- The Peoples Democratic Party is yet to recover from the woeful defeat it suffered during the 2015 general election
- A chieftain of the party, Bode George, has come up with what he called the mistakes of the party that has earned it some predicaments
Chief Bode George, a former military administrator and top member the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has confessed that his party made serious mistakes that led to its major defeat in 2015.
One of such mistakes was the acceptance of Ali Modu Sheriff, a former governor of Borno state and current factional national chairman of the PDP.
George, now 71, said the PDP now understands what it means to be in the opposition in a country like Nigeria and that his party was learning from its mistakes which he said would be resolved internally.
He also said the PDP was sustained for 16 years by what it called 'Turn-by-Turn Nigeria Limited'.
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“During the last general elections, we (PDP) erred; we made a fundamental mistake but there is nobody who is above mistake. We made many mistakes, the way the elections were conducted but that is for our internal consumption. I want to accept that we made mistakes,” he said in an interview with Vanguard.
Concerning Ali Modu Sheriff, he said: “It was a monumental mistake. Sheriff is my friend. It takes one crazy person to throw a stone in the well, but one million professors will not be able to bring out that stone. That is where we have found ourselves now. There will be tribulations.”
Asked if he was planning to join the proposed new mega party, George said he would only wish those behind the plot ‘best of luck’.
“I wish those planning a new party the best of luck. Let them start it. Do you know how long it takes to start something to become a colossus? It takes time, even we have not fully developed yet.
“We are now knowing what it means to be in the opposition, that it is a different process of learning,” he said.
He said despite the huge challenges before the party, the latter has a bright future.
“The party has a very deep tap root; otherwise we would have gone under. This little tribulation, to me, should serve as a lesson. Would you abandon your house because it is leaking and build another one? I am using this metaphorically so that you can understand the problems of running away.
“Remember I described the APC as a congregation of strange bed-fellows. They are in government alright but is the government in them? Where are they now?
“The old men who founded the PDP had the experiences of the 1950s, the 1960s, the first republic, the second and the military interregnum. Some of them even landed before military tribunals but they survived.
“They came up with the six geo-political zones and, as a practitioner, what sustained our party and democracy in this country for 16 years, was this issue of ‘Turn-by-Turn Nigeria Limited’.
“It was a brilliant concept and that brought peace. We made some mistakes but we have learned from the mistakes. That is why we set up the committee to ensure that those who left the party can return,” he said.