The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria, once a formidable political juggernaut that commanded the nation’s political scene for 16 unbroken years, now faces a precipitous decline. The party’s glory days saw a majority of State Governors, members of the National Assembly, and State assemblies being elected under its banner. Yet, recent events suggest that the party’s fortunes have dwindled, and its influence has waned alarmingly.
PDP’s decline was not precipitated by external forces alone. One could argue that the party’s internal dynamics, characterized by the antics of a few self-serving individuals, have been its undoing. Chief among them is Wike, a man whose rise from obscurity to prominence was facilitated by the PDP. Sadly, instead of demonstrating loyalty and dedication to the party, he has reportedly engaged in kleptocratic practices, putting his interests above the party’s.
The last presidential elections presented a prime opportunity for the PDP to regain its lost prestige. However, the infighting, spearheaded by figures like Wike, derailed its chances. After such a setback, one would expect the party to introspect, regroup, and forge a united front. Instead, the PDP seems to have further imploded, with its reins handed to a seemingly ineffectual leadership under Umar Damagun.
The symptoms of PDP’s malaise are evident. For instance, Wike’s audacious proclamation on national television that “nobody can suspend me” from the party is both alarming and revealing. It underscores the level of impunity that now permeates the party’s ranks. Even more disconcerting is the revelation that some PDP leaders, including its Acting Chairman, remain in Wike’s orbit, presumably drawn by the monetary benefits he offers.
It’s a tragic commentary on the PDP’s current state that money, rather than ideals, seems to be its driving force. This reduction of a once-proud political institution into a mercantile entity has left many long-time members anguished, frustrated, and disgusted.
The PDP, once hailed as Africa’s preeminent political party, now risks fading into irrelevance. It’s a fate that would not only be tragic for the party’s loyalists but also for Nigeria’s vibrant democracy. For the sake of its legacy and Nigeria’s democratic fabric, concerned PDP members, stakeholders, and leadership must rally together, cleanse the party of its corrupt influences, and restore its lost dignity. It is high time disciplinary action is taken against figures like Wike, and the party is returned to its rightful place as a beacon of hope and democratic values.
Baba Ali Kellu.