Katsina PDP: Time for cleans­ing

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Mah­mud Ibrahim Kurfi

It is a Hausa proverb that brings out the true pic­ture of events in Katsina state when it states that whoso­ever re­mem­ber yes­ter­day is surely not happy to­day. This as­ser­tion is more than ever true about the po­si­tion of the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party, PDP in Katsina State.

In 2007 when the late Pres­i­dent Umar Yar’adua left the state to be­come the Pres­i­dent af­ter eight suc­cess­ful years as a Gover­nor, the party had two sen­ate seats, 15 House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seats and 29 state house of as­sem­bly mem­bers. How­ever, things be­gin to nose dive. The party’s for­tunes un­der the new lead­er­ship led by Bar­ris­ter Ibrahim Shehu Shema- Late Yar’dua’s suc­ces­sor- be­gan erod­ing.

By 2011, the party had zero sen­ate seats, 3 house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives and but im­proved with 31 state of house of as­sem­bly mem­bers. This trend will turn for the worst as in the last gen­eral elec­tions when the party recorded what could be termed to be its fi­nal death with zero sen­ate seats, zero House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seats and zero state house of as­sem­bly seats. This rep­re­sents a grue­some dec­i­ma­tion of in­flu­ence from al­most 99% in 2007 to 0% in 2015.

This grad­ual death reached its peak un­der the tute­lage of one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the party’s benev­o­lent pol­icy of suc­ces­sion, Bar­ris­ter Ibrahim Shehu Shema. Al­though the can­cer­ous de­mo­li­tion of this once a pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal party that dic­tates the po­lit­i­cal land­scape was not nat­u­ral, its dec­i­ma­tion was a de­lib­er­ate and cal­cu­lated strat­egy by the same lead­er­ship en­trusted with its plat­form to ride unto lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the state for eight con­sec­u­tive years.

Bar­ris­ter Ibrahim Shehu Shema’s poli­cies, de­lib­er­ate de­nials and his al­liance dur­ing the 2015 elec­tions be­come the cli­max that is to­day deal­ing a fi­nal blow to the life of this hith­erto vi­brant po­lit­i­cal party.

It is a well-known fact that the re­fusal of former Pres­i­dent Jonathan to pick Bar­ris­ter Shema as his run­ning mate be­came the main rea­son why he (Shema) col­luded, planned and ex­e­cuted the de­struc­tion of the party that brought him to lime­light.

De­spite col­lect­ing over N4 bil­lion for the PDP pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, the former Gover­nor re­fused to mo­bi­lize sup­port for the party in all elec­tions lead­ing to the woe­ful per­for­mance and the fi­nal an­ni­hi­la­tion of the party in the state. In fact, out of the amount col­lected, it is ev­i­dently clear that over N600m went to the sup­port of the op­po­si­tion APC dur­ing the last elec­tions. The former Gover­nor also did not do enough in terms of pro­vi­sion of in­fras­truc­ture across the state to war­rant main­tain­ing the de­sired mo­men­tum to en­sure vic­tory for the party in a state that is tra­di­tion­ally PDP.

The suc­cess story of the party was the ded­i­ca­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion of its found­ing mem­bers to de­velop work­able mech­a­nisms that as­sisted the party in at­tain­ing the height achieved dur­ing both its for­ma­tion years and af­ter.

This was achieved through re­li­able, de­ter­minable and sus­tained suc­ces­sion plans by pre­vi­ous lead­er­ship, a plan that was jet­ti­soned and de­stroyed by the im­me­di­ate gov­ern­ment of Bar­ris­ter Shema. His ac­tions led to the emer­gence of wrong peo­ple in po­si­tions of power.

It was this de­lib­er­ate in­ter­nal ero­sion of the party- de­lib­er­ately planned and ex­e­cuted by the former Gover­nor that places our great party in jeop­ardy of ex­ten­sion and perdi­tion. For any res­cue mis­sion to work there­fore, the party at the na­tional head­quar­ters must as a mat­ter of ur­gent sur­vival de­sire, look at a holis­tic ac­tion that must be taken with im­me­di­ate ef­fect. This ac­tion de­mands the im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion of the ex­ist­ing lead­er­ship of the party in the state as well as the sus­pen­sion of the ar­chi­tect of this de­struc­tion him­self from the party. This means, sus­pen­sion and ap­point­ment of new in­terim lead­er­ship and sus­pen­sion of former Gover­nor Ibrahim Shema from the PDP at both the state and na­tional level.

So open and grue­some were th­ese tac­ti­cal po­lit­i­cal mur­der that the same former Gover­nor, af­ter openly sup­port­ing the emer­gence of op­po­si­tion party to power in the state, is now hob­nob­bing with it through sub­tle set­tle­ment that in­clude but not lim­ited to with­drawal of pe­ti­tion and se­cret par­tic­i­pa­tion in gov­er­nance through some se­lected cronies. All th­ese moves were aimed at en­sur­ing the to­tal elim­i­na­tion and ter­mi­na­tion of the party from the po­lit­i­cal land­scape of the state.

As the party moves to re-strate­gies ahead of 2019 elec­tions, and with es­pe­cially the de­ci­sion to zone the pres­i­dency to the north, the need for crit­i­cal de­ci­sion by the head­quar­ters of the party is there­fore, more than ever needed. It is note­wor­thy to un­der­stand that for the party to muster enough pres­ence ad­e­quate to place it on course to elec­toral suc­cess,

Katsina state is per­ti­nent to its plans, de­ci­sive mea­sures must there­fore, be taken with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

Any­thing short of th­ese ac­tions can­not be enough to res­cue the party from the lit­tle re­main­ing life in its soul. The op­tion is there­fore, left for the party lead­ers at the na­tional level to choose.

Kurfi wrote from 56 Da­mari road, Kurfi, Katsina state


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