think on its feet in the face of furiously changing challenges and dynamics of national politics.
It requires dynamic leadership to weather the storms of such tough challenges. Given the generational challenges sweeping across the democracies of the world, PDP cannot afford to be impervious to these realities of modern democracy. For any leadership to inspire confidence, it must demonstrate a remarkable degree of resilience, dynamism, focus, sense of purpose, competence and the ability to build team spirit. In fact, as a party that prides itself as the largest in Africa, the PDP needs younger, energetic, creative, courageous, resourceful and goal-focused leadership. Part of the reasons there was a long delay in the submission of ministerial list to the Senate stems from the internal bickering among contending forces and interests within the party. The situation is so bad that some states dominated by the ruling party are still quarrelling over who should be ministers.

How can a sitting president be comfortable in delivering the goods when the internal wrangling of his party is becoming a major distraction, needlessly sapping his energy in trying to reconcile the warring factions? These needless internal squabbles had led to the defection of formidable party loyalists to the opposition parties. If they could help it, these defecting leaders and members wouldn’t have left the ruling party to join the opposition. With dynamic leadership that is proactive, these crises wouldn’t have degenerated to the point of some valuable members leaving the PDP to join the opposition.

In fact, there is logic in the arguments of those who say that the loss of the southwest by the PDP to ACN was mainly caused by the intractable internal crisis in the party chapters. The southwest PDP factions were left to their own devises and the opposition ACN descended ravenously on the PDP carcass in the southwest. In the absence of a leadership that commands enough authority and respect to call members to order, factions were bound to get out of hand.

For any PDP national chairman to command respect across the country among party members, he must demonstrate the qualities of neutrality, justice, fairness and a remarkable degree of diplomatic finesse to restore order at the right time. He must be a consensus builder; he must avoid conflicts of interests and other tendencies capable of weakening his authority and loyalty from members.

One of the problems the PDP had in Enugu State stem from the fact that the former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ekwesieleze Nwodo, was supporting one faction against the other. Anyone aspiring to lead the PDP must be able to rise above conflict of interest. In other words, the chairman should not meddle into the affairs of the local chapters of the party across the states. If at all he has to intervene, he must do so in a fair and neutral manner that can strengthen the party rather than weakening it.

As the PDP seeks a new substantive national chairman, there is the need to look for a dynamic, focused, creative, competent, experienced and widely respected younger politician who can demonstrate the courage to rise above factional loyalty.  With the adjustment of zoning arrangement in the light of new political realities in the country, the northeast political zone is making a legitimate claim to the seat. However, for the northeast to make a difference in the kind of leadership the party requires at the national level, it has to focus its choice on a younger politician who has what it takes not to let the zone and the country down.

Former Governor Adamu Muazu of Bauchi State fits the qualities of the dynamic leadership the PDP national headquarters urgently requires. He is not only experienced, broad-minded, detribalized, competent and tested but also demonstrates remarkable qualities of a bridge builder across the stormy waters of national politics. His record as a young, robust, creative and resourceful northern politician is unrivalled. He enjoys immense political national appeal among Nigerians.

In fact, with the dominant active role of the youths in the membership and growth of the party, the PDP needs a national chairman who can speak the same language with this significant component of the party structure. The party needs a younger leader who can read and understand the pulse of these younger members of the party. There is no denying the fact that the youth are the main vanguards of political parties around the world and, therefore, no party can afford to ignore or marginalize this relevant segment of the larger society.

Having critically reviewed the ingredients for leadership that the next national chairman of the PDP may need to succeed, one has inevitably come to the conclusion that Alhaji Adamu Muazu is the man that fits into the qualities, which can provide the party with robust, vision-driven and efficient leadership. As a former governor, Adamu Muazu has the unique advantage of relating more harmoniously with the state governors who exert enormous influence on the local party chapters across the country. The PDP cannot afford a repeat of what happened under the controversial Nwodo tenure, which turned itself against the governors who in turn, rose in unison against him. His style created needless tension and acrimony.

The PDP has to set standard for unity and cohesion, which are essential in holding the party together. A national chairman of a party cannot afford divided loyalty. In other words, he should not create a faction of his own in his home state and at the same time expect to be able to run the party successfully at the national level. The PDP is a big ship and those on board need a captain whose experience and skill they can trust to lead them to safety. The party can ill afford a captain who is intoxicated with power, which may lead to poor judgment. Indeed, the party needs a chairman that commands broad-based national acceptance and who has the ability to rise above primordial loyalties or sentiments. In terms of these critical leadership requirements, Alhaji Adamu Muazu has no match in the northeast.

Masa wrote from 104, Hadejia Road,  Kano

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