Is PDP Greater Than Nigeria?



By: Idumange John



Those who have eagerly followed politics since the Second Republic will agree that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the most autocratic, corrupt and ideologically hollow
party that has ever run the affairs of men in Nigeria. Not only does the party lack internal
democracy, PDP is a party with the worst record of mal-governance, internal
instability and indiscipline. One of the yardsticks to measure the credibility
of a Party is the turnover of Party leadership. From Chief Solomon Lar,
Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbe to Ogbulafor, PDP has not demonstrated the capacity
to govern itself.



Under the Obasanjo administration, Audu Ogbe was forced out of office in a gestapo kind of operation. Now Prince Ogbulafor has been arraigned for corruption charges. It is unfortunate that Ogbulafor may either be in
prison or be un-appointable hence he may not be in a position to implement the
60 years agenda of PDP. The inclinations of a leader reflects the wellbeing of
the organization. It would have taken so many Nigerians by surprise if
Ogbulafor had left office with an unblemished record - when the PDP
administration entrenches corruption as its article of faith and choruses pre-bendalism
as its national anthem.



Politicians have eulogized the PDP administration under Late Yar’Adua for achievements in the rule of Law and the Amnesty Programme. These praises are heaped upon the
administration when some people who contested the April 2007 elections are
still in court. Should Nigerians count the rule of law as an achievements when
there is selective justice in the anti-graft agencies or should the Niger Delta
people be happy about the Amnesty Programme that has promised the youths
everything and has done nothing for them? It is true that the PDP
administration has set the machinery in motion to implement the Amnesty
Programme but it is too early to give accolade to anyone because the process is
still unfolding.



Lest we forget, the PDP leadership has inflicted severe hardship on Nigerian masses. The queues at the petrol stations, the sundry cases of politically motivated assassinations,
the incessant strikes of University teachers prompted by poor working
conditions, the double-digit inflation harassing the masses and the poorly
equipped and the unemployable graduates churned out of our Universities are all
dividends of the PDP administration. There is an impressive array of reports on
the parlous State of the Nigerian economy: the privatization of national
assets, corruption in the power sector, and the much-talked about bribery
scandals that rocked the presidency especially the PTDF, NPA, and Pentascope
saga are the trademarks of mal-governance.



The harsh economic realities that stare us in the face are all part of PDP’s insatiable appetite for imposing poverty on the masses. Since May 1999, Nigeria has not implemented any
policy that has succeeded. For the PDP, everything is politics and nothing is
development-driven.
The Transparency International
reported in 2009 that Nigeria now ranks 130th out of 180 countries in
terms of Corruption, Perception Index (CPI), which is an indication that PDP
has also foisted corruption on the nation. Wonderful achievement!




One of such mediocre policies bandied about by the PDP is zoning. To further buttress this argument, a group known as the Integrity Group made a Publication that there was a
gentleman’s agreement sometime in the Obasanjo administration about zoning the
Presidency to the North after the South might have served eight years tenure.
While I am not disputing the relevance of the said meeting, it might have been
done out of political expediency because no where in the world can good
governance be achieved through the practice of zoning political offices.
Therefore the argument by the Peoples Democratic Party that the presidency has
been zoned to a section of the country is an attempt to entrench mediocrity on
the polity. Whereas, zoning is not part of the constitution, the Nigerian
constitution provides for equal opportunities for all as well as the Federal
Character Principle, which the leaders have violated with impunity.



I would rather subscribe to the view that the PDP administration has failed Nigerians and the earlier we start afresh the better for Nigerians. Already, the international
community has set a benchmark for our development. The most acceptable
benchmark being the goals and targets set out in the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). By now, the achievements of any administration In the developing
countries, when people recount the achievements of government, it is done in
terms of provision of physical and social infrastructure such as good roads,
quality education, effective healthcare services, uninterrupted power supply
and other basic amenities that make life worth living.



The decamping of the likes of Atiku Abubakar, Governors Isa Yuguda, Ikedi Ohakim and their followers to the PDP is not a mark of success. On the contrary, it is
a show of desperation that they cannot provide
leadership outside a Party structure that
promotes laissez faire. All or most of
those who swell the rank of decampees are politicians obsessed with two traits,
swinging allegiance like a chameleon changes its colour and doublespeak, which
is wrongly interpreted as political sagacity. These are the unprincipled
politicians that pervade Nigeria’s landscape.



It is on record that most of the high performing Governors in Nigeria are not from PDP. Governor I kedi Ohakim was performing well until he defected to PDP, and since then the
Ohakim led administration has been trailed by stories of corruption and
official highhandedness. Governor Isa Yuguda
was rated highly until he joined PDP. Lagos State under Governor
Fashola, Edo State under Adams Oshiomole and Ondo State under Mimiko are doing
much better than most PDP States. In fact, Edo State was stagnant until the
Action Congress wrested power from the PDP godfathers. Generally speaking the
PDP led government in Nigeria is a disaster, as the leadership has very little
to show for the sacrifice made to return Nigeria to civil rule.




But what is the mystique in PDP? In April 2007, PDP conducted elections that fell below the minimum standards recognized by the world. The only credible passport a PDP
member needed to win an election is membership of the Party and a sworn
affidavit to injure the psyche of every
Nigerian
. This hysteria has created an aura of strength and
invincibility in a fast putrefying political system. From the Local Government
level to the National Assembly, the pattern is the same, and the situation may
not change for the better in the foreseeable future. The generally acceptable
verdict is that PDP has failed Nigeria.



Most of the Bills that can move Nigeria forward are not even debated. The freedom of information Bill is very critical for the entrenchment of transparency but the National
Assembly has not showed interest in passing the Bill. Some Federal
Constituencies in Nigeria do not feel that they have representatives at the
National Assembly. The State Assemblies have not fared any better. It is
against this background that the slogan “PDP share the money” makes sense.




Under the PDP administration, politics has also made a wild incursion into the judiciary, where most judges make vacuous pronouncements and leave the public to either
imagine or get their brains worked-up on how to demystify such nebulous
constitutional interpretations. The case of Senator Joy Emodi is very fresh in
our minds. The high wire politics in the judiciary has contributed to the
slippery nature of democracy and a reason why there is so much confusion in the
system. PDP lacks of internal democracy and have no clear cut moral guidelines
for discipline hence it has become a dog-eat-dog Party, where everybody is
inclined to swing the pendulum of power to his advantage. Most often, the Party
adopts a militant approach towards the achievement of state policies. PDP is
gradually becoming a liability, even though the Nigeria is in a hurry to
develop.



On the issue of whether PDP is greater than Nigeria, the PDP is just a political Party made up of people with ambivalent and seemingly incompatible interests. Some of the
members are just eager to hold power for its sake while others see political
office as a passport for primitive accumulation. That is why the party has no clear
cut, progressive ideology or any serious programme to develop the nation.
Political Parties wither while the interest of the State and the Country is
supreme and permanent.



It is therefore a misnomer to equate PDP with the Nigerian State, even though the behaviour of the PDP leaders seems to demonstrate that PDP is above the Nigerian nation. Most
of the actions of the Party leaders are not meant to protect the interest of Nigerians.
In order to discontinue laissez fairyism, people are calling for more focus and
less politics from the President Jonathan administration. Pleasantly, President
Jonathan is a technocrat who should play less of politics and pursue more of
development, for that is the only way to endear himself to the masses and to
win their votes whenever he deems fit to contest on any platform. It may be
said that the zoning principle peddled by the a section of PDP will not serve
the interest of the nation. The PDP does not earn the respect of Nigerians
because of bad governance at all levels. There is no part of the world where a
political party has deliberately imposed hardship on the masses.



Recently, the British Labour Party, under the leadership of Gordon Brown was forced out of office because of massive war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, the morass of
increasing unemployment and the administration’s inability to control
inflation. In my opinion, the PDP should be ashamed for delivering poverty,
instability and anomie as democracy dividends. If there were other political
parties with sound ideologies, PDP would have long been voted out. Nigerians
can only tolerate the PDP because there is need to give the new President time
to initiate and implement his policies in the next four years beginning from
2011.



For the past 13 years, the PDP has been politicking with the banking sector and the petroleum industry. Whereas horrendous violence has been done to the banking system under
the guise of reform, the petroleum sector has been over-deregulated yet the
economic gurus are crying for deregulation as if they want the masses to donate
blood in exchange for petrol. If everything is deregulated, then people will
begin to question the very essence of government.



In such circumstances, what President Jonathan should do now is to make certain key appointments across party lines to revamp the ailing PDP and deliver good
governance. The truth is that most Nigerians have lost hope in PDP, and it
would take enormous courage and determination to reposition the nation on the
orbit of accelerated development on the unviable platform that is not
underpinned by strong ideology. The second name for PDP is impunity and that is
why PDP is gradually diminishing the potentials of the nation. It’s time for
President Jonathan to redress the political carnage and economic havoc wrecked
by the PDP administration. Until fundamental changes are made, the “business as
usual scenario” can hardly change for the better. Nigerians deserve a better
deal.





Idumange John, is a Member of the Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria








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Comment by Olajide on May 26, 2010 at 9:59am
God Bless Nigeria. I know I will partake of this Blessing.
Comment by Olajide on May 26, 2010 at 9:57am
PDP is not greater than Nigeria, only that we have disallowed the rule of law to prevail in our governance. Inasmush we continue in this way of life, the same old story will still repeat itself. We, fellow Nigerians, need to take upon ourselves to move the country forward. This is very necessary for any vision we want to achieve: 2020 or 2050 as stated.
Comment by UGORICH on May 24, 2010 at 6:00pm
On my own humble opinion, PDP as a party is an entity that stands on its own. It has nothing to do with the bad governance that is associated with that nation, but the evil doers who has hidden under the shed of PDP are the cause of our problem. If there should be a migration of these old bad people to another party, the same problem will keep repeating itself. Nigeria is an entity has the right to get ride of all these agents of corruption that are on the center stage our polity. Everyone should join hands together to dissolve the monopoly that is in PDP.
Nigerians, now is the time where all of us should come out and be a part of the polity. Your vote can count if you and I can come out,vote and see that good electoral process is adhered to,not feeling less concerned.
Be an agent of change where you are. Represent good picture of a good Nigerian. So many of our peoples are into internet fraud,drugs and all sorts of bad things which the rest of the world has known Nigeria with. And if you dare talk to any of these folks,they will blame the government.Whereas, If the government is responsible,everybody in the country will be doing the same. REMEMBER, change is the only factor that remains constant. PRAY FOR PRESIDENT GOODLUCK.

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