What gives democracy authority and vivacity is the presence of political parties, allowing fierce battle over political representation. Since in a participatory democracy the politician needs the political party more than the political party needs the politician, it would be difficult to imagine a vibrant democracy without competing political parties.
With political parties are the right vessel to introducing effectiveness into democratic institutions, the transmission of popular policy preferences tends to give parties the unique power to shaping how the electorate thinks and feels about individuals campaigning under their banners.
There is no party that has enjoyed the people’s blank check the way Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has. But, the absence of internal democracy, coupled with wholesale personalization of party leadership, has since left the largest party in Africa battered.
The reasons why PDP urgently needs impeccable veteran politicians like Bamanga Tukur to lead it this time around is because without such great leaders stirring the party in the right direction, initiating the long overdue internal overhauling would be extremely difficult. Bamanga Tukur stands out among PDP peers not only as an impeccable national statesman. He stands out given his unmatched global persona. These second-to-none leadership qualities are what make the most preferred potential party redeemer.
A patriarch who not only has fully paid his dues in politics, but also has over the years championed giving a global voice to corporate Africa. What this surely confirms is that with his kind of tested leadership, it is obvious that there’s nothing he should be learning on the job. Cornering him this time of his life, a time of stock-taking, is going to be the greatest turning point for the ‘largest party in Africa.’
If not for anything, be it for the very fact that this is the time the elder statesman is truly in serious search of his place in the history books, and therefore would be waking up each day wanting to use his success at steering the party through its darkest times as the very mirror image of his legacy. It is his resolution of the very barrage of conflicts tiring the party apart that would be the first test of his leadership.
In leading the party, he should be bringing invaluable political capital that comes with incredible courage, tenacity, and hopefulness. And it’s his very gift of connecting with people at all levels and social strata that comes with noblesse oblige as rare patrician quality. Besides, his masterful consensus building has since made him much more needed to lead the rebuilding of his party.
But this enormous task of reinventing the party should also require the recruitment and gifted hands, expected to assist the leader in transforming the party. This is important not only for a party wanting to lead in formulating national policies, but also in ensuring that party policies are acceptable at national, state, and local government levels.
This being the case, the Tukur chairmanship should be expected to have an army of exceptionally talented policy analysts and strategists. It also means that the party’s leader is fully elevated to the admirable position of party chief legislator, and as someone who enjoys total loyalty of party members.