Editor's note: It is a known fact to say that the major opposition - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is enmeshed in crisis in almost all the states of the federation. Despite this in-fighting among the members, the leadership of the party has continued to give assurance that it would win the presidential race in 2023.
In this exclusive interview with Legit.ng, a former senior special assistant to vice president Namadi Sambo on media and publicity, Umar Sani, said that the PDP would address its internal crisis and come out stronger before the next general elections.
Recently, you wrote an article about the crisis rocking the PDP, what informed the write-up?
It was a wake-up call to our party to put our house in order. The crisis in the party is getting messier every day and there is no end to it in sight. Unless concrete, sincere and tangible steps in form of objective action are taken immediately to resolve the lingering crisis, the party will remain in disarray till the end.
It has been the tradition in Nigerian politics that the opposition party does not see anything good in the ruling party. Your admission of El-Rufai’s development of Kaduna is instructive. Why did you speak out your mind despite being a member of the PDP?
I have always spoken my mind on local, state and national issues without bias. I decided to do a SWOT analysis of his administration and x-ray his performance with a view to commending him where necessary and critique his weaknesses so that he can correct them for the state to move forward.
I will definitely want my party to be at the helm of affairs in Kaduna state but I also want them to know the threats posed by our opponents and the need to put our house in order so as to enable us to confront the imminent challenges they might pose to us in the future.
I believe when elections are over, it is time for service and serious governance. It will be foolhardy to continue to play politics with our progress and prosperity. We should say it as it is. The state is greater than any interest whether parochial or mundane.
With the crisis rocking the PDP in most states, do you think the party will be able to unseat APC at the national level in 2023?
At the national level, I am confident more than ever before that the APC is foreclosed and forgone. The party has nothing to show as achievements and has failed the electorates in terms of infrastructural development, economic prosperity, the fight against corruption and addressing security challenges.
The PDP at the national level will rise to surmount their internal challenges and coast home to victory. I trust the Bukola Saraki reconciliation committee will do a thorough job by reconciling all injured parties and chart a course for prosperity in time to come.
It is being rumoured that the PDP may field former vice president Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate. If that happens, don't you think there will be protest votes from the southeast against the PDP?
I do not know who the PDP will field for the 2023 presidential elections but I do know that there will be primaries to select a presidential candidate of the party in 2022. Who emerges is a game of wits, strategy and effective planning. So far, we are yet to hear anything from the party as regards zoning, if it comes out we might be able to talk about protest votes or not. Succinctly put, when we get to the bridge we shall cross it.
Can the PDP win Kaduna state in 2023 considering El-Rufai's achievements?
Winning Kaduna state now is not dependent on the only provision of infrastructure or perceived achievement by the people. The people are not happy with his administration due to a lack of empathy and welfarist policies that will ameliorate poverty and create wealth for the populace.
However, he has enough time to correct such anomalies by providing succour to the people in terms of living conditions, tax rebates and other critical areas of need to the citizenry.
The PDP has no option other than to appease the injured party within its fold so as to surmount its internal challenges. It must not rely on those who thrust themselves as leaders within the state as arbiters.
They have already taken sides and for egoism, they are not willing to shift their position. They are determined to frustrate Bukola Saraki from performing his assigned duties by claiming they can do it.
Let me assure all and sundry that they won’t do anything to resolve the impasse rather, they might inflame it so that the party loses and they are not bothered.
Imposition and impunity are the major causes of the crisis which the party promised but failed to address. To answer your question the chances of PDP is very bright if they can put their house in order sincerely and transparently.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Sani said the governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi dumped the PDP for the APC because of his presidential ambition in 2023.
It was reported that the former presidential aide said that Umahi's defection did not come as a surprise to most leaders of the PDP.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.