A ship bound to sink from the beginning
A former minister of aviation Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode once described the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP as a “Sinking Ship” not long before he finally left the All Progressives Congress (APC) fold to join the PDP, even though his subsequent appointment as the Media Director of the PDP’s presidential campaign organization instead of helping in rescuing the already sinking ship only facilitated and fastened its being sunk.
Before the death of late president Umaru Yar’adua, Nigeria was almost enmeshed in a constitutional Crisis in which some opinion leaders called for a declaration pronouncing the sick and bed-ridden president incapacitated of carrying out his official functions as president and subsequent swearing in of the then vice president to act as president, but members of the late president’s “kitchen cabinet” who saw the ailing health of the late president as an opportunity to hijack presidential powers to themselves and use same to amass wealth and make themselves relevant in the political scene were not willing to give up such power in a hurry.
Goodluck Jonathan was finally sworn in as Nigeria’s acting president through ‘the doctrine of necessity’ following the eventual death of President Yar’adua. As expected the coming of a new Administration led to some “very powerful” members of the Yar’adua government losing their powers and others even lose their job. Some personalities who do not think or dream of ever getting close to the seat of power suddenly became “powerful” and a force to reckon with. Some politicians across the country who were already almost forgotten eventually became self proclaimed god fathers of the new administration.
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However, tension began to rise in the polity as the Acting president came under intense pressure from power brokers to throw in the towel and context in the 2011 presidential race against the wish of some Northern political leaders who were of the opinion that the “gentleman” arrangement already in place for a North-South rotational double term presidency should be respected and continued with. The agenda of the North was to bring a Northerner who would come to complete the Term of the North, but the “forces” behind the then Acting president proved to have the right words and the political antics to tackle that of the Northern political Leaders. It was alleged that based on an agreement that he would only rule for a single Term if elected to the office of president, President Goodluck Jonathan was allowed to run for the election under the platform of the PDP, which he eventually won.
Nigerians saw the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan as the beginning of New dawn in Nigeria’s political history, giving his purported humble background, the region of the country he hails from and he was largely believed to be the “Messiah” the people had been waiting for to come and turn thing around for good. Hence, the Massive turn-out of Nigerians to vote for a president who is believed would create jobs for the teaming millions of unemployed youth, make the existing refineries work and even build more in order to finally put an end to fuel scarcity and stabilize the fluctuating high prices, fight the then not-so-serious problem of insurgency in the North East and Insecurity generally, provide ample basic and infrastructural amenities like good motor able roads across the length and breadth of the country, improve the condition of schools, provide portable drinking water, equip and upgrade our hospitals, an rigorously fight corruption which has almost become an arm of government itself.
Soon after the president won the 2011 election, his kit and kin, some of whom vehemently refused and fought his emergence and election into power, crept their ways through to the heart of Mr. President and this led to the formation of a new political order and alignment within the condor of power in Nigeria. The former enemies turned “friends” mounted pressure on the President to do away with his former friends and political benefactors who sacrificed everything and gave their all to ensure his emergence as President.
Militants, who should be arrested to answer for their crimes of having held the country to economic ransom over the years, soon became the unofficial body guards of the president and inhabitants of Aso rock Villa. Internationally wanted drug barons became chieftains and influential members of the PDP. 16 suddenly got a lot bigger and more than 19 while 7 became more powerful than 19 and stealing was no longer in the corruption list. State governors became dictators and Lords of the PDP in their various states.
Events which led to the work out of seven PDP Governors and some chieftains during the party’s convention at the eagle square was avoidable had the sinking ship of the PDP had a real captain. The ship began to sink as a result of the ambition of one man, the slogan on the lips of the new friends of the President was; “It’s either Mr. President has his way as the sole presidential candidate of the PDP in 2015 or we sink this ship” as the overall interest of the party was not to be considered any longer. Anyone with a different opinion however genuine was not given a chance to express such, instead were harassed with security agents and finally shown the way out of the Party.
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A saying goes that; He who the gods wants to kill, they first of all make him mad. In this case the madness came from the new found “friends” of the President. Everyone suddenly became a “Captain” in his own right, trying and working so hard to impress the president that him alone can deliver the good. Things fell apart not really because the centre could no longer hold, but because there was no center at all. Too many chefs eventually spoilt the “Soup”
The 2015 presidential election wasn’t fought between the PDP and APC, it was rather a fight between the PDP and itself, while victory was only handed over to the APC being the ultimate beneficiary of the in-fighting within the PDP. Indeed, a house divided against itself cannot stand, and a ship without a real captain is surely heading for the bottom of the sea. Now that the presidential election has come and gone, it is time for the PDP to get divers who would go into the bottom of the sea to help get the wreckage of their ship. This is the time to get all aggrieved members back under the umbrella by involving all members of the crew in decision making and inputs on how best to re-assemble the ship more efficiently. It’s time for the party to return to the drawing board and avoid the mistakes of the past. Any political party built around one man is bound to fail, the PDP failed to learn from the mistakes of the deformed All Nigeria People’s Party ANPP and Congress for Progressive Change CPC which were all about General Muhammadu Buhari at different times.
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