Published on Aug 05, 2018 Yusuf Ozi-Usman
From the way things are going fast in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it would be a miracle if it doesn’t go asunder after its forthcoming national convention during which time a flag bearer will be elected or otherwise, as Presidential candidate for the 2019 elections in the country.
The party, which has now developed fast into top-heavy structure with influx of sure-footed, self acclaimed political accomplishers, political caterpillars and juggernauts, is not likely to survive, as each of the new entrants, known as defectors, has only one thing in their individual minds: Presidency.
Except Atiku Abubakar who has so far come out with defined direction as to what he would do if elected, almost all the aspirants have joined the race simply for the purpose of grabbing power, may be before they decide what to do with it later. In fairness, Atiku has been well-known to be an advocate of structural adjustment in the polity and lately, he was talking of allocating 21 percent of the federal budget to educational sector, among others.
Even at that, he and his handlers have sounded a note of warning, more than once, that if he doesn’t get the party’s ticket, in their word: “it will be disastrous for the PDP.”
This is the same threatening word, veiled as it looked, that other aspirants have been uttering, even with Senator Ahmed Makarfi already complaining that those coming into the party newly, in form of defection, should not be rated over and above those that have gone through some stress to build it.
Or is it the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, whose main purpose of defecting to the PDP is to struggle to be made the Presidential flag bearer of the party, ditto the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal as well as others.
It is even strange to political analysts and observers to be confronted with the reality that most of the aspirants are those who first moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, ahead of the 2015 general elections, with some of them, like Atiku, describing PDP is irredeemable.
Even though some of the returnees (to the PDP) also did so, mainly because of the confrontation they had with either their governors or the party executives in the states, the point remains that they are being driven by blind ambition, prodded of course, by the political hangers-on, who benefit abundantly from the tomfooleries of the political money-bags.
As a matter of course, it would be interesting to see someone like Atiku throwing his support behind Saraki if eventually Saraki clinches the ticket of the PDP or vice versa, even as Sule Lamido was reported to have already sounded a warning that there is no way Atiku would be entrusted with the ticket of the party. And with the recent scatting remarks by the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo against Atiku, there seemed to be too many fights he (Atiku) needs to put up with on his way to getting the PDP ticket, not to talk of 2019.
There is this fact that even before they go to the delegate to elect who should fly the flag of the party in the 2019 elections, most of them have already concluded that it is either they (as in individual) or the party is torn into shred.
Of course, the recent tiny voice, from Sule Lamido that others will support whoever eventually emerges was nothing but a comforting word that is most likely be swept away by the tide of the campaign and the emotions it would raise.
Of course, all said, what the aspirants ought to be harping on now to convince the delegate to elect them, if it were to be in a civilized democracy, is what they intend to do with power when they get it: how they want to change the socio-political and security narratives and method of achieving the feat. They are supposed to be sources of enriching the debate on how things can be done differently from what for instance; the APC government has been doing, to achieve quick and greater results.
But they are so obsessed with seeking for power that what they know is, it is either them or no one else, and worse still, giving a frightening signs that losing the election to be the candidate will result in disintegrating the largest political party on the continent of Africa.
My prayer, as an observer, truly, is that PDP remains intact to provide solid opposition in the contest for power in 2019 and beyond.
I pray that God will answer the prayer.
Sep 03, 2015