Yakassai Endorses Dokpesi; Predicts Nigeria’s Return To PDP In 2019
An elder statesman and chairman Northern Elders Council, NEC, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, on Saturday endorsed the election of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi as the chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the forthcoming national convention of the party, billed for 17th August, in Port-Harcourt.
Yakasai disclosed this when Dokpesi led members of his campaign team to his residence in Hadija in Kano state, saying Nigerians will return to PDP in 2019, except malpractices.
Elder Yakassai expressed regrets over what he described as absolute control of political parties in the country by individuals, who claimed to be the leaders of the party.
He said, “It is regrettable that political parties in the country are being 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 is in the hands of 37persons:- 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 recalled how the idea of party leaders came about, saying it is wrong, and praised Dokpesi for vowing to return power to the people if elected. “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 for entrenching zoning and rotational presidency in the constitution, arguing that political problems in Nigeria were 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 him or her my priority.
“You are the first to come, and I am convinced that you are at the right age to lead the party. I am committed to assisting you but I will listen to anyone that comes, 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 engages in malpractices during the poll.