Akin Osuntokun, a former Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and one of the leaders of the National Intervention Movement, NIM, a group spearheading the push for a third force in the country, has affirmed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would pay dearly for abandoning the southwest region.
According to him, the refusal of the former ruling party to cede its chairmanship to the south-west would hurt it in the 2019 elections.
Osuntokun, who is currently the Director, Media and Communication of the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo-led National Coalition, claimed that the nation was in a bad shape.
Speaking with Sun, Osuntokun said, “The opposition party is always their ideal government. Because it would promise you what the government in power is not doing correctly.
“The party had an opportunity of grounding itself in the south-west, but the leaders botched it. As of the time they did that, APC was desperately unpopular in the south-west. The party would have posed itself as an alternative. These are some of the things that baffle me. I was a political adviser to the president.
“That was more of a political strategist. So I am speaking from that point of view. Forget whether I like PDP or not. We need to look at the strategy in place to inform this kind of behaviour. It is an indication that those who are managing the party do not know what they are doing. Or they don’t really care if the PDP is viable. Maybe it is sufficient for them for the party to be in charge of the south-east and south-south.
“So any opposition party is an ideal one because it has not been tested. PDP has been scandalised especially during President Jonathan’s government. Most of the scandals are their fault. The final nail on the coffin of PDP was the mismanagement of the national convention. You call yourself a national party, yet you cannot handle an assignment properly. Especially in Nigeria, we are so much into the federal character.
“The higher you grow as a national party, the higher the chances of winning elections. That is why it is in the constitution- how power should be distributed to reflect the mandate of the party.
“The south-west has not held the position of the national chairman. There is an assumption that the presidential candidate will come from the north and former president, Jonathan came from the south-south, the south-east has held the position of the national chairmanship several times.
“The logic is so elementary that they should have known what to do. If you need to strengthen your competitive power, you need to strengthen yourself in all the zones. Rather than doing that, they deliberately weakened themselves in the south-west zone. Even those who are not in PDP felt offended.”