By Emameh Gabriel
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is running the risk of becoming irrelevant. I can say without doubt that this is the worse type of opposition I have witnessed in my entire life learning the art of politics. Yes it is.
In every democratic society, an effective opposition works not just for the party playing the opposition but in the best interest of everybody, including the Government in power. Sadly, the current reality in the country today has shown that the opposition parties have left Nigeria in deep trouble. Opposition that only exists in paper backs, doesn’t exist.
Like others, the PDP has found itself unable to reorganise and offer a viable alternative to the government in place.
The party has obviously become an opposition that doesn’t think for itself or the millions of voices it represents today.
The PDP had barely tasted six years as an opposition party after holding sway in nineteen years, it has already proven to be ill equiped to play a viable opposition or serve as alternative like the APC did till 2015, with Lai Muhammed as thorn on its skin for three solid years while serving as spokesperson for the then opposition party.
The party appears to have dozed off and left its core responsibility to the Nigerian citizens.
It wouldn’t be out of place for anyone to hold the view that the PDP in its current state can put up a good contest against the ruling party in 2023. I find it difficult to envisage how this would work out when there are clear indications that before 2023, the party might just be left a carcass, if it continues with its present abysmal outing.
A situation where people get to know that an opposition party exits only when ordinary Nigerians on the street raise their voices against a particular government policy or something that affect their daily lives, is worse than sad.
Many had thought that by now with the current situation in the country, any serious opposition would have formed a shadow government, providing alternative policies to some of the areas the current administration appears to have failed in.
Sadly, this is not so. Instead, the party has become a press statement cult, dishing out one boring statement after another anytime there is public outcry over punitive government’s policies or decision. Boring and empty ones that do not prick even a tiny space on the skin of the ruling party.
2023 is around the corner, while the ruling party, despite its internal cracks, has successfully carried out membership registration and re-validation exercise, the PDP is currently occupied with leadership tussle laced with inanities. They are letting their best go.
We have seen how Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State dumped the party few months ago with his followers. Governor Makinde is threatening to leave, same thing as Governor Ayade of Cross River. Matawalle is gone, though not official yet. Senator Elisha Abbo, the slapping Adamawa lawbreaker and other lawmakers in the National Assembly have also left the PDP.
With the rumour that others are planning to jump ship, obviously, it will be a tall dream for anyone to believe that the PDP will get its groove back anytime soon.
Even as bad as the situation in the country appear to Nigerians today, it will take decades to turn the table with the kind of kindergarten opposition being marshalled today by Uche Secondus. With Wike also calling the shots from the other side in the sideline, the little current left in the party will continue to fluctuate, perhaps dies out someday soon.
Secondus has been silenced. His stewardship stinks. He has been enmeshed in financial scandals. He cannot give account of money paid to the party’s account for the sale of nominations forms and other levies accrued under his watch. There is ongoing speculation that the Eagle’s eyes are on him- Bawa watches.
A source recently whispered to me that some candidates paid for their nomination forms for the last general elections to private accounts.
While Secondus is still battling to reconcile financial documents on allegations of misappropriation, The Emperor in Port Harcourt is threatening every voice of descent in the party. He owns the party. Even former President Goodluck Jonathan has been forced to take the backseat.
Wike wants the entire party structure to himself. No one challenges him. He is the lord and master of all. He is the king and kingmaker; the king in South leading the party to Gogoltha.
Gabriel, a journalist and public affairs commentator, contributed this piece from Abuja.