The Umbrella Force, a faction inside the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appealed to the leadership of the main opposition party to rescue the party following its humiliating defeat in the recent Kogi and Imo state gubernatorial elections.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, the PDP’s candidates for governor in Kogi and Imo, Dino Melaye and Samuel Anyanwu, respectively, lost by a significant margin.
Convener of The Umbrella Force, Prince Yemi Adebowale, stated in an open letter titled “Before There is Nothing Left to Salvage” that the PDP’s defeats in Kogi and Imo are a glaring sign that the party needs reconciliation, restructuring, and reform. The letter was provided to Naija News on Tuesday.
The group voiced concerns about the lack of discipline, the lack of a significant national chairperson, and the marginalisation of women and young people.
The open letter read:
Dear PDP Leaders,
We, the members of the PDP Umbrella Force, the largest and most influential PDP New Media Alliance in the party are writing to express our deep disappointment and concern over the party’s recent embarrassing losses in Imo and Kogi States. These losses are a clear indication that the party is in dire need of reconciliation, restructuring and reform.
This weekend’s losses highlight the need to change the way our party operates, as the alienation of critical stakeholders and crucial demographics contributed to our overwhelming defeat and embarrassing losses in two out of the three off-cycle elections.
We are particularly concerned about the following issues:
1. Lack of party discipline: We have witnessed firsthand the numerous anti-party activities from leaders and stakeholders before, during, and after the 2023 General election and the recently concluded off-season elections. These activities have undermined the party’s unity and cohesion, and have contributed to its losses.
2. Absence of a substantive national chairman: The party has been without a substantive national chairman that has the ability to speak truth to power. This has created a vacuum in leadership and has ensured that the party’s internal leadership structure is weak and ineffective to check the impunity of powerful figures within the party.
3. Exclusion of youth and women: The party has not done enough to recognize and include youth and women in its leadership structures. From the constitution of campaign committees, to the activities during the campaign, a large segment of the young and loyal members of the party have been neglected.
We hereby call on the PDP leaders to take the following steps immediately:
1. Restructure and reform the party: The party must undergo a comprehensive restructuring and reform process to address the issues of lack of party discipline, absence of a substantive national chairman, and exclusion of youth and women. The PDP Constitution must be restructured to create a substantive youth wing within the party for greater participation and organization.
2. Discipline anti-party elements: The party must take disciplinary action against all individuals and leaders who have been involved in anti-party activities. This will send a strong message that the party will not tolerate such behavior.
3. Appoint a substantive national chairman: The party must appoint a substantive national chairman as soon as possible. The new chairman must be someone who has the capacity to reform the party, embark on full-fledged reconciliation, enforce party discipline, and ensure the recognition and inclusion of more youth and women in party activities.
4. Accountability for the party’s recent losses: The PDP leaders must be held accountable for the party’s recent losses. They must explain to the Nigerian people what went wrong and what steps they are taking to address the problems. Therefore, the party must conduct a post-mortem of the activities from the 2023 General Election and recently conducted Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi State elections. This post-mortem should be conducted by a Committee of impartial party representatives chosen from across the various demographics of the party.
5. Internal democracy: The PDP must recommit itself to ensuring that its internal processes are democratic, transparent and accountable to its members. This includes the selection of candidates for elections, the conduct of party primaries, the appointment of members to committees, and the selection of members to head various directorates. Additionally, the performance of campaign directorates must be reviewed and analyzed to ensure that those who have not performed optimally in the past are not considered for future internal leadership positions.
The Umbrella Force believes that the PDP can reform itself into a better performing party. However, deliberate actions need to be taken in order to achieve this. Failure to reconcile, restructure and reform the party will lead to further apathy and resignation from party members, stakeholders and leaders across the nation.
We urge our party leaders to take these steps seriously.
The future of the PDP depends on it.
Prince Yemi Adebowale
Convener, The Umbrella Force
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