The leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now being linked to the failure of the party to field a Northerner as its presidential flag bearer in the 2015 elections.
This follows assertions from former national chairman, Dr. Mohammed Haliru, The Nation reports.
According to Haliru, the story would have been different today for the PDP if it had given its ticket to a Northerner in the 2011 and 2015 elections.
PDP chieftain says the party failed to win 2015 presidential election because it fielded a Northerner as its presidential flag bearer
He said the party lost because it abandoned its zoning arrangement and adopted the then incumbent Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Haliru said the North felt shortchanged in 2015 when the party put Jonathan forward as its candidate for the election.
Haliru said that the unfinished first term of the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua was rightly completed by Dr. Jonathan, as specified by the 1999 Constitution, “but since the two terms were meant for the North, the party ought to have fielded a northern candidate to complete the second term (from 2011-2015).”
He said: “Yar’ Adua was not there to contest for second term, so you cannot say the second term was a Yar’ Adua/Jonathan ticket. It was only the first term that was Yar’Adua/ Jonathan, which the constitution provided for.
“But the election of 2011, which Jonathan contested and won, should have been contested by another candidate from the north.
“We lost because we left the people behind on zoning and rotation. We said regardless of which part of the country you come from, you should know that you have the chance to contest for the presidency.
“Out of arrogance, the leadership abandoned principles and the people feeling abandoned, reacted the way they reacted. So, I am not surprised. It was the abandonment of the principle of zoning that led the people to abandon the party.”
Haliru’s statement comes at a time the factional leader of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi also believes that the party would have won the 2015 presidential election had it fielded a northern candidate.
Makarfi opined that the ‘gang up’ against the PDP in the North would not have arisen if the party had presented a northern candidate.
He said the party also became too comfortable that it no longer communicated well with the people to know what they wanted, which he said made it easier for propaganda to be used against it.
He said: “The PDP would have won the 2015 presidential election straight away with a northern candidate.
“The reason is that, it would have been impossible to make an issue out of this North, South thing. We would have broken the North’s gang up, so to say, against the PDP.
“Again, we became too comfortable. A little bit of arrogance sometimes. We were not communicating well with the people. Because we were not communicating well, we failed to get what the people were saying, and of course, that made it easier for propaganda to be used against us. And that propaganda went deep that we couldn’t do anything again.”
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