Party members want PDP to change name ahead of 2023 to win elections

Doyin Okupe argues that the PDP stands a chance to win 2023 presidential election if it changes its name.

 Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  (Punch)

According to Punch, the members want the party to change its name to drop what they referred to as its moral burden.

A former Presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe is believed to be one of the brains behind the name change campaign in the party.

In a interview with Punch, the politician urged the opposition party to consider the option if it plans to win the 2023 presidential election.

‘‘You know that the APC controls 21 states while the PDP controls 15 out of the 36 states in the country. The PDP in its present state and form cannot win comfortably the presidential election in 2023.

‘‘To defeat the APC in 2023, I want the PDP leaders to think of changing the name of the party. They must also make the party itself the arrow head of a national movement to oust the present administration. We should not forget that this is exactly what the component factions of the APC did in 2014.

‘‘I think that if we engage the APC, as presently constituted, in a straight political duel, with 21 state governors against 15 combined with the possible reckless use of the power of incumbency, victory becomes a pipe dream.

‘‘It is the residual power of the populace and the electorate when massively mobilised and unleashed that can bring overwhelming victory that will render power of incumbency and superior executive state control irrelevant.

‘‘As far as I’m concerned, the PDP with its socio-political baggage and insurmountable moral burden cannot muster the moral rectitude, political strength and integrity to lead such a mass movement.

‘‘Therefore, a new party, birthed by former ruling party, with new people, younger elements in society and politicians of other tendencies from various existing political parties, including powerful but dissatisfied elements from the ruling party, is the only formation that will effectively neutralise and overrun the incumbent party.’’

Okupe said he has started gathering contacts of the party members to seek their supports for the idea.

‘‘The idea is to use the names and the phone numbers to lobby our members and the party’s leadership to give this a serious consideration ahead of the next party’s mid-week convention in May this year.’’

Reacting to the name change campaign, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the idea saying the party is accepted nationwide.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, wonders if Okupe, who is spearheading the name change campaign has formally returned to the main opposition party.

Before the 2019 general elections, Okupe had defected to the Accord Party.

‘Has Dr Okupe formally returned to the PDP? Let him first answer that question. Then on the issue of name-changing, there is no need for that. This is because the PDP did well in the last general elections.

‘‘We believe that we actually won election in many states and at the federal level.

‘‘As far as we are concerned, there is no need for a change of name. The APC is very damaged now and we must also be careful of elements that are not PDP in both character and mind, coming to sell ideas that are meant to polarise us and cause confusion within us,’’ Ologbondiyan said.

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