Opinion: But when will the PDP eventually fall?

by Simon Christian Chukwu


There is no Nigerian political party without crisis. Though PDP without crisis is like a life without blood. I dare say that the party’s dominance lies in their strength in adversity. There is no political season that they have failed to be in crisis, but do they come out stronger? Yes!

Just at the slightest storm within the largest political party in Nigeria and perhaps in the continent, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, media reports are flooded with all manner of political conjectures and permutations. Especially when it concerns one of the most travelled political sojourner in the Nigeria political landscape – Atiku Abubakar. I read every day about PDP falling. When will PDP eventually fall? In 2006 when Solomon Lar and his gang formed a parallel PDP secretariat, it was said that the death of the party is imminent. In 2007 when Atiku jump shifted to ACN, we heard it. In 2011 again when Atiku failed to clinch the party’s presidential ticket, we heard it; and on so many other occasions. The phrase is currently resonating yet again. But when will PDP eventually fall?

Atiku Abubakar seems to have been involved in many of the “deaths” of PDP – obviously a figment of people’s imaginations. The Adamawa state born political juggernaut could have probably had the presidency on a platter of gold in 2007 had he allowed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to finish his tenure without intruding, he was blown off the scene by the ever crafty Obasanjo. Here we are today with history about to repeat itself, with Atiku still at the fore-front leading a faction of party dissidents trying to truncate the second term bid of a sitting President who had his “palm-kernel cracked for him by benevolent spirits” apologies to late Prof. Chinua Achebe. Moreover, the difference between the Obasanjo experience and this is that, it all happened while Atiku was Obasanjo’s vice-president. Here, he is neither the vice-president nor an executive at the party level but a party chieftain.

PDP is dead, zoning is dead were all phrases invented by Atiku and associates. But the party is still counting down to “60yrs of uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians” at the Federal level. I do not think Atiku Abubakar, Kuwa Baraje and other party dissidents understand the grave implications of asking a sitting President to renounce his second term ambition. I mean the demand of the dissidents as reported by some media houses is perfidious, smacks off crass preposterousness and stinks of megalomaniac mephistopheles. This continuous vocal menstruation and brazen affront on the office of the President from these desperate political juggernauts has got to stop! It must be condemned by all and sundry. If we don’t, history has a way of repeating itself. The challenges of democracy are enormous. It’s always worse without it. It gets better when nurtured by the proponents. This is a threat to democracy. The party’s Constitution and that of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) are very clear on this matter.

Beaming a searchlight into the purported list of lawmakers (particularly the 22 Senators) serendipitously sympathizing with the Atiku/Baraje led faction, I couldn’t help but come to the following conclusions: Apart from Gov. Rotimi Amaechi who’s been a lone striker in the fold for obvious reasons, all the other six governors involved have most of their state representatives in the National Assembly on board. Conjecturally, some in their heart of hearts are in the fold not because they discretely want to, but because their governors are involved. So they surreptitiously aligned to show solidarity.

A further introspection into some of the party dissidents: Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) are all serving their final terms as governors and therefore will not be eligible to recontest elections at their respective state levels. Some of whom have had to endure a state where their party’s structure is set higher than their imaginations by “the people at Abuja” apologies to Gov. Amaechi, within the last couple of months; and are therefore hopping at the slightest opportunity to vent their revenge and frustrations on the party leadership – under Dr. Bamanga Tukur and President Goodluck Jonathan – perceived as not being fair with their dictatorial tendencies.

Rotimi Amaechi is still under suspension and has been swimming from one crisis to another in his state, Wammako just returned from suspension, Aliyu is miffed that the President is not sticking to the gentleman agreement he signed not to contest in 2015, Kwankwaso is frustrated that all his calls for a rescue in Kano fell into deaf ears and so on. So for many, it’s not just about defecting or what have you, they see it as an avenue to get back at the party – even if it means wasting the votes in 2015. On a second thought, their frustrations are quite understandable.

The Constitution clearly gives the freedom to associate and the dissidents are legitimately empowered to form a new party or jump at the available alternatives. Atiku and his fellow journeymen should do the honourable by boarding the PDM train or the awaiting arms of APC – a former vice president, 7 sitting governors, 22 Senators and a mammoth crowd of followership, even with some ex-governors, they have all it takes to challenge in the battlefield. But the amazing thing is that they have refused to decamp from the party but to stay and wreck havoc if the ever functional internal mechanism of conflict management and resolution is not greased.

There is no Nigerian political party without crisis. Though PDP without crisis is like a life without blood. I dare say that the party’s dominance lies in their strength in adversity. There is no political season that they have failed to be in crisis, but do they come out stronger? Yes!

However, the prospect of a dismantled PDP does not portend well for Nigeria and her democratic consolidation. In spite of the idiosyncrasies, the party is the first and only truly national party Nigeria ever had. PDP stands out as the only political party in Nigeria where everybody is a stakeholder and are not subjected to the dictatorial hegemony of any being masquerading as a demigod; giving everybody a sense of belonging.

Atiku and his fellow journeymen should understand that there is no happenstance or coincidence in life, everything simply follow the divine laws of orchestration. Zoning is not dead as he thought. Those who persevere till the end shall inherit the kingdom.


Simon Christian Chukwu tweets from @xtianrooy


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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