From Iheanacho Nwosu and Magnus Eze, Abuja
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, declared, at the weekend, that a brand new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will evolve from a reorganisation process going on in the party.
The governor’s statement is the first open admittance by a top government official that the PDP will work with like-minds in reshaping the party .
Although he did not give a date the rebranded PDP will emerge, Ishaku said in an interview that the repackaging process would soon be concluded.
He claimed that the erstwhile ruling party, which held sway for 16 years, has learnt its lessons, after losing power to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor stated that there was need for a vibrant opposition in Nigeria, as anything to the contrary might lead to tyranny.
But, he noted that no meaningful development could be made in the polity unless political parties purge themselves, restructure and uphold internal democracy where the best candidates are elected in transparent and credible processes to fly their parties’ flags in elections.
Ishaku insisted that the crisis in the PDP is being sponsored by external forces, but declined to mention any names.
“We are working hard to make sure we end the crisis.
“Prominent Nigerians have approached us that we have to solve this problem in the PDP because you need a vibrant opposition in any democracy; a democracy that does not have a strong opposition is running for tyranny and dictatorship.
“Whether you believe it or not, we have Presidents in Africa who stayed in office for 40, 50 years because of no vibrant opposition.
“You must, as a necessity, have a vibrant opposition. We copied the American constitution, but left out the vital parts. As a governor, the police are not under me. That does not make sense.
“In the US, they have the federal, state and local police. If we want to copy, we should have copied everything. If I had my own police, I would have gotten that peace in the state far earlier than now.
“I want to assure you that the problem in the PDP will soon be a thing of the past. I also assure you that the PDP as it is now will not be the PDP that it used to be because the PDP has learnt its lesson of putting round pegs in square holes. The PDP has suffered and the PDP that will evolve will be a better PDP and a party prone to serve the country,” the governor said.
Ishaku, however, has a word for the opposition in his state. He urged them to be constructive instead of attacking his government for the sake of playing opposition.
“If you want to criticise, do that based on facts. Constructive criticism means that you have a better solution to what is being done. But, I have nor heard constructive criticism from the opposition. They are not opposition that criticise based on facts or based on showing government better ways of doing things. They are opposition for the mere fact that they want to smear the names of people and insult people for the sake of it.”