*As IBB urges party to uphold ideals of its founding fathers
Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, (rtd) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of not properly playing its role of credible opposition in the politics and governance of Nigeria.
This is even as the former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, said that the forthcoming elective national convention of the PDP slated for December 9 this year is an avenue for the party faithful to uphold the vision and ideals of its founding fathers.
Both Abdulsalami and Babangida spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, during a separate courtesy call on them by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of Daar Communications on his ambition of becoming PDP national chairman.
General Abubakar advised PDP to properly assume its opposition role in the governance and politics.
While noting that though no party could remain in power forever, the former Head of State pointed put that the main pourpose of any party, either in governance or opposition, was to serve the people.
He stressed that while party in governance hold the shots, the opposition checks the shots been fired to ensure that the right thing was done, adding that party should be driving force of governance.
According to him, “I must say it is very sad that you (PDP) have not played your role properly in opposition.
“Maybe you are suffering for the shock of defeat, but I thought at least six months down the line will have been enough to come out of the shock to really face the governance.
“It would have been enough to perform your role in giving a credible opposition which I am afraid you have not done.
“You being one of the major parties in Nigeria and find yourself in opposition since you did not perform that function, the smaller parties also found themselves in this way.
“I am happy now you are waking up and I hope this is the end of discovery within your party.
“You will now come and build formidable party that will play the role of opposition,” Abubakar said.
The former military head of state told Dokpesi that some aspirants, who are equally interested in the PDP
national chairmanship position, had also visited him.
He expressed hope that from experience and lessons learnt during the PDP leadership crisis, the party would now “mend fences and continue to be a dominant party in Nigeria politics.
His words: “You need now to check why you slide from ruling to opposition party to see what you have done wrong
and correctly with a view to trying to learn from some of these things.”
Abubakar advised PDP leaders and members, especially the aspirants to go into the December national elective convention without bitterness.
“If I am right there are about five or six of you interested in the chairnship position.
“You have your visions and aspirations which legitimately as politicians you have the right to play a role not
only in your party but in governing the country.
“I do hope you will go through this convention without bitterness because you have seen what rancour caused the party. ”
He advised electorate to also examine critically parties’ manifestoes being sold to them during campaigns.
Abubakar also advised PDP members to continue to give their support to PDP and the country.
Also, former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida urged the PDP to use its forthcoming elective national convention as an avenue for party to uphold the visionary ideals of the founding fathers of the party.
According to a statement from his Media office, General Babangida said, “Democracy is about choice and only people with vision, courage and strong commitment to the unity of the country can lead the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
The elder statesman and one of the founding members of PDP, said, “politicians should always have a vision for a united and strong Nigeria as a shining example of Democracy in Africa.”
General Babangida, described Mr. Dokpesi as a strong pillar in the democratic equation in Nigeria.
Earlier, High Chief Dokpesi said though he had not formally declared his ambition, he came to seek Abubakar and Babangida’s blessings and support on his ambition of becoming PDP national chairman.