THE leadership crisis plaguing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the national level is also affecting the Lagos State chapter though of a different hue. The Lagos PDP has had its fair share of the crisis.
Since 1999, the party has remained an opposition party in the state having performed abysmally in all elections conducted.
As a result of this, some stakeholders are in the forefront of canvassing for sanitisation of the party’s leadership in the state. Given that the party does not have any known parallel executive with the Tunji Shelle’s led team, the fragmentation within the party, to say the least, is worrying.
Groups within the party only mind the dictate of their own contact leader, who does not owe any allegiance to the state executive.
Ambition, power tussle for state’s party structure at the expense of others among other factors have been attributed to the continued division within the party. This is as a result of personal ego exhibited by party stalwarts.
Aside, the continued infighting among respective leaders have hindered the party from securing electoral gains for the party since 1998. Although there have been repeated efforts to reconcile aggrieved leaders and members for reconciliation in the party, such efforts have always met the brick wall.
While many analysts believe that the PDP in the state ought to have leverage on the marginal success and maximum goodwill it received from the public after the local government election in 2011, to pull members together, look at their grievances and find means of repositioning the party for future elections.
Speaking with Vanguard under condition of anonymity, a party chieftain admitted that “the problem we are having in the PDP is still the same issue of overbearing influence of the elders who have been using similar tactics of politics and seem to have lost touch with the reality of modern politics as it concerns the South-West.”
Referring to the last local council elections conducted where Jide Obanikoro, son of former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro kept the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, especially in Ikoyi-Obalende, on its toes, the source said “those new guys understood the rudiment of grassroots politics combined with modern tactics of wooing the electorate.”
The source noted that “presently, if you look at the approach of this new acting zonal chairman of the PDP in the South -West, you will be impressed with his engagement on issues, it takes a cultivated man to administer that seat the way he is currently doing.”
With less than two years to the 2015 general elections, stakeholders hold the view that there is need for a paradigm shift at the helms of affairs in the party. “I think it is high time that the national headquarters and the Presidency excused these old cargoes from core activities and day-to-day running of the PDP in Lagos,” the party chieftain said.
When contacted, the state publicity secretary of the party, Mr Taofik Gani said the party remains united under the leadership of Chief Bode George.
It is however, expected that if the PDP in Lagos state must turn around its fortunes for good, the old guard must give way to young Turks.