By Abiodun Alade
Elder statesman and former presidential adviser in the Second Republic, Tanko Yakasai, has urged support for the election of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at the forthcoming national convention billed for Port Harcourt.
He said this when Dokpesi led members of his campaign team to his Kano residence.
He said it is regrettable that political parties in the country are controlled by a few individuals who referred to themselves as party leaders, stressing that the idea is strange to the PDP, which was formed for the people.
“Like I said during the national conference, fate of Nigerians are in the hands of 37 persons- the president and 36 governors. The idea of calling someone party leader is strange to PDP. Other parties can have it but for PDP, it is power to the people, ” he said.
He traced how the idea of party leaders came about, saying it is wrong. He praised Dokpesi for vowing to return power to the people.
“Your slogan is power to the people and if power is returned to the people, it is wrong for a few to hijack it. It is anti-democracy. The governors have control over the delegates. The idea of giving power to the people must be supported by all. If some people decided to zone it to South West, you are qualified because you are from there. You were born in Ibadan, so you are qualified. My parents are not from Kano but I was born in Kano and no one will call me a stranger here,” he added.
He advocated entrenching zoning and rotational presidency in the constitution, arguing that political problems in Nigeria are caused by agitation for power at the centre.
“My principle is whoever comes to me first shows that I am important and I always give my priority. You are the first to come and I am convinced that you are at the right age to lead PDP. I am committed to assisting you but I will listen to anyone that come but I will tell them my commitment,” he said.
Lamenting the state of poverty in the country, he said that Nigerians will return PDP to power in 2019, except the government in power engage in malpractices during the poll.