Political observers might have thought that the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not survive the political mantle given to him by eight governors and former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, when they walked out of the party's convention ground in Abuja on 31st August, 2013, and held a minuscule convention at the Shehu Yar'Adua Centre and announced officers of PDP.
The impregnable Baraje, who is from Kwara State, emerged the new chairman of the party and has since, been calling the shots in the midst of intimidation and controversy; he has been weathering the political projections against his party, by those his election ousted as leaders of the party.
The National Secretariat, where the Alhaji Baraje PDP operated, was cordoned by security operatives. But that did not deter him in the endorsement of the election of his party's national officers, which was in tandem with members of its National Working Committee, at a meeting in Abuja.
As a man of tranquility, Baraje's PDP does not want to engage the security agents in confrontation, when they were marshaled out to seal the national secretariat in Maitama District, unfalteringly.
His party, however, warns that the security agencies should protect lives and property of the people and eschew being involved in political matters. It has since geared in its democratic efforts to commencing the receiving of people and holding its briefs at the Adamawa State Governors Lodge situated at No. 2, Gurara Street, Maitama, Abuja.
Baraje and his party has vowed not to relent in their pursuit for a party that is built on true and tested democratic ideals, justice, fair play and respect for the rule of law, which have been the yearnings of many Nigerians, who only read the true meaning of the dividends of democracy in the news.
Alhaji Baraje has maintained that he is a social democrat, by remaining unprovoked and undaunted in his chase for a transparent and people-oriented PDP, by respecting the rule of law and the supporters' acclamation.
Even though that the party's attempt in getting its national secretariat re-opened was turned down by a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, Baraje is not dislodging his taxonomy in carrying the party and his teeming supporters along.
Some of Baraje's men have accused the alienated Tukur of using the power of the presidency to hound Baraje and his party with the police, especially as was seen in the seal off of the secretariat. The belief is that the police should not be allowed to be usurped by any one; it should remain as a constitutional organisation, and not a personal organisation.
It is assumed that since this is democracy, the Inspector General of Police, if he was not usurped by anybody or group, ought to have unsealed Baraje-led PDP National Secretariat in Abuja.
Much as accounts have proved, Baraje wants to give the party a new lease of leadership devoid of archaic, high-handed of power, which were said to have characterised Tukur's leadership. And, we can see!
Why Baraje is applauded by majority is because of his leadership vision in commanding the ideals of the founding fathers and mothers of the party in ingraining democratic principles, and not to a select of sect in the party.
While Baraje has remained loyal to the party, there are speculations that there are interest groups in and around the party, who are feeding fat from the crisis in their selfish determination that Baraje does not restore the party to normalcy - in reputation and in decision.
But Baraje continues to burgeon on to rebuild and sustain the party in order to reclaim its self-enjoyed glory as the greatest party in Africa.
Political pundits are of the opinion that the problem in the party is not in the hands of Baraje, but in the hands of those who want Baraje to bite the dust. In-spite-of-this, Baraje has given-his-words to resolve the crisis if those fanning the embers are avoided by those who think that they are gaining and enjoying such people's support.
Nigerians have keenly waited for a change in the PDP, which Baraje today is the representation. It has become obvious that without Baraje in the leadership of the party, PDP would have finished. The party's name is just being heard because a man like Baraje holds the leadership of the party today. This is not noise-making!
Baraje should make sure that all the ethnic peoples of the country are duly represented in the leadership of the party for the avoidance of any person's political grave. He should never feel any iota of frustration that some persons want him to experience.
Baraje deserves the support of all irrespective of party affiliations. Time that the police have haunted him should be over. It is time that Nigerians stopped enjoying irritations of Tukur's archaic leadership and embrace Baraje.
Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje is not one of those who are bent to saying that opposition political parties in Nigeria are no threat to PDP, but one man who believes that opposition makes democracy stronger and should be encouraged.Editor's Note:
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]