THESE are not the best of times for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Nigeria’s ruling behemoth was so dominantly assured of its hegemonic hold on power, that many of its leaders arrogantly told Nigerians, that they would rule for sixty years. It was ground enough for a party that was everything but a genuine political party, to arrogantly grab hold of power, and do as they wished.
And they did, for sixteen years! They have managed to run Nigeria aground and thoroughly alienated Nigerians to the point that people became completely fed up with the in-your-face arrogance of its denizens, whose power was constructed on a platform of monumental heist and incompetence. They just had to go!
Like the Third Reich, which was expected to last a thousand years, until the Soviet Red Army smashed its way into Berlin and the Nazi chancery, our PDP’s deluded fascination with sixty-year power, crumble in sixteen years, under the firepower of the Nigerian people.
Those who pretended that they led formidable political divisions into battle, ended up bloodied and have resembled more and more, demoralised stragglers in desperate search for straws to cling on to. The PDP is fighting a battle for survival!
In the past week, they have engaged in washing dirty linens in public. It was President Goodluck Jonathan who first reminded the rats jumping off the sinking Titanic, that they would soon return from their flirtatious sorties into the APC, not only humiliated but with “empty stomachs”!
Apparently so little was left in the kitty for the in-coming APC administration, that in a ‘stomach infrastructure’ manner of speaking, there was not likely to be much to ‘eat’, even by the victors. So the decamping PDP chaps are not likely to get a look-in.
Their comeuppance, as they return with tails between legs, to the PDP, would be on “empty stomach”! And it got more serious when the PDP NWC issued a “strong warning” to “ambitious” presidential associates and aides, trying to use their closeness to President Jonathan “to cause crisis in the party and pave way for more defection to other parties” to steer clear.
This followed a call by Ahmed Gulak, a former presidential aide, that National Chairman, Adamu Muazu should take responsibility for the party’s defeat and resign. Gulak said: “…the party chairman was the number one culprit for the dismal outing of the PDP”.
A similar position was articulated by the controversial Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose and that isshared by groups in the South-east and South-south, which seemed to have become the new base of the PDP, as a result of the last election. The NWC will not be stampeded out of position. It issued a statement this week, accusing the Presidential Campaign Organisation (PCO) of responsibility for the party’s misfortune. Olisah Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary, blamed the hate campaign against General Buhari, adopted and executed by the PCO, as being responsible for “the abysmal performance of the party” in the North.
Madam Jonathan, Femi Fani-Kayode and Governor Ayo Fayose, were also named as having made negative contributions that led to the PDP’s loss of power. And to underline how serious the NWC felt, PDP’s National Chairman, Adamu Muazzu, made it clear that he was not ready to be used and dumped by the PDP! The last has not been heard of what is shaping up to be a major feud between contending factions for the battered soul of whatever remains of the PDP.
In truth, the PDP leaders are still shell shocked! They have not come to terms with the bursting of their delusions about their place in the Nigerian power firmament. They have been voted out, but have stayed too long in the comfort zone which access to lucre offered them, that they cannot yet come to terms with the new dawn that has broken over Nigeria. They are suffering early symptoms of withdrawal,and as all junkies know, that is a most painful process indeed! But learn they must. And it took the old soldier in David Mark, the outgoing Senate President, to remind the PDP: “to put the failures of the last elections behind them and build a strong and united party ready to play a credible opposition”. Nothing on ground at the moment, though, indicates that the feuding groups are willing to listen to Mark’s advice. There is still a fight in all those concerned. The habitués of cinema houses in Northern Nigeria, especially in the 1970s, would remember “Dambe Za End”, “Ija the End” at Palace Cinema in Ilorin. We seem poised for something close to that. Someone, some people, must find the heart to knock the PDP stragglers back into some decent political shape before they can hope to begin to resemble anything able to give the ascendant APC a meaningful challenge. The PDP will have to spend some good time in the wilderness, very far away from the sixty-year domination of power that they had been deluded about.