By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- Second Republic Vice President and founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, has noted that the PDP came to its present predicament because some members of the party, whom he said do not know the original philosophy of the party wanted to take control of the party and subjected it to their whims and caprices.
He particularly said that the genesis of the destruction of the party was when the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered for re-registration of its membership, with the intent to sack some members from the party.
The former Vice President added that he some times feel like weeping for the Party, PDP.
Ekwueme spoke in Enugu, Wednesday, when the Prof. Jerry Gana-led Strategy Review and Interparty Relations Committee of the PDP presented its report to the former Vice President in Enugu.
Ekwueme said: “The story of PDP makes me sometimes to weep. When our founding fathers said the party will be in charge for 60 years or more, some thought they were just bragging, PDP was packaged to be a mass movement of all Nigerians just like the ANC of south africa.
“We started that way, the first election in 1998, December 5, we won massively across the country, we took control of 28 out of 36 states,
In 1999, we ended up with 21 of the 36 governors, south east, and south-south were all PDP, 10 of the 19 governors of the north were PDP, it was a strong showing.
“We also had control of the National Assembly, with that showing all we needed to do was to manage the party properly as envisaged by the founding fathers, making it a mass movement and expanding its power base
“Unfortunately, some people who did not know how the party was formed or what informed its philosophy, got involved in the party and decided to convert it to a personal estate without regard to the underpinning principles that formed its formation and gradually we started to lose ground.
“At one stage, in my state, they decided to commence the re-registration of members so as to exclude members who they thought were not in their camp, instead of attracting more members, they decided to exclude. That was the genesis of our present situation, coupled with lack of internal democracy.
“I can’t remember how many times I’ve been called to come and spearhead the process of bringing back people to our party, that was what late Yaradua invited me to do as soon as he took over as president. We went round all the 6 zones, met with aggrieved members but unfortunately Yaradua passed on and that initiative was not conclusively implemented.”