Political party

How not to lead a political party!

The leadership of a political party involves multiple skills and talents. It has been said that an effective leader is someone who knows “when to lead, when to follow, and when to stray” (the phrase is attributed to American revolutionary Thomas Paine). According to him, effective leaders do more than give orders. They create a shared vision for the future and viable strategic plans for the present. They negotiate ways to achieve what is needed while listening to what is desired. They integrate individuals and groups into decision-making processes by developing support for their plans. These are certain qualities that are necessary for the leadership of political parties and these qualities are what people look for in those they choose for leadership roles in democratic systems of government.
The national president of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Iyorchia Ayu, seems not to live up to these fine qualities expected of a political party leader, given how the party is literally falling apart under his orders!
Just ahead of the general elections in which many expected the PDP to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) a bloodbath over its failure to deliver on much of the promises it made to Nigerians, the party seems rudderless.

The simmering problem in the PDP began when the party abandoned its zoning arrangement which was sacrosanct as it was enshrined in its constitution. This zoning arrangement necessitated the zoning of his presidential ticket to the south, since the incumbent president is from the north as well as the party chairman.

The PDP crisis came to a head after the controversial PDP presidential primaries which were won by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. This PDP convention, also known as the rain of money as it would have been characterized by a furious rain of dollars, was also noted for the blatant partisanship of the national president.

Recall that Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal resigned outside the deadline, this was seen by many as unfair and outside the rules of engagement for the convention, but Ayu saw nothing wrong with that. wrong.
Tambuwal, however, asked his supporters to vote for Atiku as he withdrew from the race this campaign even as voting had largely begun. However, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State saw it differently, he felt he had been robbed. He said he nearly scuttled the presidential primary after Tambuwal was allowed back on the podium to announce his withdrawal from the race. “I’ve never seen how people can violate procedures and guidelines so brazenly. “I just said, ‘Listen, our party must not be destroyed.’

While many had previously questioned Ayu’s role in Tambuwal’s resignation, it was his reaction and statement when he paid a thank-you visit to the Governor of Sokoto State after the convention that he became apparent that the PDP National Convention was packed. for Atiku to win. According to a short video seen on social media, those who paid a thank-you visit to Tambuwal were Atiku and the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu. Ayu was accompanied by former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido; former Minister for Police Affairs, Adamu Maina and a former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha. Another short video clip, which was also shared online, showed Ayu patting Tambuwal on the back and saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the hero of the convention. Unhappy with the way Ayu handled the convention, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) national leader, Edwin Clark, shortly after the convention called on Iyorcha Ayu, to resign due to the way he handled the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s standard bearer. He said the emergence of a northern candidate proved that Ayu was incapable of being chairman of a national party such as the PDP. He warned that this development is an indication that the 2023 elections could have “deleterious” consequences for the PDP.
In a statement, Clark said: “Most disturbing is what happened at the Special National Convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja on Saturday 28th May. 29. “I was alarmed by the outrageous and Machiavellian manner in which Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, was apparently ‘arranged’ to announce his withdrawal from the contest, at the last minute; his speech changed the mood of the event. This was done to impose another northerner as the party’s candidate; considering that Tambuwal was the only contender in the entire North West, which had around 192 convention delegates. “What Tambuwal did was not only dishonorable but also a grave electoral anomaly and a tragic betrayal of national patriotism for hidden interests.” He scolded Ayu for visiting Tambuwal to congratulate and hail him as “the hero of the convention”. “This clearly reveals his bias and predilection in the processes leading to the disconcerting conclusion of the PDP presidential primary. His unworthy and parochial conduct, to please his constituents, is not only a great disgrace to the office he holds, but also a sad display of obscene submission to the political subjugation of an ethnic group, in a country as diverse as Nigeria,” he said. added.
The partisanship of the PDP’s national chairman and the failure of the take-out party’s presidential candidate Nyesom Wike have split the party between Camp Atiku and Camp Nyesom Wike, a situation that could have disastrous consequences for the PDP if left unchecked. is not resolved.
To break the deadlock, the Wike camp has set an “irreducible minimum condition” for reconciliation in the face-to-face between them and the leadership of the main opposition party. The pro-Wike camp said PDP national chairman Dr Iyorchia Ayu must go, also insisting they should be allowed to choose his successor. Many find it absurd that most members of the party’s top hierarchy hail from a single region with little regard for the federal character. Former National Vice President of the South West Party and a member of the party’s board of directors, Chief Bode George recently noted that Ayu had promised to step down if a northerner ran as the party’s presidential candidate, since he is also from the North. However, since the emergence of Atiku of the North as the presidential candidate several months ago, Ayu has shown no indication of stepping down. Even Nyesom Wike’s camp request couldn’t get him to move, he talks rather loudly. His response to the resignation request speaks volumes.
He said he would not resign from his post as he saw no reason for him to do so, describing those demanding his resignation as children. Ayu said so in an interview with BBC Hausa Service. The PDP leader said those calling for his resignation are party kids who don’t know how the party was formed.
It is evident that the DPP under Ayu is on a path of self-destruction as the National President has shown that maintaining his position is far more important to him than the survival of the party he leads. This is certainly not the way to run a political party, especially if it seeks to defeat a ruling party like the
APC. A political party being a democratic organization, its leaders must comply with the needs and demands of the members because without the members, no party can win the elections. It is on this basis that Ayu must refine his style, he must understand that he is not in a position to play the dictator, especially not in an election year where political goodwill is the only currency of victory.