Nigerian politics for the first decade of 21st century is the story of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). It is the story of rigged elections, massive corruption, decline of Nigeria’s resources and influence, degradation of infrastructure, decline of educational institutions and a lot more. Rigged election brought forth situations where some state governing apparatus: governorship, legislature, all local government councillors, federal
delegations are all members of the same party. This is the story for about 80% of the states in the country.
At Abuja there is not much difference: the House, Senate and Presidency are all members of the ubiquitous PDP.
Such accumulation of power invariably leads to overreaching and that is why PDP is ready to be had assuming that any one is paying attention. The most visible evidence of this over reaching is the PDP constitution that calls for the rotation of the presidency contrary to the Nigerian constitution. Because of PDP footprints on the nation, many Nigerians now seem to believe that rotation is from and of the constitution.
It is not so.
It is perhaps this carelessness in PDP constitution that would bring it down. Empires, nations, big organizations are most usually brought down by internal strains rather the conquest by external forces. The party is now bedevilled by in fight over the selection of the next president. There is a south north divide and the vultures are gathering around the potential carcasses from this in fighting. The north claims that under this arrangement it has the right to anoint the next president to complete their “turn.” The post is currently held by a southern gentleman who thinks that he has not had a chance at the helm for a full term. This north/south chasm is just one fracture
Another fracture/s has developed in the states where state PDP’ are fighting for dominance often along the same rotation for the governors post. There are 3 warring wings in Enugu state, as an example. Also in states are alliances that support the north view point and those opposed to rotation within the PDP. Thus in South East States some have endorsed the incumbent president and others one of his many rivals. The same condition exists in almost all of the other zones including the north and west.
The looming war could be bloody.
PDP’s problems are not only internal there is also public dissatisfaction with its delivery of services; dissatisfaction with its swagger; dissatisfaction with its ability to provide security in large sectors of the nation, dissatisfaction with its management of the economy and above all dissatisfaction with its “I don’t care attitude” in the affairs of the nation and her citizens.
PDP actually seems to be unaware that it is in trouble and that should be good news.
The bad news is that the other parties are also not aware that the behemoth is in serious trouble. Or not acting as if they know. This could be because PDP has cast a huge spell on the psychic of Nigerians. Nigerians have probably accepted the party and the nation as the same just as the Soviets accepted the communists as the same as the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). I hope that this is not the case in Nigeria.
For if this is not the case Nigeria can be saved.
One of the ways to save Nigeria is for the other political parties to form strategic alliances to oppose the national PDP pretty much like was the case in the first republic when we had Action Group (AG) in the West, National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) in the East and Nigerian People Congress (NPC) in the North. The basic structure for this is already in place with Action Congress (AC) replacing AG in the west; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the East and All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) in the North. The Labour Party (LP) could merge with APGA or AC. If these parties could consolidate in their zones they would collectively eat PDP’s lunch. PDP could still win parts of each zone but not enough to keep its swagger. It is then that the presidential authority could be checked and the balance of power would be restored.
The president and the governors would then fear impeachment as a credible punishment.
Without the parties adopting a regional strategy PDP would still be as strong as or stronger than it is. The other parties do not have the resources to challenge PDP nationally and PDP cannot wage a zone based war with strong zonal parties.
If PDP comes out of the 2011 election with control of 28 state governments, 80% of the Federal House and 80% of the Senate as is currently the case, then, it would be time to start the requiem mass for Nigeria.
It is a condition devoutly not to be wished.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
October 31, 2010