Nwoye lifts demoralized PDP in Anambra

The loss of the 2015 presidential and State House of Assembly elections by the Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP, in Anambra State dealt a big blow to members and supporters of the party, who had been relying on the PDP’s control of the federal government.

It was expected that the unbroken 16-year rule of the party would serve as a morale booster.
Though, the state has been under the control of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the past nine years, most of the PDP members took solace in the fact that as the party in power at the federal level, they still had access to the seat of government and the benefits that came with it.

However, with the defeat of PDP’s Dr. Goodluck Jonathan by President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, it dawned on PDP members that access to juicy federal positions had come to an end.

Its House of Assembly candidates, who had also hoped to use the platform to maintain the party’s presence at the grassroots level in Anambra State, got their hopes dashed as the party secured only three of the 30 seats in the House.

In fact, were it not for the doggedness of few political heavyweights in the state, including former Governor Peter Obi, Senator Uche Ekwunife and Sir Emeka Offor, the PDP would not have secured any seat in the state assembly.

The worry of many PDP members in the state was how to adjust to the reality of the situation. In fact, some of them contemplated joining APC or APGA to remain relevant, but were stopped by monumental obstacles erected by those two political parties against them and realized that the best option for them was to remain in PDP, reorganize and restructure it for future elections.

But then, the problem was: who would provide the much –needed leadership to galvanize the members?

It was discovered that many PDP members in the state were willing to continue to work for the party, but where would the resources come from?

This was the scenario until Comrade Tony Nwoye, the party’s governorship candidate in the 2013 election in the state convened a meeting of PDP stakeholders, thus lifting the morale of the members across the 326 wards in the state.

Known for his power of mobilization at very short notice, Nwoye reached out to the right people, including those who worked against him when he contested for the governorship seat two years ago.

Many were enthusiastic, received the text message inviting them to a stakeholders’ meeting at the popular Marble Arch Hotel in Awka.

Though the meeting was scheduled for 3.00pm, the massive compound of the hotel was jam-packed with PDP members by 12 noon and motorists had a hectic time finding spaces to park their cars. It was like a national convention.

The meeting was the first since the last general elections and those in attendance commended Nwoye for taking the bold step to gather members, who had become disillusioned following PDP’s poor outing in the 2013 governorship and the 2015 state House of Assembly polls.

At the well attended meeting, various speakers identified reasons for the party’s consistent poor performance in state elections,  in spite of the fact that it is the most popular political party in the state.

According to them, PDP’s poor performance in the state during elections was usually self-inflicted with many members working against their candidates.

They argued that under normal circumstances, PDP would always sweep the polls in Anambra State in view of its popular appeal among the people.

Addressing the participants, Nwoye urged them to strive to correct the mistakes that led to their poor performance in the past.

He said: “Despite our loss in the last general elections, the ruling APC still sees PDP as a big threat and that is why we must seize the opportunity to reorganize and restructure our party to make it stronger.   Therefore, we have no option than to remain in PDP as there is no alternative.

“The reason for convening this meeting is to assure PDP members in Anambra State that the party is still very much intact. Essentially, our objective is to reconcile with one another because we all injured ourselves and it is only when we are united that we can forge ahead to be able to form the next government in Anambra State.”

“To ensure that we truly forge ahead, we should bring out credible people at the ward level to shoulder the responsibility of reviving PDP at that level. What PDP members in the state demand is to be allowed to conduct free and fair congresses to usher in new leadership. This is where we need the assistance of the national leadership of our great party.

“Our members are known to accept defeat once the process is credible. What had been causing disaffection in Anambra PDP were attempts to foist unpopular persons as leaders. My belief is that if we get it right this time, no political party will stop us in Anambra State.

“Our immediate move will be to go for membership drive in all the 326 wards in the state and ensure that all the aggrieved members of the party are reconciled.

Acceptable congresses

I must commend everybody that at a very short notice, who is who in Anambra politics gathered to chart a way forward for PDP in our state. This is encouraging and we must keep it up. At this stage, people must suppress their ambitions and concentrate on how to build and make PDP strong again.

According to him, one problem facing the party had been its inability to organize credible and acceptable congresses and primaries, adding that once the issue of credible congresses and primaries were properly handled, the party would be in the right shape to face any election in the state.

At the end of the meeting, it was obvious that PDP in Anambra State was prepared to discard the habit of manipulating the processes leading to congresses of the party in which aggrieved members did everything possible to stop their members from winning elections after obtaining the party’s tickets.

By Vincent Ujumadu
Nwoye lifts demoralized PDP in Anambra Nwoye lifts demoralized PDP in Anambra Reviewed by Vita Ioanes on Wednesday, July 08, 2015 Rating: 5

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