2015: Intrigues of bidding for power at the centre

2015: Intrigues of bidding for power at the centre

It is no longer news that since the un-interrupted return of democratic rule in Nigeria from 1999 till date, the nation’s political terrain has been dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Having produced the President consecutively since 1999, the party’s leadership once boasted that PDP would rule Nigeria for the next 50 years. Inspite


Voters queuing up to cast their votes.

It is no longer news that since the un-interrupted return of democratic rule in Nigeria from 1999 till date, the nation’s political terrain has been dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Having produced the President consecutively since 1999, the party’s leadership once boasted that PDP would rule Nigeria for the next 50 years. Inspite of the prevailing political intrigues of cross carpeting and party wrangling, some might argue that it might be difficult to puncture the claim.

Though in the 2011 elections, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its presidential candidate, former Head of State, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) proved to be a strong contender in the presidential election, the PDP still maintained its hold on the helms of affairs, as President Goodluck Jonathan emerged the winner. He scored a total vote of 22,495,187 votes against his closest rival, CPC’s Mohammadu Buhari, who had 12,214,853 votes. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu had 2,079,151 votes while the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mallam Ibrahim Shekarua had 917,012 votes to come third and fourth respectively.

As the 2015 elections approach, the fear of the PDP maintaining its hold on power seems to be growing as no other political party in the country is proving it can wrestle power from the acclaimed biggest party in Africa. The main opposition of course is the All Progressive Congress (APC) which is a fusion of three previously independent political parties, namely, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

However, while the APC is still facing internal intrigues over who it will choose as its party flag bearer amongst top contenders including Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), a former Head of State; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice-President; Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor of Kano and former Defence Minister; Hon Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives;  and Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the PDP and the party’s elected Governors have already adopted President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s sole candidate for the presidential election. Invariably, this adoption has settled the question of whether the President will face any serious contender in the party for the ticket. It is expected that going by this development, all the party needs to do is to present Jonathan to its congress in December for formal adoption as its presidential flag-bearer.

With what the PDP leadership has done by endorsing the president for a second term, though not yet ratified by the party’s congress, the battle line seems drawn between President Goodluck Jonathan and the candidate which the APC shall produce as the country’s major opposition party and the main challenger of the PDP in the forthcoming presidential election come February 2015.

With the prevailing status quo, some political observers have said that for the APC to be able to wrest power from the PDP, it needs to work hard, strategise appropriately and consider a lot of variables before choosing its presidential candidate and presenting him to Nigerian voters.

According to a political analyst, relying on a candidate’s popularity within the party structure alone may not produced the desired result hence the APC must multi-task itself in selecting the best candidate.

Speaking on the issue, the chairman of the PDP in Ondo state, Mr. Ebenezer Alabi said that the task ahead of any political party that wants to take over the centre from the ruling PDP is enormous. According to him, the issue of one party system does not arise because there is no enabling law backing such system for the country. He opined that PDP has been winning the presidential elections due to its outstanding people-oriented policies and the visible social development structures it has put in place since the beginning of the fourth republic.

However, in his comment, a political analyst in Kogi State, Alhaji Muhammed Adavize stated that the system the country is running has no other name than one party system devoid of strong opposition. The reason for this, he said, is the opportunity available for politicians to defect at will from one party to another out of greed without any measure in place to curtail it. “Until there is constitutional punitive measures in place to prevent politicians from moving from one party to another, there cannot be any strong opposition in the country. And this is not in the best interest of our nation” he said.

In his own comments, Barrister Bello Abel,  head of the legal department of Kosofe local government area of Lagos State noted that every society has its peculiarities and that going by the nation’s political experience; a one party system is not the best for Nigerian. He said: “it’s very bad that up till now, there is no strong opposition that can checkmate the excesses of leaders produced by one party. For our country to progress politically, we must redefine our current system in such a way that it will allow strong opposition”.

A chieftain of APC in Ondo State, Alhaji Adebayo Subair observed that political leaders have taken Nigerians for granted just because there is no tangible opposition party in the country, claiming that the current domination of the PDP will  soon be over as APC is doing everything possible to take over the centre in the 2015 general elections.

However, as the elections draw near, Nigerians are keenly observing the trend of political activities to know where the pendulum of votes will swing between the PDP, which is gathering large scale endorsement for the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan or the APC, as an alternate political party of choice. While the stone seems certainly cast for Goodluck Jonathan as PDP’s presidential candidate, the onus still lies on the APC to choose its presidential candidate; a decision which will decide the voting pattern of the electorate and determine whether the hold of PDP as the ruling party will be sustained, or broken.

This time again, only time can tell.

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  • Sola Balogun
    October 14, 2014, 7:40 pm

    What a current,interesting and facts about the trend of the political issues in our Nation-Nigeria. Let those who care read the handwriting on the wall and take heed. Let us maintain a political stability for the one nation syndrome. Moses Ojo,you have observed well,your write up is an eye opener. We hope you will keep this up.


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