By Abdulwasi’i Ilyas
Not only as the wheel of fortune of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) spun out of its pivot, it is reeling recklessly in space and with no chance of at least a safe landing in sight. Dazzled by the intense light of defeat, the party is still battling to find its feet.
This situation is precipitated by factors that extends back into the past and those of the current happenings in the party, some of which are enumerated hereunder.
A core ideology and guiding principles that are either fuzzy or non-existent.
As they set out to wage wars against the many monstrosities bedeviling our sensibility and our rights to a decent national existence, our political partings brandish several sophisticated weapons. Ranging from bogus promises, honeycoated speeches, to brazen hypnotizing of our expectant minds.
One preeminent item that often always elude them; which is the foundation upon which all things meaningful are built; is a core ideology. At all times, this stands for the guiding star and a rallying point. A source of inspiration and direction when things go haywire.
The slogan of the PDP; Power to the people, for all intents and purposes, failed to serve the party in this regard. As soon as Nigerians forced the party to relinquish all claims to power at the center at the polls, their center ceased to hold. The PDP has since then become a shadow of its former self. A stark indication that the party can only function in full capacity when oiled by its grip on power.
This is underscored by the party’s witlessness of the existence of the problem. Nobody but one seemed to be calling attention to it. His cry is suffering a smother from the braying cacophony of the many. He was even belied by a party member. An indication of insensitivity and disregard to natural laws. Unwholesome behaviours the PDP has been accused of since its days at the Power edifice. He’s the former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel. “What is required is rebranding and fine-tuning of our ideological underpinning, refocusing and getting serious” he said.
Gross Disregard for the Voices of the Electorate.
As the major recipient of whatever offering the PDP is flaunting, the voice of the citizen (who in a democracy determine the outcome of elections) ought to be held on a pedestal in the setting of programmes for the party. That is hardly the case. Worse still is the temerity with which they flout their own laws. In the words of one of them; Former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu, “the culture of impunity, disdain for democratic norms and utter disregard for the constitution of the PDP” still carries the day.
Ibrahim Mantu and the vast majority of “PDPers” agreed that their high-handedness towards the views of citizens was a contributing factor to their ouster at the polls. As they brag about their new found ability to wrest power back from the ruling APC, they secretly fear that they have not been successfully weaned from the ‘nipple’ of this monstrosity. What ability are we talking about here? The ability to muster an appeal in the face of the ruling party’s dimming light of fortune.
That is not an ability that is likely to accrue relevance to a party nursing the ambition of regaining it’s lost allure. Voters might been disenchanted by APC’s sluggishness in responding to national challenges, but not many of them think the PDP is a worthy alternative save same South-south and south-east voters who overwhelmingly rejected the APC at the polls earlier.
Backlash of Their Sundry Past Sins.
The testimonies given by some and the action taken by others towards the return of looted funds is enough evidence of gross mismanagement of the nation when The PDP held sway at the center.
The umbrella brand comes across to many as an insignia of impunity, highhandedness and incompetence. Ibrahim Mantu tendered an apology on behalf of the party in an interview, pledging penitence, while Gbenga Daniels spoke of the need for rebranding. I fear they might need more than that to reclaim their badly battered party image.
The Absence of a Leadership Transition Plan.
The presence of a transition plan ensures that an organization or party is prepared beforehand and not left dazzled in the eventuality of a leadership interlude which can pop up without any prior notice.
Before a leadership role is vacant, potential eligible replacements are penned from the lists of long-standing executives who have stayed in the party long enough to understand the building blocks of the party structure.
This fundamental principle that even a small business or non-profit should be cognizant of has eluded the so-called largest party in Africa. largeness shouldn’t only be measured in number but also in firmness of roots.
Famous party members who were blown out of office by the tornado of the 2015 elections either went into oblivion or were being hounded by anti-graft agencies (like the EFCC). They were gasping for breath, only those in power had any virility. Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayo Fayose routed for a Modu sheriff who just joined the party in less than two years and handed him the leadership mantle.
That was an errant move the party is yet to recover from and a lesson that principles and values trump monetary leverage in enthroning a leadership.
To prove the allegation of the APC that the Goodluck Jonathan Administration muddled up state funds with those of the party in running its affairs, the loss of power meant no funds for effective party piloting. Sheriff would use his financial clout to keep the party afloat for a while and so, why wouldn’t he, in the current circumstances feel entitled to a share of the party that featured prominently in his personal account statements.
As understood by some discerning members, the party is not ready to learn from its past mistakes. It is worth stating here that most of the past electoral triumphs of the PDP came in the face of rampant illiteracy bedeviling the citizenry. A vast majority of citizens cannot tell a weak and unworthy party from a strong and competent one.
Badly enough for our polity, I can authoritatively glean from current events in our political space-and most Nigerians will agree with me-that none of our major political parties, including the ruling party can be exonerated from these malaises.
In the glaring reality of harsh national conditions, I hope Nigerians are learning a lesson in political discernment and are doing so fast. Do you have any reason in addition to these four as to why the PDP is struggling, Please be kind to share them with us in the comment box below.