7th July, 2012
Nigeria’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Plateau has commenced a programme of encouraging youths who have attained 18 years to join the party.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Dr Haruna Dabin, said that the aim of the recruitment drive was to catch them young and groom them for leadership positions.
He spoke in Jos adding the intention was to bequeath the state and country with a culture of democracy.
Dabin said that changing political parties at will for the purpose of contesting elections was not democratic but opportunistic and should be discouraged.
According to Dabin, recruiting youths into the party will also stem the tide of politicians changing political parties at will to seek platforms on which to contest elections.
The chairman said that the party’s drive was in consonance with the Plateau governor’s stance on members who left the party.
The governor had advised those who left the PDP for other political parties to remain there and make their input into his governance of the state rather than seeking to return to the PDP.
Dabin said that the governor’s stance was in agreement with the party which now emphasised recruitment of youths as against accepting returnees.
“There is no conflict between what the governor said and what we raised in the communiqué’.
“We want to build a political party that is properly worth its salt, a political party is not primarily an electoral platform, otherwise, how will it have a manifesto.
“If you were a member of PDP and you opt out of PDP to go and contest elections in another political party, then you are presenting a different manifesto to the electorate.
“So, what the governor is saying is very simple, rather than have people who think simply that parties are electoral platforms, let us have party members that believe in the cause of the party.
“To that extent the constitution provides that you draw membership from youths of 18 when they become eligible voters.
“And there are very many Nigerians, who have turned 18 who are looking for a party to join; we are saying that the party of choice is the PDP.
“They should come in and contribute as good party members to the growth of the party and as time goes on, the leadership of the party will see you as a very capable person to present you to contest election.
“You cannot build a party on people who only come into the party to contest elections, that is not democracy.
“You have to grow with the party, every democracy in the world that has sustained its democracy are parties where people grow through the rank,” Dabin stated.