Manifesto of the Peoples Democratic Party (Please, download full version on the link above)
The founding fathers of Independent Nigeria had a vision of establishing a great African nation that would be the pride of the black man in Africa and the diaspora. It was to be a nation that would earn not only the respect but also the admiration and envy of the international community in every field of human endeavour.
2. These leaders were great pragmatic men and women from varying ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. As they grew to know one another more and more they also came to appreciate the enormous difficulties of uniting some 250 ethnic groups.
3. Therefore, with the encouragement of the British colonial overlords they fashioned a federal constitutional arrangement, which while preserving the corporate existence of Nigeria, took account of the divergent interests of the various federating units and peoples to have full control of those matters that touched them most and which were best attended to at the local levels. On national issues they accepted compromise, dialogue and the spirit of give and take as the best way to resolve such issues.
Ardent lovers of Nigeria though they were, the years immediately following independence in 1960 nonetheless saw political dissension, bitter intra and inter party strife and ethnic conflicts.
In time, all these gave excuse for the military to break out of their traditional mould to make the unfortunate and ill-advised incursion into direct governance by staging a coup that overthrew civilian government on 15 January, 1966. Since Nigeria has had no respite and has staggered from one crisis to another.
4. Military incursion into governance progressively brought out the worst weaknesses in our people and in the military itself. The morals and conduct of our people collapsed to abysmal levels and rampant corruption in all Its forms became the norm while integrity became a subject of derision. The spirit of fair play whether in official dealings or in interpersonal relations was destroyed. The basic African decency of reciprocal regards between the old and young, good neighbourliness between hitherto tolerant communities were blighted by officially sponsored propaganda and media blitz.
5. Consequently, Nigeria is not only highly unstable but also experiencing a serious decline in public morality. This decline in political morality and integrity in public office has eroded the commitment of political leaders to the country and destroyed the faith of common people in any form of political leadership. A politician no matter his quality or length of service cannot win an election today without heavy monetary inducement. The double tragedy of lack of commitment to the country and lack of faith in the leadership has made Nigeria a country from which almost everyone is prepared to take, and few are prepared to give.
The Party shall in the selection of candidates for public office and in appeal to the public emphasize ability, commitment to the common man’s welfare and accountability in the conduct of future politics. A new type of leadership must develop. It must be forward looking and it must be inspiring and possessing a sense of mission. In essence, the country must learn once more to choose the honest and not the dishonest, the disciplined and not the erratic, the selfless and not the selfish. These choices are not negotiable. We are committed to fight, by all means necessary, the twin evils of mismanagement and corruption in our national life to restore public morality. We shall urgently restore public law and order, justice and equity and encourage the spirit of reconciliation in both temporal and spiritual matters.
Great leadership inspires respect. Inspiring leadership ensures acceptance by the fellowship, a caring leadership can positively influence social reorientation within the nation. And we will provide that leadership.
6. It is now indisputable that the people of Nigeria are united in their desire to be governed only by their democratically elected representatives. The party believes that only urgent restoration of participatory democracy, social justice and good governance by a government formed by a strong responsive political party led by patriotic men and women of the highest integrity and outstanding ability and knowledge can save Nigeria from the disaster into which it had been plunged.
7. The leadership of the civil population recalls the hopes and aspirations of the founding fathers and resolve to put aside their differences and work together within one strong political party to fulfill the yearnings of the people for the restoration of democracy and the establishment of good governance.
The Party would avoid mistakes of the past, namely, politics of winner’s takes all losers loses all, politics of exclusion, and cash and carry politics. All theses must be replaced by a new approach and a new outlook to national politicking. No Nigerian group will be excluded from power and public office. We will strive to reconcile all the forces alienated by recent political events and try to heal divisions and destruction of our harmony caused by the ruthless competition for power in the recent past.
The Party shall strive through dialogue to ensure the entrenchment of true justice for all in our body polity and for the emergence of a credible leadership that will give purpose and direction to Nigeria.
8. To achieve this purpose the leadership and followership of like minded associations and groups have agreed to fuse into one formidable, national, broad-based, people-oriented and principled political party with the widest grassroot support , to work for the restoration of democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
9. Accordingly, leaders and members of these associations and groups held a well-attended meeting at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja on Wednesday 19th August, 1998 and passed the resolution below to give effect to their agreement.