Last week’s report to the effect that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) has concluded plans to set up a committee to review its performance and roles of its members in the 2019 general elections is the right foot forward in repositioning the PDP to play its role effectively as Nigeria’s main opposition party.
PDP presidential candidate in the last election and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, made the recommendation which was later adopted at the 87th emergency NEC meeting, Friday in Abuja.
Atiku in his remark said “Our government governed very well from 1999 up to 2015. As true democrats we conceded power to the opposition hoping it will further entrench our democracy, development and unity. But alas Nigerians have been proved wrong by the governing APC.
“It is has become necessary for us to mobilise Nigerians to resist the threat to our democracy, unity and development. Therefore, I will like to propose a strong committee to review the last elections and recommend to the party needed reforms to address the challenges in the last elections be set up forthwith.
“But what cannot wait is that we should not take what has been happening in our democratic processes from the role of INEC, role security agencies and the judiciary for granted. If we take all these roles for granted that will be the end of our hard earned struggle and including our founding members who are today not alive.
In his remark, National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said anxiety has engulfed our country because it’s now evident that all the huge sacrifice and contributions of our founding fathers to ensure the endurance of democracy in our land are being thrown to the dustbin.
He also claimed that “All the efforts of our great party to deepen and grow our democracy for 16 years that resulted in our losing power and handing over in a seamless transition to the opposition are being blatantly squandered in APC’s 56 months reign.
He added that “In our 86th NEC meeting in this very hall on June 20th, 2019, I titled my address ‘Nigeria in distress’ when I reviewed the state of the nation after the horrible general election of February and March 2019 and the inauguration of the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Between then and now incalculable harm has been done to our psyche as a nation with our democratic value greatly undermined. We know that the APC and President Buhari have taken our civility for weakness and inability to act. The presidency has even abandoned governance amidst myriads of challenges in the land and prefers to be joining issues with us as main opposition party, a deliberate policy to divert attention from their inept leadership.
“We have made it abundantly clear that since they have chosen to make injustice law using the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court they should be ready to embrace the consequences of their actions”.
According to a communique read by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP at the end of its 87th NEC assured Nigerians that it will protect and defend democracy and its institutions in our country.
“The PDP assures Nigerians that, our party, through all available constitutional and legitimate means, including civil disobedience, will insist that this government must respect the rule of law and desist from influencing the judiciary, INEC and security agencies”.
The PDP, which suddenly found itself as an opposition party in 2015 after dominating the Nigerian political space for 16 years beginning from 1999 when the nation returned to democratic rule, has since been on a downward slide, losing virtually all major elections. The All Progressives Congress (APC) had taken over the centre with Buhari as president, having won the election of that year.
However, the PDP’s naivety as the country’s main opposition party led to its consequential loss of the presidential, majority of the governorship and National Assembly elections again to the APC in the 2019 elections. APC’s incumbent President Buhari polled 15.2 million votes to beat PDP’s Atiku Abubakar who scored 11.3 million votes. The APC initially won 15 states, extending its hold to 22 after the judicial processes, the PDP has 13 governors while APGA won one state.
It is on the backdrop of the declining electoral fortune of the PDP that we welcome the party’s move to review its performance and roles of its members in the 2019 general elections. It is evident that the PDP is its own problem as the party is laden with moles and saboteurs who not only stoke crisis but also fuel anti-party activities.
The PDP must, therefore, weed out these saboteurs as well as properly situate itself as a vibrant opposition party. A situation where the PDP finds it convenient to condemn all the policies and programmes of the Buhari government, without regards to their propriety or otherwise, leaves much to be desired.