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People Who Did Not Know How PDP Was Formed, Turned It Into a Personal Estate – Ekwueme

A former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, on Tuesday gave reasons why the Peoples Democratic failed to win the 2015 presidential election.

Punch reports that Ekwueme, a founding member of the party which held power for 16 years, said PDP was formed as a “mass movement” but along the way, it was hijacked by selfish interests.

The elder statesman noted that those who hijacked the party were not founding members.

He said PDP’s fall was caused by its failure to sustain mass movement ideal of the party.

He also cited the lack of internal democracy in the party, particularly in the build-up to the 2015 elections.

The former Vice President spoke in his residence in Enugu, where he received members of the PDP Strategy Committee, led by Ambassador Aminu Wali.

He said he always felt like weeping, whenever he thought about the “story of the PDP.”

Going down memory lane, Ekwueme said he and others formed the party as a mass movement in 1999, after several years of military rule. He recalled that in the local government elections held to determine the parties that were qualified to stand for election, the party won in 28 out of the 36 states.

He said, “We found it difficult to manage the party as a mass movement; unfortunately, some people who did not know how the party was formed, turned it into a personal estate.

“They wanted to use my state, Anambra, to do re-registration, to exclude some people who did not agree with them.  Others (political parties) were attracting new members, they were driving away members.  The party (PDP) lacked internal democracy.”

He added, “Yar’Adua came and called me and others. We went round and brought back aggrieved members. Yar’Adua died and we didn’t conclude that assignment.”

He said there was a need to find out what happened to the party in order to resolve its current challenges.

“I am happy that out of the debacle of 2015, there is need for introspection to find out where we went wrong and how to right the wrongs,” Ekwueme said.

Earlier, Wali who led other members of the Strategy Committee, including two former ministers, Dubem Onyia and Fidelia Njeze, to meet Ekwueme, said it was an honour to deliver its report to the former Vice President.

Wali recalled that the Strategy Committee was set up by the PDP Caretaker Committee to review issues that led to the party’s loss in 2015.

He admitted that there was the lack of internal democracy in the party before the 2015 elections.

Wali said, “The party set us up; we have delivered our report to the caretaker committee.

“We were told to deliver same to (former President Goodluck) Jonathan, you (Ekwueme), Bamanga Tukur and other past chairmen.”

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