Stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, including President Goodluck Jonathan. Via National Mirror
Each time an election year approaches, political activities rise to frenetic levels. Many politicians who, hitherto had been indolent or probably busy pilfering from the public till, suddenly become hyperactive, strategising how to perpetuate themselves in office or how to install their stooges in high places.
Last Saturday, the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party came full circle. At its mini-convention to elect or was is it to select (as one faction alleged) some of its national officers, the party witnessed the most intense explosion of internal wrangling as a group of its top members walked-out of the convention venue and announced the formation of a parallel party called “the new PDP”. The factional PDP has former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, governors Sule Lamido, Rotimi Amaechi, Murtala Nyako, Muazu Babanginda Aliyu, Aliyu Wammakko and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as its arrowheads.
These partymen were said to have expressed disappointment at the way Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman of the PDP, and the Presidency have been running the affairs of the political party ahead of the 2015 elections.
The PDP has always functioned like a conglomeration of strange bedfellows. Internal democracy for most parts of its formation since 1998 has been alien to it. There have been accusations and counter-accusations of hijacking of its machinery followed by numerous cases, some in court, of mistreatment of members by the more powerful members.
This is not what worries Nigerians. If the party implodes, as the current sign indicates,the majority of Nigerians will be happy. Since ascending the Presidency in 1999, the PDP has, in the views of many people, drawn the country backwards or at best, put the nation on a motion-in-stasis; without a manifesto there is little doubt that the party could have taken the country to greater heights anyway. Economic growth has been phenomenally stunted, education dropped to its lowest ebb, standard of living has fallen for the ordinary Nigerian, gangsterism has taken over as sanity is receding to the hems of the nation’s morality indices.
Nigerians are really sad that the PDP-led Federal Government in the last 14 years has left the nation more pauperized economically than even the worst despotic junta that ever ruled this nation. The message from Nigerians is clear: The PDP has failed.
By the recent crisis that culminated in the show of shame at the Eagle Square, Abuja, last Saturday, the PDP has elevated the angst that Nigerians harbour towards it to a higher level. Daily, the masses are bombarded with news of purported in-fighting by the same people who have dragged the nation to the edge, while leaving Nigerians to suffer. The more press keeps splashing news of wrangling in the PDP, the more our countrymen resign to fate.
Now that the bickering has taken this shape, Nigerians are afraid of what to expect next. It is usually at times like this that cases of assassinations, hooliganism, and intense bribery become high. We have seen this all in the past. The case of Chief Bola Ige, the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, is still fresh in our memory. We can’t forget the circumstances under which chiefs Marshal Harry and A.K. Dikibo were killed. There are yet many more instances to buttress the loss of lives that a PDP crisis can precipitate or what to expect during an election year or at the cusp of the tenure of an incumbent.
True, since the crisis in Rivers State which President Goodluck Jonathan is fingered to be feuding with Governor Rotimi Amaech began, the political temperature has risen to a frightening dimension. Now, this is manifesting at the national level. Tension is accelerating, events are moving fast, yet Nigerians remain worse off.
It is time Nigerians came together and formed a truly masses-centred party, not this contraption offered the people by the military. Nigerians should rise and face the future frontally. It appears the ruling party at the centre has had a field day ripping all of us off. This is the time for positive mass action.
This editorial was originally published by P.M. News.