The return to democracy in 1999 was welcomed by the greater majority of Nigerians as well as the international community. The Peoples Democratic Party prides itself as a big umbrella that shields the Nigerian populace from rain, sun, and untold hardships. But all do not seem well for the erstwhile ruling party considering the prolonged leadership tussle and centrifugal developments within its fold, especially when Nigerians ousted them out of the federal seat last year.
No doubt, the party needs to clean some mess, but here are 10 reasons why the party supporters should have a re-think on throwing weight behind the green-white-red party.
1. A major setback for the PDP over the years is the substantial loss of those powerful and influential founding fathers to rival political parties. The ugly phenomenon began towards the end of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, whose perceived unnecessary overbearing influence led to an implosion within the then ruling PDP.
The emotional and physical attachment most of PDP founding fathers have for the party seem to have diminished. For instance, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, who served in the National Assembly during the Obasanjo administration called it quits with the PDP.
2. PDP is no longer a national party. The party appears to have suffered a serious deficit in the quantum of real power brokers across majority of the six geopolitical zones in the country. It is only the South-East and the South-South that the PDP apparently can boast of having a relative firm grip, though it has two governors in the South-West , as well as two out of the 19 governors in the northern part of the country. The wound inflicted by the exit of five governors elected on its platform preparatory to the 2015 general election, has not healed.
3. The infamous slogan of the PDP “share the money” did not drop from the thin-air. The Peoples Democratic Party allegedly facilitated massive massive looting, flouting of the law, which are major jabs on the economy.
4. Lack of internal democracy: The PDP has failed to institutionalize internal democracy within the party not to talk of the country as a whole.
5. The PDP has failed to give equal chance to all its members to aspire for any electable offices, with majority of its party congresses and conventions ending up in scandals.
6. Undermining well known democratic practices: The PDP which preaches the rule of law, only abide by court injunctions that favors them and disregard injunctions that does not favor them. The scandal in the Nigerian Governors Forum election that was won by 19 against 16, and the national convention that led to the forming of a parallel leadership of the party, due to disqualifications of certain candidates that are perceived as working against former President Good luck Jonathan instead of allowing members to elect leaders of their choice is an example of the decay in the party.
7. All through the 2015 General Elections, especially from top government officials, the PDP attacked, bad-mouthed, mocked, and made violence-inciting statements on their opponents – which is unhealthy in a true democratic setting.
8. The crave for selfish interests as against the general good of the party, as evident in the recent Ali Modu Sheriff leadership crisis that has resulted in protests, and agitations despite court ruling is cause for a re-think.
9. Corruption allegations against its members in the ongoing arms deal scam, pension, and other cases.
10. As the party has partly changed it slogan from “Power To The People” to “Change the Change”, there is need for a change in Board of Trustees, National Executive Council, and its members.
The Peoples Democratic Party can be likened to a house divided against itself. Its members are the cause of their woes. The house needs to be put in order, and party needs a re-group else the party chieftains will continually take turns to defect to the now-ruling party – which may lead to the torn of the symbolic huge umbrella.