The 2015 elections in the country came as a shock to many but to me it wasn’t because i saw the handwriting coming that the APC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari was coasting to victory, because the campaign strategy used by the APC was superb and very wonderful. While the PDP was busy campaigning against the person of General Muhammadu Buhari, the APC was sensitizing Nigerians and preaching the message of change and selling their blue print to the general public. The story today is different, because the PDP lost at the center and in most States of the Federation. The PDP lost not because they hadn’t think tanks or smart young men who could strategize for the party but because of the imposition of candidates that the party adopted. The PDP Governor’s, destroyed the party, they were too busy thinking about post 2015 which made them produce unpopular candidates that will serve as a stooge to them instead of bringing formidable candidates that are sell able to the electorates and have what it takes to win elections.
Well, the elections are now over, the party lost the Presidential elections at the center and is now an opposition party. The main focus now is how will the party survive the heat and how will the party come back in 2019? For me, i will say it’s simple, the chances of the PDP coming back in 2019 is very feasible and not as tedious as some persons will say.
In strategizing for the 2019 elections, i will advice that the PDP reunites by building internal democracy within the party. The PDP today is becoming unpopular because so many persons that should have stayed to build the party are beginning to pitch tents because of they feel cheated, marginalized, short changed . The leadership of the party must work towards bringing back these aggrieved members of the party if the PDP will fair well in 2019. We must not undermine any member of the party or see any member of the party as been irrelevant or not productive. The party should carry all and sundry in the business of politiking. Both the young, old and middle class should be given a role to play. Our Party, the PDP is in a critical time where intellectuals and think tanks are needed. The party has to restructure herself and regalvanize with the younger breeds of politicians within the folk. It may please our the party to know that it was the younger generation of politicians that strategized for General Muhammadu Buhari to win at the center. They were his think tanks and master planners. But our party decided to do the old school way of thinking is all about money and politics of stomach infrastructure. No! The Nigeria People, are more wiser now and are yearning for developments, they are yearning for quality representation and not just politics of talk more and do less.
In restrategizing for the party ahead of 2019, one big question is what is the way forward for the PDP CRS Chapter?
First, the party must create a tactics that will balance everybody within the party. The leadership of the party should as a matter of urgency reunite all aggrieved members, by setting up a committee that will reconcile all members of the party that are already bitter and are looking towards the direction of the APC.
The PDP, in the State must not be distracted with the defeat at the center. The Ntufam Achort Okon PDP and Senator Prof. Ayade Benedict-led government should work out a master plan that will accommodate the young generation of politicians in the State. In 1998, pre 1999, those who formed the party in the State were not more than 40. Donald Duke was about 37 at that time, former Governor Liyel Imoke was the same age as Duke and Gershom Bassey too was also within the age of 37. So why are the younger breeds of politicians in the party not recognized? I had a conversation with my friend and brother, Barr. Dorncklaimz Enamhe yesterday, and he made me to understand that those of them that worked for the formation of the party in 1998, pre 1999 elections were not up to 40 years of age. So why are the youths of the party not working towards restructuring the party? I told him one thing, i said Sir, in 1999, you all were united and were at peace with one another but in 2015, the story is different. Our youths feel marginalized and if i must say have not been encouraged to handle portfolios in the party.
In coming back in 2019, the PDP has to effectively make use of the social media, by campaigning and constantly making the general public see the need why the party has to be voted in the next elections especially with the Local Government elections coming up in 2016. You see, what helped the APC win was the million dollar contract with AKPD , an American Public Relations firm, to help conduct a research and handle sensitive public relations issues. I expect the PDP in Cross River State to adopt such strategy, by making proper use of the media and not using it as a tool to propagate campaign of hate and acrimony.
The PDP has to conduct advertorials on the pages of Newspapers, and other out let’s that will send the message of the party to the general public.
Though many persons have doubted if the party can come back in 2019, I think it is very possible. To achieve a smooth sail in 2016 and in 2019, the leaders must do better than what they are doing now.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.
Is a public Affairs Analyst and a youth of the PDP
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