A former permanent secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State, Lawal Rufa’i Safana, has warned that the party may become irrelevant before the scheduled 2023 general elections.
Alleging lack of internal democracy in the party, in an interview, Safana described the conduct of the recent ward congresses across the state as a sham, arguing that “there was nothing like election.”
According to him, “we as party members are bitter about this because we do not only want the party to remain vibrant but we also want the PDP to win elections in the state.
“You do not win elections by merely selecting a few people among members and ignoring all the others as if they are not useful.
“We want to let the public know that many of us are not satisfied with the manner of the conduct of the last PDP ward congresses in Katsina State.
“The forms were given to select people free of charge and only a form each was provided for each office.
“Forms were not given to the people who were interested in vying for the various offices.
“There was supposed to be a review of party membership at the ward levels before the conduct of the so-called congresses but this was not done.
“The PDP is an opposition party in Katsina and we believe that the only way an opposition party can win elections is to be free and fair in its dealings with members.
“Every member should be given a sense of belonging and participation and that is the only way we can aspire to win elections in the state.
“We doubt whether the party leadership really wants the PDP to actually win elections.
“Apparently, they are satisfied in retaining the status of opposition so that they can go to other states controlled by the PDP and say they are PDP leaders from Katsina State.
“We made complaints to the leadership, but they were determined to prosecute the selfish programme they had in mind and that is exactly what they did.
“If things continue this way, then it will be very bad for the PDP in the state in 2023 because you don’t drive the people away and expect to win elections.”
But the Katsina PDP chairman, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, absolved his leadership of any perceived lapses in the conduct of the ward congresses.
According to him, “we did not organise the ward congresses. It was the national headquarters that handled the matter and we were made participants.”