Given the party’s sordid record for the long period, it was in power, one had expected a more contrite and reformed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Having fought tooth and nail to protect what is left of the self-acclaimed largest political fraternity in Africa after it was booted out of power in 2015; one had expected the PDP and its chieftains to be more sober, reflective and very mindful of their actions and inactions. Sadly, like the proverbial leopard that never changes her spots, the party has so far not displayed any sign of genuine repentance.
For a party that left Nigeria in tatters, ruins and extreme lack, the just concluded non-elective convention it organised in Abuja was an opportunity for her to redeem its image and represent itself to Nigerians. Instead, it abused, misused and squandered the opportunity as party men mounted the podium at the Eagle Square to rationalise the larcenous acts perpetrated by the party in the recent past.
The event was an avenue for the party to apologise to Nigerians and furnish us with reasons why Nigerians should give them another chance. We expected them to storm the convention venue a completely changed and reformed party members. Regrettably, that wasn’t the case as they showed no sense of remorse as seen in their proclamations.In all, the outing fell far short of what some of us who are advocates of multi-party democracy and credible opposition had anticipated. The absence of credible, viable and virile opposition isn’t healthy for any democratic setup. It emboldens the ruling party to ride roughshod without recourse to constitutional stipulations. Democracy thrives better in an environment where the actions and inactions of both state and non-state actors are interrogated and made to align with those of the state.
Speakers at the event took turn to foul the air. They thumbed their chests. They boasted. They displayed sheer arrogance and empty pride all in the bid to spite the APC led government. They all sounded like people with pristine public records. Even those who turned every available space in their houses to bank vaults had a thing or two to say.
Surprisingly, the very man, former President Goodluck Jonathan, under whose watch political appointees stole the country blind was the first to remind us of the very dirty past we are trying hard to put behind us. President Jonathan still doesn’t see anything wrong in all that happened during his reign. He still thinks all the huge cash and assets recovered from a number of his key aides are rumours put together to ridicule him
The annoying thing about these characters is the bravado they often display each time they appear in the media. It is a clear case of an armed robber openly displaying his loot in the presence of his victim. Where is the place of shame in all of these?
The party is more concerned about wresting power from the APC than building a strong, formidable and virile party. The PDP should seek to evolve measures that would help her maintain reasonable stability first.
Signs that there are still cracks within the party are quite glaring. So, instead of deafening us with the sing-song of “we shall reclaim power in 2019”, they should focus on putting their house in order first. The PDP, as presently constituted, is still a shadow of her old self. The party is still in ruins. The party appears deflated, raped and demoralised. First things first, put your house in order first.
The urgent task before the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee is simply to inject life into the PDP, not to prepare grounds for clinching power come 2019. The damage inflicted on the party is quite colossal that you will require more than four years to repair. The NCC should focus attention on how to strengthen the various organs of the party. The PDP is still like a carcass. It is visibly weak, morally ruptured and lacking in strategies required of any serious political party. Greed, impunity, covetousness and corruption all ate deep into its very fabric.The PDP chieftains and other party faithful should think of ways to rework, repackage, remodel and reorganise the party in line with the visions of its founding fathers.
Mr Yunusa writes from Plot 243, CRD, FHA Lugbe, Abuja.