By Julius Oweh
Since the 2015 defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party in the presidential election and the exit of President Goodluck Jonathan from Aso Rock, Abuja, most prominent politicians of the PDP stock have unfolded their political fangs and persuasions. Those politicians were only interested in the benefits that come with political power, and in the words of Olusegun Obasanjo, the sweetness of the honey pot. And who is that foolish man that would stay around when the honey pot is dry and nothing to lick? Multitude of politicians are jumping ship and defecting to the APC despite the admonitions of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to such people to remain in their party and build a formidable opposition party.
Our politicians that are controlled by the bread and butter politics would hear none of that. It is, however, a thing of joy that some members of the party have decided to shun the lure and attraction of joining the APC. These are the very democrats and it is to the eternal sacrifice of such people that the country is yet to descend into one party rule.
Heavy weights in the mould of Chief E K Clark, senators and former state governors are turning their back on the PDP and inventing all manner of excuses why they did what they did. But the vast majority of Nigerians cannot be led through the garden path and that they are doing just that to remain relevant and guarantee the sources of easy money to oil their outlandish life styles. This gale of defections may not end very soon and going by the vibrations from the judiciary, the PDP may lose some state governorship and senatorial positions to the APC and those affected may also see the `wisdom` of joining the APC. No nation develops when politicians see politics as a means of personal enrichment while, the winter of opposition is dreaded.
That is why the likes of Uche Secondous, Chief Olisa Metuh, Governor Ayo Fayose, Governor Serike Dickson and other committed members of the PDP should keep the faith. The recent victory of PDP in the governorship election in Bayelsa State is the best affirmation yet that PDP is alive and kicking and that the March 2015 presidential defeat was a temporary set back. And should the members of the party imbibe the spirit of true democracy in party primaries and allow the choice of the party members to prevail in party congress, the party shall bounce back as the darling of Nigerians.
Currently, there are cracks in the ranks of APC and if the PDP can continue to exploit that opportunity that saw the election of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as deputy senate president, the future of the party is bright and by implication shall deepen the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria. Therefore, the forth coming congress of the party from the ward level to the national level should be done with the best of intentions obeying all the fine tenets of democracy. The party must shun imposition of candidates at any level.
The local government council chairman and the state governor by any stretch of imagination should not be regarded as the leaders of the party. The elected party chairman at the local council level and the state chairman should be respected and the constitution of the party should be strictly adhered to. It was the manipulation of the party primaries and the way some people were fenced out of the party that led to the mass exodus of PDP members that merged with others of like mind to form the mega party,
APC. It is hoped that the PDP has learnt its lesson and should do all within its power to build a formidable political party premised on the finest ingredients of democracy and the rule of law. Nobody should be defied as the owners of the party, all party members should be on the same pedestal. And the first step towards that is to regulate the funding of the party. No political merchant should be allowed again to buy the soul of the party and continue to play the puppeteer. When that is done, there will be a level playing ground for all members.
Some people may not admit it, the fact is that PDP is the most cohesive and nationalistic party in the country. The party can be found in every ward. It was impunity and arrogance that denied the party victory in last year presidential election. Jonathan may get the blame but those who printed only one presidential form should be held responsible for the political disaster that befell the party. The party is on the path to self discovery and should continue to offer alternatives to the policies of the government. It is beyond condemning every policy of the government.
Condemn and provide a viable alternative. It is also on this score that the Buhari administration should be above board in the prosecution of those accused of corruption. It does not make sense for the Buhari administration to swim in the ocean of delusion that the moment you convert from PDP to APC, you become a saint. The anti-corruption war should be colour blind, religion blind, tribe blind and party blind. The various PDP state governors should embark on viable projects and truly dispense dividends of democracy to the electorate. When that is done, the people of this great nation shall eventually give the party another shot at the presidency. The PDP must not be allowed to die because it contributed a lot to the growth and development of our democracy not minding some of its warts.