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I am a very happy man regardless of the PDP’s defeat at the Presidential election. The national leader of my party did not live up to the responsibilities of his office and Nigerians have showed him a red card!

I am also happy that in spite of the pain and personal anguish the President may be feeling at this moment, he conceded defeat graciously and kept Nigeria one.

In addition, President Jonathan has also taught us calmness in the face of adversity by restraining his supporters from negative reactions. Those who said

Nigeria will break in 2015 did not factor in the indomitable spirit of the Nigerian!

Now, though being a passive leader by my own estimation, Jonathan has also taught the rest of us another aspect of leadership, which is – humble leadership. Leadership experts have noted that leader arrogance and narcissism have been identified as reasons why leaders make bad decisions.

Over the last four years whilst still being a member of the PDP and having worked as a Special Assistant/Advisor at the PDP headquarters during this same period, I have remained in the PDP and disagreed openly with the President many times. My interventions are available at the nigeriavillagesquare.com, saharareporters.com and many other such outlets that have been gracious enough to give me the opportunity to air my views.

Again, while I consider President Jonathan a passive leader, he is a leader all the same, kind and humane; I got to learn from some of his close aides. In this contest, he has kept his word with Nigeria and Nigerians. I remember that he continued to emphasize that the blood of Nigerians are worth more than the ambition of politicians. It is important to note that this is perhaps the only Presidential election since Nigeria’s independence that the amount of human casualty has remained very low.

While the loss of a single life diminishes us, the fact that it was extremely nonexistent speaks volume about the man Jonathan. President Jonathan has kept his word and has challenged each and every one of us to find our inner better selves.

During his almost six year Presidency, he allowed Professor Attahiru Jega of INEC to reform the electoral system and equally allowed ordinary citizens the freedom to air their views openly without fear.

Now, if keeping his word, reforming the electoral system and allowing for freedom of expression were to be his only signature achievements, I believe his place in history is assured. Freedom of expression on its own is essential to democracy without which a pseudo democracy is one in name only.

In Kwara where I come from, the Kwara people are yearning for change also and I identify with their aspirations. Kwarans want change from nepotism, corruption and grand theft. While the majority of Kwarans voted General Buhari as epitomizing the change they want, they also crave for a change agent in the Ahmadu Bello way Government House, Ilorin.

Some of us while not being a part of the rot in the PDP because we weren’t part of it when it all happened under the Obasanjo Presidency, it has become our lot to remain in the party and reform it. Every democracy worthy of its name needs a vibrant opposition party to keep it on its toes; otherwise, it teeters on the brink of dictatorship and tyranny.

The PDP on its part needs to shed the toga of a spendthrift, no rules party and wear the new look of its motto, Justice, Unity and Progress.

I congratulate all APC members nationwide and all Nigerians for witnessing this momentous event. I must remind us about the words of John Philpot Curran who stated, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

As Nigerians, we must guard jealously this new nation that was given birth to on the 28th of March 2015.

To my friends in the PDP, the President needed to lose his reelection in order for this nation to be reborn. It is ironic also that the one person that started and institutionalized the ills in the PDP was the same person that brought the PDP government down – that person is no other than General Olusegun Obasanjo. Now, let the healing begin.

Now that we have lost the election, let us take time off to reflect on what went wrong. I had warned in a publication four years that the PDP was about to implode. As it is, it hasn’t really imploded yet; instead, it has suffered serious hemorrhage. Those of us that have tried to live above board even in the midst of the shenanigans in the PDP have an opportunity now to work assiduously to reposition the party, especially now after the buccaneers have relocated to the APC.

We hope and pray that they will not impede General Buhari’s best intentions. This prayer is essential because as presently constituted the APC is PDPLite. Some of the leading lights of the APC were in PDP up to a day to the APC primary in their states; now, that’s some change!

In the weeks to come, we need to come together cross-fertilizing ideas on how to move forward from here.

People like the real youthful national leader of the PDP, Abdullahi Maibasira, Osita Chidoka of the Aviation Ministry, Sam Amadi of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and a host of other fine individuals in the party ought to lead this conversation.

While keeping our existing coalition, we are encouraged by Jimi Agbaje and Jumoke Akinjide in the South West of Nigeria as we make inroads into the traditional birthplace of progressivism in Nigeria. While acknowledging that we did suffer a shellacking in the North West and the North East, we can recover if we embrace credible leaders from the two regions.

Finally as my brother Tony Ubani, a onetime Director General of the Peoples’ Democratic Institute once said, it is time to reform the rally into a party. It’s also time to discard PDP Power in favor of PDP Justice,

PDP Unity and PDP Progress – symbolizing all three essential words of its motto.

May God continue to bless Nigeriia. 

April 2, 2015,

Abdul Ajia.

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