Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak is the Special Adviser to President Goddluck Jonathan on Political Affairs and a key member of the administration, preparing for the hectic campaign programmes that will herald the general elections of 2015.
In this interview with reporters, Alhaji Gulak responded to issues ranging from defections plaguing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to preparations for the National Conference and criticism of his style of defending Jonathan’s administration
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suffered series of defections in recent times and the trend has not abated, doesn’t this worry the leadership of the party as 2015 elections approach ?
Well, I don’t think it will affect the fortunes of the party adversely in the 2015 elections. The PDP remains the party to beat in 2015 because we have solid structures across the country. We have the wealth of experience, organisational ability, human resources to weather the storm. We also have the national spread and better knowledge of the country. I can tell you that what we are witnessing now is not new to PDP.
We have always seen this trend of defections during election years. I can tell you that the members defecting are those whose souls have since left the party. They do not have the best interest of the party at heart. Their defections are good omen because they have been the architects of the internal crisis within the party. Their presence and activities have been a source of distraction to the party.
So, their exit gives us the opportunity to know those who are sincere with PDP and those who are sitting on the fence. Their exit will enable us to direct energy and focus into strategic and operational areas and issues.
It may interest you to know that there have also been people moving into PDP. When we have five persons leaving and 200 others coming into the party, who gains? I think it is still the PDP.
We are better than the opposition in terms of funding and organisational structure, our mobilisation abilities and strategies have been tested and we are solidly on ground. We are not making noise to justify eventual failure.
We have seen the crisis bedevilling the main opposition party; they are already having crisis even before putting their caretaker committees in place not to talk of conducting congresses to select executive officers of their parties at all levels.
But that is not our headache, the PDP is not resting on its oars. We are working hard and round the clock to see that this crisis is resolved and people are reconciled. We are working to ensure that our leaders are reconciled and others who are participants in the party are given the free political space to actualise their goals and vision within the party.
The PDP is the only party that has the requisite experience and ability to govern the country. It is the only political party that has what it takes to move this country forward. The other parties are regional in character and parochial in their orientation, yet they want to gain power at the centre through the backdoor. Very soon, Nigerians will discover that these opposition parties are hollow in terms of their vision and programme for Nigeria.