Umar Ardo is a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party from Adamawa State. Though he is disturbed by the new wave of crisis in the party, he believes that a good leadership of the party that would return it to the ideals of its founding fathers is the tonic the party needs in reinventing itself. He spoke to Ruth Choji.
You are a strong PDP Stakeholder, and strong voice towards entrenchment of constitutionalism and rule of law in the polity. What is your position on the leadership crises in the party?
The current crises in the party are inevitable. PDP lost elections that it thought it would win and is still unable to reconcile itself to that fact. The defeat brought out the contradictions within it and it has been unable to bring forth capable leadership to manage and reconcile these contradictions. My position therefore is that the North-east Zone should come to the rescue of the party by bringing forth a leader on a transitional basis to conduct credible elections for the party and bring forth dependable leaderships from bottom to top.
What kind of person are you looking for as national chairman?
We are looking for a person who will return to the party, its original good image; whose election should send the right signal across the nation that the party is now poised to return to its noble values and ideals as initially conceived by its founding fathers when it was formed in 1998. To attain this, the party must go back to the basics and dig out such a person and handover to him its chairmanship for the expressed purpose of conducting credible congresses and national convention, electing its leadership from wards to national levels. For the party to survive, it must be able to attain this as its very minimum. This is the opportunity availed to the North-east Zone and I pray we do not miss it.
Among the current jostlers for the position of national chairman, do you have such a figure?
Yes, we have Amb Wilberforce Juta. To me, he fits the choice. He is a former governor of the defunct Gongola State, a founding member of the party in 1998, being a member of G34. He is the first national vice chairman (North-east) of the party and current member of its board of trustees. Who, if I may ask, is better positioned to do the job? And even better still, he is a man of impeccable integrity, highly incorruptible. With due respect to all other interested candidates, none of them can hold a candle to Amb Juta on all fronts. That is why Adamawa Stakeholders and the party’s State Executive Committee massively threw in their support whole-heartedly behind him. I am aware that Taraba has also done the same. Indeed, commonsense dictates that Amb Juta should be the candidate. I call on all other aspirants to patriotically step down their interests and support Juta for the higher interests of the party and the nation.
Aside Amb Juta, who do you think can also deliver the PDP?
Among the ones whose names were published, I truly cannot see any. The reason is none of them have a first-hand knowledge of the principles and motives behind the formation of the party. In fact, all of them are cross-carpeters; they were in APP and when their party lost elections at one time or the other they crossed over to the PDP, then the ruling party, for what they will get – and they got it! That tells you that they have little principles and lots of selfishness. It is such kinds of people who came in and took over the party leadership and helped in no small way in ultimately destroying it. We don’t need to tread this path again. We always say we need to take the party back to its golden age as conceived by its founding fathers; if that is true, then here is the opportunity – let’s give the leadership to one of the founding fathers, Amb Wilberforce Juta. He will do the job – he is sincere, honest and incorruptible. This is the image PDP now needs to resuscitate itself; because it is the image it lost that made it lose the last elections.