By Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become disillusioned by the string of election victories recorded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) – 2019 Presidential Election, majority governorship wins, National Assembly seats and other governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun, Kano, Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Infact, Prince Uche Secondus, PDP’s National Chairman on Monday lamented that it would be difficult for the PDP to participate in future elections in the country.
This is exactly our fear. Is this not a confirmation of APC’s earlier position that Nigeria was fast becoming a one-party State as a result of the rudderless and soulless PDP, Nigeria’s supposed main opposition party?
No doubt, our country deserves a strong and vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity and to deepen democracy. The PDP has shown crass and shocking incapacity to perform that role. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we are worried by this obvious vacuum.
No rigorous and intelligent interrogation of the current administration’s policies and programmes by the PDP. Just idle chatter, propagation of fake news, post-election delusions and other unpatriotic conducts. This is dangerous for our democracy.
The APC hereby invites other registered political parties to step up and perform the crucial opposition role the PDP has failed so woefully to play.
The PDP accuses APC of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to record the string of election victories in the recent elections.
Is the APC surprised by the PDP’s pointless outbursts? No! This has become the PDP’s stock-in-trade and coping mechanisms following the PDP’s rejection in 2015.
The same PDP has maintained a graveyard silence over the election robberies in Zamfara and Rivers states. The APC was punished for allegedly not conducting proper primaries in Zamfara State, while PDP got rewarded in Sokoto and Kano for not conducting any primaries at all.
In Osun, Ekiti and Bayelsa states, why will the APC ever contemplate “conniving” with INEC in elections where voters had rejected the PDP and their candidates long before the election day?
In the case of Kogi State, we challenge the PDP to name one of its politician who had the status and goodwill to give PDP the imagined votes they are now claiming, post election. The Kogi electorate ignored the PDP’s propaganda and clannish campaigns to reelect the APC candidate, Governor Yahaya Bello. The Kogi West Senatorial rerun gave the electorate an opportunity to reclaim their earlier stolen mandate. They were decisive in kicking out a joke and replacing him with APC Senator-elect, Smart Adeyemi.
The PDP canvasses electoral reforms. The most important reform before the leadership of PDP is to change their ways. By now, the PDP should have realised that their old underhand political methods no longer work. PDP should adjust to the reality of an emerging political environment where manipulation, intimidation, and brigandage are becoming unhelpful to any political party.
While at it, they should remember to find a political direction with clear and purposeful ideology that can benefit our country. Until they achieve this, no amount of electoral reform can cure PDP of its malady. Nigerians would continue to reject them until they do away with their odious ways.
On the governance side, the PDP is reminded how compared to its past administrations which enjoyed record earnings, yet frittered our commonwealth, with limited resources, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration continues to achieve several visible milestones.
The governing APC recognizes the importance of a vibrant opposition, which the PDP has failed woefully to play. Of the several other registered political parties, we challenge any of them to step up and play this important role.
Finally, we reiterate our position that there remains much to be done in ensuring the sanctity of our electioneering process, particularly partisan approach to elections. The PDP must begin to address itself to the new reality that under the President Buhari administration votes are beginning to count. We will continue to check and frustrate PDP’s inglorious practices of massive thumb printing, ballot box snatching, vote buying, thuggery, using state institutions, particularly INEC, the judiciary and security agencies to manipulate the electioneering process.
▪ Issa-Onilu is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC)