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PDP: Sixteen minus sixty years – by Sunny Okenwa

When you remove 16 from 60 you still have balance of 44. With that calculation in mind, PDP still owe Nigerians some 44 years of 'mauvaise' governance

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was founded in Nigeria post-June 12 national political crisis in the late nineties. 

After the Babangidaized fraudulent transition programme that culminated criminally in the annulment of the June 12 presidential poll (won convincingly by the late Bashorun MKO Abiola) the political class were in complete disarray. 

During the eight giddy years of the failed transition programme politicians of all hue were intermittently banned and unbanned with political parties banned and unbanned in equal measure. 

At different stages of the bloated transition from military to civilian rule Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, in his guileful best element, would play games with politicians indicating that those who would not succeed him were known! 

Then some critics saw through the elaborate political fraud of a transition, one craftily designed with some hidden agenda and destined to fail from the onset  The Minna-born ‘evil genius’ demystified himself and fell from grace as he killed the June 12 dream and Hope 93.

In 1999 following the fortunate sudden demise of the goggled brutal ‘Khalifa’ from Kano retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar had no choice but to organize a short transition to democracy. 

Meanwhile Gen. Babangida and the late Sani Abacha had almost destroyed the military institution rendering same a coup-plotting demoralized force with little or no professional etiquette left. 

So post-Abacha the military was a shadow of its former self with paranoid lazy Generals and other high-ranking officers supplanting politicians as ‘militricians’! 

Fear of the unknown and another coup d’état by junior officers a la Gideon Okar pervaded the air rendering espirit-de-corps almost dead in the barracks.

Faced with an uncertain future the Abubakar-led junta wore its thinking cap and decided that general elections would be organized for Nigerians to choose their leaders peacefully and democratically. 

So they reached out to the former Head of state imprisoned by the late Abacha on trumped-up charges of coup-plotting. 

Olusegun Obasanjo, languishing in Abacha’s gulag for years, was strategically positioned to take over power. 

OBJ, broken physically and broke financially, was subsequently released from prison and ‘coronated’ as president in a sham of an election rigged in PDP’s favour. 

Obasanjo upon his ‘anointing’ went about the presidential task with a dictatorial mindset: vindictive, primitive, haughty, corrupt morally and fiscally.

‘Baba’ sought to dominate the political landscape in an imperial presidency that brooked little or no opposition. 

To his credit however he set up some good anti-corruption agencies charged with the hard task of combating graft in a system bound for decay! 

Though he was accused to have fought his perceived political enemies with the agencies during his time in power they remain today enduring legacies that outlived his regime. 

Now Nigeria could be said to be better economically because our kleptocratic politicians no longer steal our common-wealth with brazen abandon, fearing no consequences.

Obasanjo spent eight eventful years in Aso Rock and when his second tainted mandate was approaching its end he surreptitiously and desperately sought a third term through the back door investing millions of Dollars in the project which was killed in the Senate! 

Beaten in his own game OBJ ceded power reluctantly to the late former Governor of Katsina state Umaru Yar’Adua who died few years later having been suffering from a debilitating terminal ailment described as the Churg-Strauss syndrome. 

Post Yar’Adua Goodluck Jonathan was promoted to the presidency by the so-called “doctrine of necessity” after much opposition from the northern political elements. 

He had to complete the 4-year mandate of the late ex-lecturer and won a rigged election for four more years.

The excruciating defeat suffered by the then ruling party in the presidential election of last year has had a devastating effect on the management of the party as confusion sets in. 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan was wise enough to quit as “national leader” of the party before the implosion inevitably happened. 

Boasting of corrupt strange political bedfellows as members the PDP could be likened to the tower of babel. 

Both the ‘builders’ and destroyers are laying claim to the proprietorship of the ‘edifice’ thus battling it out for the control of the moribund political association.

The PDP post-May 27, 2015, is not only a divided house but one of commotion and confusion. Two factions are battling for control at Wadata Plaza. 

Litigation after litigation, recrimination after recrimination no one is in real charge leaving jesters like Ali Modu Sheriff and his gang to be parading themselves as legitimate  leaders in a national show of shame nay, show of mortal supremacy combat. 

On the other end is found the former Kaduna Governor now Senator Ahmed Makarfi leading his faction and claiming legitimacy too. 

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