The Upper Crust

PDP: Euphoria, perception and reality

With Uche Nnadozie

Since the Supreme Court delivered its judgment over the rightful leadership structure of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, there has been such an euphoric reaction around the country. A lot of the supporters of the once powerful and largest political party in Africa expressed their joy in unmistakable terms. Who wouldn’t? The 14 months long crisis was self inflicted. But as politicians everywhere will do, the gladiators found a way to heap the blame on the ruling party. Of course, their followers perceptively accepted that their troubles were sown from outside. A trouble made in Aso Rock and funded to ensure PDP does not provide “virile” opposition to the chaotic leadership of the governing party.

What surprises me personally is not the usual political propaganda that drives debates in the public space, but it is how longer the PDP will sell this propaganda before they realise Nigerians need real stuff to even look at them, not to talk of consider them for anything meaningful. It is sad that till date, PDP continues to fulfill my analysis of their expiration. Since one branch of the caucus holding them down won at the highest court in the land, they have not made any developmental policy statement. Instead, they continue to harp on where they have zoned the presidency, vice and such positions for the up coming 2019 polls. It doesn’t occur to them that there are today’s issues that require their take. All they are interested in is grabbing power even when it seems obvious that will be a Herculean task.

Lest we forget, PDP’s crisis began during the course of finding new leadership for the party after a disastrous outing in 2015. Some leaders of the party foisted Ali Modu Sheriff on others in a manner that created rancour. Yet the mainstream members and leaders of the party grudgingly accepted. But personal and conflicting ambitions soon turned the party against itself. While the same people who brought Sheriff turned around to reject and fight him, those who stayed on the fence decided to queue behind the former governor of Borno state, who by the time he took over the party’s leadership mantle, had to deal with serious disorganisation at the party secretariat. It was a court process that nullified the acting chairmanship of the then deputy chairman from Rivers State, Uche Secondus. With a court nullified national convention slated for Port Harcourt, many members still went ahead to hold the nullified congress where a caretaker committee was set up in contravention of the party’s statutes.

It was the setting up of the caretaker committee that changed the course of the party and divided it down the line. Although the Supreme court has given a verdict, that itself will lead to more problems within the party. Of course, those that won are primed to take on the Sheriff group. Already the South West caucus of the party is spoiling for war. And it was from there the first crises began 14 months ago. It is with such in mind that I warn again, that PDP is yet to wean itself of the vagaries of loss of power. While APC is suffering from little knowledge of how to use power, PDP is suffering from acute fever of how to survive without power. It is a very dangerous time. I do not have any pity for them since that party and majority of its members have never met to come up with how to solve nation building problems.

Their obsession for the nation’s presidency together with revelations of mind-bugling theft by officials of the last government which PDP produced does not give much hope. It is as if they have no remorse. They have never owned up to all the nerve racking stealing that went on under their nose. They do not want to talk about it beyond making snide remarks or jokes about them. Also, they have not tried to be imaginative about how to make Nigeria productive. They are now the purveyors of “restructuring”. Pretending to sell to the Nigerian people the fallacy that restructuring will solve all our problems. They forget they were in power for 16 years. The same problems confronting Nigeria today were the same in 1999. They may have grown bigger but the problems are the same. But the problem is that PDP never tried to solve those problems. As we can now see from benefit of hindsight, they were busy looting.

The reality for PDP is that their brand is damaged beyond repair. If they think that because Ademola Adeleke won a senatorial by-election in Osun as such has begun to attract sympathy, then they should prepare for a surprise as 2019 draws nearer. The euphoria of Osun West will not let PDP focus. They don’t know that like EKiti election of 2014 forewarned Osun about an impending doom in that year; Osun West has prepared Aregbesola and co not to take anything for granted. So it was for it in the much touted Lagos council poll over the weekend. The results emanating from Lagos shows that in spite of the divisions in APC, PDP just does not count. PDP needs to sit up although I don’t want them to. They need to use the states they govern as centres of excellence for what to expect from them at the centre when they eventually try. Where is their policy document on politics, economy or any other sector? Zilch! Yet they groan all over the place announcing their Pyrrhic victory over themselves?

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