Pdp And Its New Sheriff
Integrity, service, goodwill and trust are attributes that can guarantee favorable wind against the sail of every political party. Once afore mentioned attributes are missing, the ship will not only stall, it will be hit by unprecedented tempest towards an expected wreck. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its effort to reposition itself has further sank its fortunes when it announced Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as new helmsman.
The emergence of Sheriff has given some fence-seating PDP members excuse to dump the PDP for the All Progressive Congress (APC). Those truly committed to a rebirth of the PDP are also abandoning ship, carrying their political destiny either to other smaller party platforms or going into permanent retirement from partisan politics.
The gale looms once again for the politically battered opposition party as emergence of the embattled Sheriff heralded cry of indignation as incredulous old and aspiring members were utterly disappointed. Some bewildered people ran quick check on the alleged financial and terror charges hovering around the former Borno state governor and were aghast over what could inform the decision. With a serious burden of image problem, those who mean well for the opposition party knew the party has managed to find itself at the flaking edge of its political career.
As fortunes continue to elude PDP, the ruling APC is smiling to the political bank where the bankruptcy of PDP from the goodwill market is yielding enormous interest for them. If Sheriff is the strategy some PDP members seek to deploy against the ruling party in 2019, then it is a tragedy which only shows that the blundering survival of the party for 16 years was nothing but sheer miracle – not however without empirical collateral damages.
The tragedy of African continent and that indeed refer to the PDP, is what Patrice Lumumba described as “the canonization of criminals and demonization of saints”. The party was obviously created by politicians with narrow interests. They abandoned the party just as they abandoned standards. They anoint fugitives once it serves their interests. Inbetween, the party frolics in maximum impunity, a gorgon that has left it in political oblivion.
Modu Sheriff may not be all what the media, politicians say he is, but part of effort towards re-branding the PDP beguiled by image deficit for 16 years is expected to have a national chairman with national acceptance and less character hemorrhage to lead a rebirth. Once again, it is clear, the gods are still angry with PDP. The period of penance is still upon the former ruling party.
If speculations bandied about is anything to pay attention to, PDP leadership may have scouted for a party chairman among people less interested in “moving the party forward”. It was rumored that Nuhu Ribadu was penciled down for the job, but he fled like a gazelle before a ferocious starving lion. Other consensus candidates either gave excuses or outrightly refused the offer. Be that as it may, Sheriff should not be the one to hold forth for Adamu Mu'azu, the immediate past PDP chairman as the party claim.
The emergence of the 'new Sheriff' has indeed dealt the party a huge blow, as many think it may have lost in efforts aimed at repairing battered image it has managed to have over the years. Many politicians who would have continued with the umbrella wielding party are presently scattered across lesser political platforms on account of the credibility problem in PDP. With this recent gaffe, even aggrieved APC members are beginning to shelve ideas of jumping ship. Now the usual impunity is upon the PDP. Some leaders of the party act without considering popular opinion. The struggle to remain relevant, fragmented interests between those struggling for power and those tenaciously holding on to power at the PDP national leadership has indeed led the party to its fringes again for the umpteenth time.
The alleged 'terror' Sheriff, the unfortunate wrong turns, persistent impunity, leadership dearth, are summary of challenges beguiling Nigeria, which unfortunately the PDP appears to reflect. They have jack-knifed themselves out of the road to political prosperity into what appears like abysmal end of a political party in early retirement. Indeed PDP antecedent should be used as lesson for political scientists as empirical example of “How not to run a Political Party”. It should be the new pol 101 of every political science syllabus across the globe.
I have always hoped to see vibrant opposition against the APC. I have always advocated for strong opposition in the country political stratosphere. I incline myself strongly to Harry Truman's submission that “once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
PDP failed as a ruling party and it is about on its way to fail as an opposition. What is expected of the party is strategic moves towards rebranding. The most credible and purposeful plan for the PDP would have been to take off control from the hands of those who have managed to destroy its image at the center. The party is expected to bring on board a leader with credibility. The next step is for the party to look out for political linkages/affiliates towards possibility of a mega party sometime in 2017. They are also expected to be concerned with possible name change and sellable acronym. But what did they do? They simply carried a dead weight despite the obvious fact they are drowning.
Interestingly, Nigerians have been promised “.change” by the All Progressive Congress (APC) but the too frequent blame-game, buck passing and too similar mistakes of the past leaves so much expectations very elusive. We must not forget that the vibrant opposition APC mounted against the reckless era of the PDP led to the change of leadership witnessed today. Now with a perfectly laid out “imperfection” of the PDP, only a positive twist of fate can help the country with a purposeful opposition that will put a permanent check on activities perpetuated by politicians in the ruling party.
Written by Israel A. Ebije.