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PDP Strategises On How To Provide Credible Opposition

Francis Moses writes on the crisis rocking in the largest political party in Africa, the PDP and the leader’s attempt to strategise to provide the credible opposition to the APC.

In its attempt to begin learning how to be the opposition after losing a major election in its 16 unbroken years in power, the People Democratic Party leaders are still cracking their heads and strategising. Its leaders are said to be drawing lessons from other climes where parties have suffered similar fate and were able to re-invent themselves and launch into reckoning.

One of the key lessons is being drawn from the United Kingdom where the Conservative Party had to weather the storm of turbulent period of fifteen years after since Labour Party’s Tony Blair won in 1995. They went to the drwing borad immediately. The result after years of imaginable political frustrations during those years David Cameron emerged to win in 2010, though with a coalition, which it collapsed in the recent elections by winning enough majority to do without the coalition partner, the Liberals. Another example party leaders are said to be drawing examples from is the United States where the Republicans had to cope with serial electoral defeats since losing the Presidency to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. At some point their membership in the Senate reduced to less than 30 during this period. The Grand Old Party (GOP) had to wait till 1952 to get back to the White House! And then started exchanging regimes with the Democrats

In the midst of this restructuring comes th insinuations that some of its governors, with tacit support of President Goodluck Jonathan are planning to float a new platform to challenge the All Progressive Congress (APC). This appears like a mistrust of brand.

Nonetheless some bitter truths and comparisons are been made back home to properly situate things. In that light it could be recalled that when Atiku Abubakar and Goodluck Jonathan were vice- presidents, they played good roles for their party especially during crisis on like the current VP Namadi Sambo. Atiku was instrumental in dousing the heat when speaker Ghalli Na ‘Abba ‘s leadership of the House of Representatives attempted to impeach former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The then vice -president, Jonathan was Yar ‘Adua ‘s point-man in stemming the tide of the Niger Delta crisis and he (Jonathan) perfectly achieved the expected results.

In the present Nigerian political scenario; Vice- President Sambo is-or should be-the primary representative of the entire northern block in the Jonathan administration, and the north is his primary constituency. As a sitting vice president, he should have been that most needed point-man for President Goodluck Jonathan in the north, thus he should have been instrumental in appeasing the aggrieved PDP governors from the north. Rather, President Jonathan has seen himself being preoccupied with negotiating with people he does not even understand their language. Why is Namadi Sambo not playing that very important political role?

Political pundits and indeed Namadi ‘s boss, President Jonathan must have been expecting the vice- president to be at the forefront in resolving the current crisis in the PDP, even before it escalated into its present market square fight status. The impression in the polity is suggesting that Namadi has not made any calculated political move to pacify the governors and convince them that they are doing more harm to him than to Jonathan. Even if he had done something, it has not yielded any tangible results.

Meanwhile President Jonathan recently met with some (PDP) chieftains with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the party. Some party chieftains including Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State have been clamouring for the resignation of PDP National Working Committee members led by the chairman Adamu Muazu following the dismal performance of the party in the last general elections held on March 28 and April 11.

President Jonathan had earlier intervened in the crisis asking all stakeholders to stop the blame game but this has persisted. The recent meeting which held at the banquet hall of the presidential villa in Abuja was described as ‘private’ so the press was not allowed in.

Those sighted at the meeting amongst others included, National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, National Woman Leader, Kema Chikwe.

However the PDP, has admonished the spokesperson of the APC, Lai Mohammed to learn to be truthful, honest and desist from fabricating lies that could be injurious to democracy and peaceful co-existence in the country.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement recently said “but for the primaturity of President Jonathan and the head of the APC’s Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda, who cleared the air, the country would have been thrown into crisis over the false alert by Lai Mohammed that the Presidency was frustrating the transition process.

“After Alhaji Joda debunked Lai Mohammed’s false statement and denied that his committee was being frustrated by the PDP-led Presidency, we waited for forty-eight hours expecting the APC spokesman to apologize to the nation, but this has not been done.

“It would be recalled that Lai Mohammed in a press statement alleged that the Presidency and the PDP had ‘bluntly refused to cooperate’ with the APC to ensure a successful transition and that the Transition Committee of the Federal Government had refused to hold any meeting with that of the APC.

“Even after the PDP through a statement recently debunked the false allegation with facts showing that the committees of the two parties have been holding fruitful meetings, Lai Mohammed vehemently stuck to his position, only for the head of the APC’s Transition Committee, Alhaji Joda to confirm that the two panels have been meeting and operating on the same page and that at no time did his team complain to anybody that there was no cooperation.

“The APC spokesman must realize that his style which is anchored on lies has negatively impacted the polity, especially hundreds of young Nigerians who now engage in insults and fabrications in the media thinking that such is what party publicity is all about.

“Lai Mohammed should know that the campaigns with its attendant propaganda are over and that Nigerians expect a more mature and patriotic behaviour from the political class. He should therefore learn to get his facts right and be truthful in his statements at all times”, the PDP said.

Calling on all Nigerians to be wary of actions that are capable of causing disunity in the land, the PDP reiterated its resolve to focus only on purposeful criticism while presenting credible alternatives to the policies and programmes of the in-coming administration in a manner that will promote democracy, unity and the well-being of Nigerians.

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