The stories that filtered out of the PDP mini convention at the Eagle Square last week was kind of cheap and sad but very much welcome; it’s about time.
Those of us who are political observers knew, that the conflict and resultant factionalization of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is inevitable.
The emergence of factions — in the words of James Madison are groups of citizens “who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community” — had been the “mortal disease … from which popular governments everywhere have perished.”
Nigeria’s dominant party is only facing its own mortality, we should let it rest in pieces.
Its imminent demise should be celebrated because the PDP as a Majoritarian party has never been about us, it has always been about them.
It has always been about their traditional political agenda. An agenda that serves a majority defined by greed, avarice, peephole exhibitionism and gradations of perversity without any recourse to our fundamental rights as bonafide citizens of Nigeria.
No doubt, politics is a contact sport, it always has been and it will always be. We should expect this crisis to deepen.
I hope the opposition takes cue from this great unraveling with lessons to be learnt.
The PDP is a party of ochlocrats and this is how ochlocrats behave when they are schemed out of power and looking for a way to get back in.
This is how politicians behave when faced with political extinction.
They cook up a special soup that allows them to rack up a victory within their conclave.
We should celebrate this implosion, applaud it and milk it for what is worth by rejecting any reincarnation of the PDP evil at the polls under whatever party acronym, be it PDM, VOP, POP or whatever.
The PDP went batshit crazy after the exit of President Obasanjo. The nation had high hopes with the election of Yar’adua until the ravages of ill health robbed him the ability to govern.
The PDP could not rise above its primordial interest and save the nation from embarrassment, its leadership looked the other way while the Yar’adua cabal held the nation hostage with impunity until the heat became too unbearable for the charade to continue.
When, Goodluck Jonathan, a minority Ijaw finally got the reins of power; he proved himself a glutton at the sight of food. He hijacked all the control levers of the party and national offices and distributed it to his lackeys and fellow militants.
Sufficiently, he alienated the power structures who built the party on whose back he rode to power.
Under Jonathan’s militant rule, public discussion of national issues and cohesion are debated in increasingly apocalyptic terms among increasingly uncivil adversaries within the same political party.
For a party that boasts of being the largest in Africa, the PDP is a victim of its own dominance and hubris.
The current outcome, is the offspring of dissent and a worthy recompense for a party that has spent the last decade working directly against Nigerians. We should welcome this development with smiles.
The emergence of factions and wings like the G5, G7 and other incongruous tendencies are often decisive and disastrous pointers to intra-party conflict and competition and competition is usually a good thing.
The civil war within the PDP furthers Françoise Boucek’s argument that prolonged dominance of a party breeds internal dissent because politicians start using the party as a vehicle for individual ambition and for extracting rents (Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize).
Under President Obasanjo, PDP had the semblance of a party because of his dominant role in policy making, as well as the distribution of national offices.
The PDP was never a party in the good sense, it is an amalgam of diverse interest bent on bankrupting Nigeria.
Obasanjo held the umbrella (PDP logo) high enough by providing equal access to the federal gravy train as strong incentives for party unity thus promoting less favorable conditions for the emergence of institutionalized factions.
With Jonathan came the Ijaw Resource Agenda and Militancy with sufficient disregard to the vulnerability of the country and the fragility of our union.
Every other section of the “chop I chop” elite became alienated and threatened. Jonathan became a hostage of his own fears and paranoia.
His lieutenants and lapdogs kept him permanently distracted and embroiled in the 2015 race without a chance to govern nor a legacy to pursue.
Under his watch, insecurity assumed a critical dimension, oil theft increased, corruption escalated and he began a descent into power induced hysteria.
Political calculations heading into 2015 led him to Bamanga Tukur the Napoleon in PDP’s Animal farm.
Like Napoleon, Bamanga is an utterly corrupt opportunist (from his Nigerian Ports Authority days).
Even though he had always been a fixture in the PDP, he was not on record to have made a singular contribution to the earliest formation of the PDP, the formulation of its ideology (is there one?), or to the party’s attempt to establish itself.
Since his emergence as party chairman, he has never shown interest in the strength of the party itself, only in the strength of his power over it and of Jonathan’s 2015 ambition, in rub my back and I rub yours fashion.
The only project Bamanga undertakes with enthusiasm is the training of a litter of sycophant puppies (the Akpabios).
He doesn’t educate them for their own good nor for the good of the party but for his and Jonathan’s own good.
The sycophant puppies became his and Jonathan’s own private army or secret police, a means by which he imposes his will on others.
The rivaling factions under the leadership of Atiku are only taking advantage of the weakened party organization, engineering the implosion.
The die is cast for Jonathan’s ambition in 2015, whether he knows it is another issue entirely.
Jonathan is no politician, he is an accidental president whose vaulting ambition is not matched by political sagacity.
The Atikus are reading the political tea leaves, they are noticing the general atmosphere of disenchantment on how the country is being run, the pervasive and disturbing insecurity, the mass despondency and the shifting voters preferences and discontent.
Unlike before, the opposition appears to be electorally strong and able to cooperate. The strength of All Progressives Congress (APC) sent the signal to dissenters within the PDP to abandon ship.
Given the winner takes all nature of Nigerian politics and the evolving competitiveness of the electoral market, dissenters may cooperate with the opposition to bring down the PDP.
The party’s implosion is a complete compendium and will make a fascinating read of political cooperation, competition, and “cabalization.”
In what seems a striking reference to contemporary Nigerian politics, James Madison wrote: “A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points … an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power … have divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress one another than to cooperate for their common good.”
We must not be deceived, let it be clear that this struggle for the heart and soul of the PDP is not about good governance. PDP and its reincarnations are two sides of the same bad coin.
This crisis is not about policy differences or ideological content, it is about politicians individual career motivations, institutional differences and rent seeking. We must remain vigilant and attuned to our interests and reject our traducers. God bless Nigeria!
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