A former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Simon Mwadkon is a strong member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State. He speaks with ISAAC SHOBAYO on the state of PDP in the state. Excerpts:
FROM all indications, it seems the PDP is yet to recover from the crisis that bedevilled it before and after 2015 election?
The party can still bounce back if we are able to find our bearing. But as it is now, it is everybody to its tent. It is not too late, the problem is minor and if we put aside our personal interests and everybody pursues a common goal, the problem would be a thing of the past. The problem of greed must be addressed and we must recognise that we are now in the opposition party and also believe that gone are the days of opposition with impunity. But all hope is not lost; all we need to do is to put our house in order and shun any act that could worsen the present state of things within the party. 2019 is still a little bit far; in politics, the game plan can change within 24 hours. If we could redefine PDP, recreate it in line with the aim and objective of our founding fathers, PDP will regain its lost glory in Plateau State.
It was obvious and glaring that zoning was one the factors that APC capitalised on to win the 2015 election, what is the PDP doing to avoid this pitfall in 2019?
The issue of zoning was blown beyond proportion in 2015; there was no time in the history of Plateau State that one particular zone was allowed to contest election without other zones. It has never happened. Since 1999, anytime a particular zone is going to produce a candidate, other zones also come out to contest but in 2015 it was blown beyond proportion. One factor responsible for that was the ethnic agenda that was introduced; but right within subconscious mind of an average Plateau person, they know the zone that should produce the next governor without being coerced or intimidated to do so. There is no written agreement and nobody can sit down in his parlour and say this is the next zone that would produce the next governor of the state. I can assure you that in 2019, you will still have people outside the southern zone that would come out to contest. I strongly believe that when the time comes, the issue will be sorted out within the PDP and it won’t pose any problem to the party this time around.
The PDP in recent time suffered a gale of defection to the APC; don’t you think this will have negative effect on your party in 2019 if the situation persists?
The implication is that the leadership of the party is not doing well. In party politics, you need to be friendly with the people; you need to be sincere and a genuine reconciliation must take place. This is one of the areas which the party need to address with all sense of sincerity, because there are members of the party that are still aggrieved and yet to be approached for reconciliation. Some of our foot-soldiers recently defected to the APC but in spite of all these, the people at the grassroots are still with the PDP. All what we need to do is to pursue genuine reconciliation; hope is not lost yet. PDP still have what it takes to win election on the Plateau but it must put its house in order and seek the face of reasoning. Since politics is a game of number, you cannot belittle anybody.