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‘Kaduna Must Avoid Imposition Of Candidates, Present Popular Flag Bearers Through Direct Primaries’ – Caesar Dogara

The Oasis Reporters

November 11, 2021

Caesar Uyem Dogara

Caesar Uyem Dogara, a political activist, youth leader, advocate for quality governance and sustainable democracy dividends bares his mind on topical national issues in a chat with Emmanuel Onotevure in Kaduna.


There have been intense calls for properly conducted Direct Primaries by the political leaders of the various parties. As a youth with promising leadership potentials, how do you think the introduction of Direct Primaries will impact on the political space?

For me, I totally approve of direct primaries. Although it could sometimes be rough if not properly conducted, but we can’t deny the fact that it is a more democratic way of nomination anywhere in the world. First and foremost, it allows fairness and inclusiveness in the sense that anyone can have his way to the ballot as far as he or she has shown interest and met all requirements. No one needs to be intimidated by money bags and all legitimate party members should have a say on who becomes the candidate of the party at all levels. That’s the position.

The recent emergence of Mohammed Kadade Sulaiman as National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, has been viewed as a turning point for Nigerian youths engaged in politics.
As a youth that is actively involved in politics, give us your views and what does this portend for the political calculations of the PDP, come 2023?

The emergence of my friend Mohammed Kadade Suleiman came at the right time. At a time that our nation seems to be failing in so many aspects, be it socially, politically or economically. Therefore there’s the need for a turning point. There’s no doubt that the progress of any nation rests on the shoulders of the overwhelming population of the youth and what they have to offer and also, the quality of leadership the nation possesses.

As far as 2023 is concerned, I believe the PDP is on the right track towards reclaiming power, especially with the inclusion of more youth and women as well.

Politicking has commenced ahead of the general elections for 2023 in Nigeria and Kaduna State is no exception. Viewing the preparations, how prepared is the PDP in returning back to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Seat of Government through its fielding a quality candidate against whoever it’s major contender, the APC? This is due to the fact that the PDP is seen as having some dissenters.

The Kaduna State Chapter of the PDP will only return to power when the leaders decide to upgrade their runs. I hope we return but we lost an opportunity in 2019 because we had an unpopular candidate. Some may say that we pulled out a good number of votes and so on… but in reality, the people of Kaduna State voted for the party because its PDP. If only we had a populist candidate under the platform, then we could’ve done more.

Nevertheless, we now have another opportunity, but my fear is that some key stakeholders are still clamouring for the same 2019 ticket to be repeated in 2023. You see, now is when the issue of direct primaries comes again… card carrying members should nominate their candidates, only then shall we know who is the most popular of them. The decision of a few thousand delegates isn’t the choice of millions of PDP faithful and supporters in Kaduna state.

Ques: As someone concerned about the well-being of his political party, the PDP, what is your assessment of the current Exco of the PDP in your state and also, the outgoing National Executive? Do you think the incoming Exco will be capable of providing the needed drive to reposition the PDP ahead of the general elections?

The incoming NWC of our party is shown to have the capacity to reposition the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections. Most importantly, correcting the wrongs of the outgoing National Working Committee. With regards my home state of Kaduna, the SWC may have done so much damage that would reflect negatively in the 2023 gubernatorial elections -but I believe that there’s been series of reconciliations and realignments amongst all major stakeholders to work hand in hand for the victory of our party.

Ques: It is alleged in some quarters that the former National Caretaker Committee chairman is responsible for the division in the party here at the state level that resulted in the loss of the party at the last governorship elections in 2019 wherein, a weak candidate was reportedly pushed forward. Do we see that reoccurring in 2023? What is your advice to the party, especially the elders?

The former Caretaker Committee Chairman who is also a former two term Governor is a critical stakeholder in our party, both here in Kaduna and nationally, so I don’t think he is deliberately weakening the party. Mind you, he saved the party at its worst point of collapse after 2015 with the whole Senator Ali Modu Sheriff saga… However, imposition which could be seen as injustice to others within the party might have caused the so called divide which is dangerous to the success of the party in Kaduna. Therefore, my advice remains that we all unite for the success of PDP knowing well that no one person or group is bigger than the party.

Ques:::: Finally, how prepared are the youths to play their collective and individual roles in effective participation in politics and governance in this country?

Well, some of us have been in talks on how to mobilize ahead of 2023. We need to get more youth on our side, and women too – ahead of all forthcoming elections. Alongside likeminds, we are so deliberate on uncovering new species of youthful minds to push this country forward from where the old folks seem to be tired. I can say with all sense of responsibility that the young people are woken up and indeed, putting our country back on the map for all the good reasons.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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