Ahmed Gulak, a former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, has lamented the leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, adding that for the PDP to do well in the 2019 general elections, party leaders must resolve their dispute and stay united.
Gulak, also lamented the loss of Ondo election to the All Progressives Congress, APC, blaming Governor Olusegun Mimiko for the defeat.
“The leadership tussle has affected the fortunes of the party negatively. A house divided against itself cannot stand. That is why this issue must be resolved politically,” he told Daily Trust.
“Look at the Edo election, everybody was so sure that the PDP would win but because the house was divided, the party could not perform.
“Look at the Ondo election, the PDP lost even before going into the elections because the governor forcefully made the party adopt a candidate that was not popular within the state.
“More so, the governor having served eight years, wanted to force another person from his local government to be governor and the people of Ondo rejected it. That is why the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff group said we cannot win the election with this candidate.
“We called the governor, Governor Mimiko, please, realize that the people of Ondo are not woods, they are not stones, they are not idiots; they are not fools.
“You have served as governor of Ondo for eight years; you cannot bring somebody from your own local government and expect the people of Ondo to elect him to succeed you. That is why Ali Modu Sheriff produced Jimoh Ibrahim among other five aspirants.
“Jimoh Ibrahim was the authentic candidate of the PDP and we were coasting home to victory for PDP until at the eleventh hour, by misrepresentation, the Court of Appeal said that Jegede should be the candidate.
“That was a slap on the face of the people of Ondo and who went to the polls and spoke and when they spoke, they spoke vehemently and that is how PDP lost. So to this end I will say the crisis within the PDP has really affected the party’s fortunes negatively”, he added.
Expressing optimism that the PDP will bounce back in 2019, Gulak said “once we get over this crisis, which I hope will be over very soon, we will begin to pick the pieces and we will begin to rebuild.
“Even the ruling APC is not crisis-free. They too have the fair share of crisis. I am happy that our crisis started earlier and we are pulling through.
“I will call on PDP stakeholders to sheathe their swords, let us bring this party back to the people; the party does not belong to an individual.
“PDP is the only party that can give this country a sense of direction. It is the only party that can pull this country out of economic doldrums that we are facing today”, further stated.