PDP and the Burden of Governance

by: Idumange John

Only 4 years after Ghana attained independence, Kwame Nkrumah said "...I have often said, the party and the nation are one and the same, namely: the Convention People's Party is Ghana and
is Ghana the Convention People's Party... the Party must mobilize our total
manpower for the industrial, economic, technological and scientific
reconstruction of Ghana, so that we can produce the necessary conditions which
shall mean an abundance of every good thing for our people and the greatest
welfare of the masses. Although, Nkrumah was accused of pro-communist
tendencies, he provided the average Ghanaian a hope to live for. It was his
ideals that crystallized into Pan-Africanism.

In Nigeria, the 50th independence anniversary is near so does the 2011 elections. The ruling and dominant Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
has not delivered democracy dividends to the people. Nigerians regard the past
11 years of democracy as years of anguish, waste and retrogression. The PDP has
the symbol of an umbrella which is supposed to protect the masses against
insecurity, poverty, hunger and mass unemployment. On the contrary, the Party has
exposed millions of Nigerians to
excruciating pains of poverty hunger,
poverty deprivation, disease and death. It is therefore ridiculous that such an
ideologically bankrupt Party like the PDP is plotting a 60 year agenda of
terror and poverty.

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 and now to Okwesilizi Nwodo PDP has not
demonstrated the capacity to govern itself. A manifestation of lack of internal
democracy in the PDP is double-speak and impunity in the process of selecting

With the attitude of politicians and the lack of virile opposition party, the PDP may actualize its of 60 years of
uninterrupted PDP tyranny. The presence of political opposition determines the
level of political tolerance, willingness to accommodate dissenting views,
accept criticisms of its conduct from opposition political parties, interest
groups or individuals. Without sustainable political opposition, the substance
of politics and the legitimacy of political office holders would be eroded.
prayer has been that the 2011 elections would not be marred by a myriad of
electoral malpractices, election rigging, voter intimidation, ethnic and political

There has been a disquiet amidst increasing public concern that Nigeria may be moving towards one-party dictatorship. Even though the 1999 constitution envisaged a multi-party
system. The former Vice President Abubakar Atiku and the Action Congress
candidate in the 2007 presidential elections has decamped to the PDP along with
his followers. In four other states, Abia, Bauchi, Sokoto, and Imo, the
governors, Theodore Orji, Yuguda, Shinkafi, and Ohakim, who were elected on the
platform of two opposition parties, the ANPP, and the PPA, have defected to the
PDP. In the case of Bauchi, the entire legislature was compelled to defect to
the PDP. The deputy governor who had refused to defect was subsequently
impeached and removed from office on the promptings of the governor. The party
dictatorship and cynicism have created palpable fears among the electorate that
the PDP is determined to impose a one party tyranny in Nigeria. With this level
of mal-administration, is it fair for us to say Nigeria is PDP and PDP is
Nigeria? Can Nigeria be synonymous with PDP when the Party has failed to

Recently, in Ogun State, democracy was given a strange meaning. Nine members of the State House of Assembly are believed to have impeached the Speaker and 14 other members of the
House. In Rivers State, the tenure Local Government Chairmen is unpredictable,
as they can be appointed and disappointed by the House at the prompting of the
generalissimo. The people of Kwara State could have prevailed on the Law Makers
to introduce primogeniture because I am told only people from the same family
have the legal right and political connections to aspire to the Governorship of
the State. For the people of Ilorin, opposition politics is dead, and it is
either you fall in line or you are shut out permanently.

At 50 years all public institutions in Nigeria have been crippled by corruption and misgovernment. Education is comatose; the health sector is hellish, while
road infrastructures are mournfully decrepit. Nigeria constitutes only a tiny
2% of the world population but constitutes 10% of the world's maternal and
infant mortality. Government has given up on power supply, as generators
constitute the main sources of power supply; public taps may remain dry
forever. Housing schemes embarked upon by successive administrations have been
deleted from our national development agenda. What a catastrophic plunge?
Nigerians do not expect otherwise because the so called elected leaders do so
much politics without governance.

The PDP junta has afflicted the nation with unimaginable poverty. In 2009, the Transparency International, TI, reported that Nigeria now ranked 130th out of 180
countries In terms of Corruption Perception Index (CPI, which is an indication
that the Party ruling the nation has performed abysmally poor.
couple of days ago the TI reminded America that Nigeria, one of their major
African partners, remains among the top six most corrupt nations out of a list
of 180 nations. This is the burden of mal-governance foisted on the nation by
the inept PDP administration. The status quo may endure because of lack of
accountability in the land.

Accountability in any society begins by holding institutions and their leaders accountable, building mechanisms to comply with the terms of accountability, and
transparently reporting on performance. These are the bedrock principles. But
delivering social justice demands more.
Accountability is a necessary adjunct to the power
that government exercises in our society.

The Party has abandoned the goals of poverty reduction and wealth creation is no longer on the agenda of government, yet we profess job creation,
poverty reduction and wealth creation. PDP and the political class have
conspired to frustrate the progress of the country. PDP is the number one enemy
to the Nigerian State, and Nigerians will hold all public office holders on the
platform of PDP responsible for the failure of Nigerian State.

The Federal Government has created a situation of inequality in the development arithmetic of the geo-political zones making-up the country, such that access
to and participation in the oil and gas business is dominated by people who
contribute virtually nothing to the economy. The unacceptable status quo has
been legitimized by the implementation of obnoxious laws such as the Land Use
Act and the Petroleum Act among others. It is understandable why the PDP led
administration has continued to narrow down the economic space, while
simultaneously widening the political space in the interest of PDP and to the
detriment of other political parties.

The situation in the country now is that the PDP has established an almost complete preponderant power dominance in the National Assembly and all governmental apparatchik. The PDP
has deployed several measures in an attempt to subvert both the electoral and
democratic processes. Now, the PDP and INEC have conspired to impose a hurried
election time table on the electorate. I am cock sure, PDP will be instrumental
in appointing officials in the electoral commission and security agencies to
perpetrate electoral fraud such as ballot switching, manipulation of electronic
machines and falsification of results. The PDP can very easily achieve this
because of its extensive power patronage and money bags to muzzle and subvert
the opposition parties.
Democracy can only
thrive when we nurture the culture of tolerating opposition parties founded on
the basis of sound, progressive ideology.

Nigeria has been striving at good governance in principle but not in practice, as political office holders do not sufficiently adhere to the basic tenets of
constitutionalism and the rule of law.
Most of the official mechanisms of social control
have broken down. There is impunity in the land.

Nigeria cannot make progress when we have a group of self-chosen opportunists
in power. It is they who apply tricks
and treachery to capture public offices and we need more than more than
pampering to prevent the usurpers from mounting the saddle.

Unlike Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP of Ghana, which was founded on the basis of a leftist ideology, the PDP constitution is just a patchwork of principles that promote
sectionalism and opportunism, which negate Nigeria’s aspirations to build a
just and egalitarian society. The unbiased verdict of many spectators is that PDP is a disaster,
and cannot bear the burden of good governance. The party has also snuffed out
virile opposition through the massive
and pernicious use of patronage, sabotage, propaganda and witch hunt.

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