By Madu Onuorah
Ahead of 2023, every eye is fixed on the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as an in-coming government. The thinking is borne out of the glaring fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has grossly failed in all ramifications of governance. And it is not likely that Nigerian voters would hand it over a third chance, having squandered the first and second chances.
PDP, as the only other party with strong national reach and capacity, was being looked upon as a viable option. The opposition party was virtually cruising in the hope that the voters have married two wives and may decide in their favour who is a better home keeper.
Aside the poor performance of APC in the delivery of democracy dividends, it’s also being seen as a weak marriage that on its own will soon breakaway.
But the last option is based on a hypothesis, a supposition that the APC will most likely explode after their figure head, President Mohammadu Buhari, is no longer available as a flag bearer. The opposition is so sure on this that no one is playing devil’s advocate to raise the question, what if they fail to burst and decide to harmonize and repair their partnership in order to retain power. After all, it was under the same companion that they were able to dethrone PDP from office.
But even with APC yet to explode, PDP on their own has decided to help them by disorganizing themselves and conspicuously weakening their chances ahead of the fight.
Four months to its National Convention, the party through one of its State Governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, planted a crisis in the party through his clamour for the sack of the National Working Committee (NWC). Without any concrete reason, he embarked on massive campaign using all means.
And the leaders of the party both old and young watched as this Governor successfully injected bad blood in the once harmonious political family.
As a result, the once peaceful PDP, from nowhere has returned to the Courts again, opening way for series of litigations that nearly marred it in the past. Nothing on ground is suggesting that the party learnt any lesion from their ugly past and ready not to repeat it.
Various interests have now hijacked the party ahead of 2023. The National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and his NWC that have piloted the party affairs nearly four years are being torn apart by ambitious players who fear that they may resist manipulation hence they should be chased away for their choice NWC to emerge.
Ahead of 2023 various interests have set the party ablaze. Former Vice President and 2019 Presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is controlling one force and trying to romance with Governor Wike for his money. The Forum of PDP Governors is struggling to unite among themselves to take both the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidacy, depending on which of the North/South divide that gets the Presidency.
In order to checkmate another powerful bloc, the Forum of Former Governors that are becoming a formidable force in the party, are also planning that the National chairman of the party be handed over to them. Former Governor Olagunsoye Onyinlola of Osun State is being fronted to replace Prince Secondus, by their calculations.
But a far stronger force that wants a free, fair and transparent method to produce its flag bearer for the 2023 elections are insisting Prince Secondus can continue till after the election as he has shown sincerity and commitment. To them, the enemy you know and tested is far better than unknown saints not yet tested.
The Third Force outside Atiku, Wike/Tambuwal are gearing to show face and announce their entry into the race. Atiku and Tambuwal are all chasing the same Wike money and Wike is insisting on Presidency or running mate as the case may be as the only condition for his support.
Even though Wike has been tremendous with his money in supporting the party, his recent flaunting of the money is putting a lot of the members off.
None of those Presidential aspirants believe Wike is a material for running mate but they don’t know how to tell the king that he is ugly without attracting his wrath or losing his deep pocket, meaning that in politics the ugly man with the required resources can still get a good bride.
But the worry for all political watchers is that a party that the nation is looking up to save this country is allowing itself into a needless mess.
Leaders who are experienced enough to handle things even in their advisory body, the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other blocks, have all fallen flat in the face of money wave hovering in the party from the ocean.
The notion now in the political space is that PDP is shortchanging itself ahead of 2023, squandering opportunity that is there for them to grab and return to the centre.
The forthcoming National Convention in October may be the defining moment. Some pundits even believe that a change of guard in the party at this time, the eve of a very crucial general election is needless so as to reduce division within their fold.
If the party continues like this and fails to surrender and walk through the road of reason instead of getting blinded by money ambition, then we can as well sing Nunc dimittis and that would mean a huge set back to our democracy and the nation.