Between The Democrats And PDP

The woeful performance of the U.S. Democratic Party in Tuesday’s mid-term elections  barely two years after cruising into power in a landslide shows that in politics  only change is constant as voters can never be taken for granted.

When Democrats came to power in 2008, they captured the U.S. House of  Representatives and the Senate from the Republicans. They also secured the election  of Barack Obama, the first black president, in the White House. It was a complete  success.

The concatenation of successes and the ambitious Democratic  agenda compelled some  analysts to predict that Democrats were going to be in power at least for another  decade. But, all the fantasy ended on Tuesday when Republicans won back the House in  a landslide and gained seats in the Senate. For Obama, it’s a case of audacity of  hope turning into reality of rejection by the American electorate, to quote a BBC  analyst.

In Nigeria, the internal crises rocking the self-styled largest party in Africa, the  People’s Democratic Party, PDP, could send it packing from Aso Rock sooner than  anticipated.

The PDP is threatened by a triumvirate of forces: The in-fighting within the party,  the pressure from the opposition parties and the discontentment of voters who have  felt disenfranchised for years.

At the national level, the selection or election of the PDP flag bearer in the  presidential election next year is threatening to tear the party apart. While  President Jonathan’s camp is denying that there is an arrangement within the party  that the presidency must be zoned to the North until 2015, Northern aspirants have  insisted that the arrangement is sacrosanct. The bitter contention has caused a deep  division between the Northern and Southern leaders of the party.

Signs that PDP’s fortunes are dwindling in the South West could be gleaned from its  loss of Ekiti to ACN, Ondo to Labour Party and Edo State to ACN at the courts. It  failed to rig itself into power in Lagos State during the 2007 election due to high  level of awareness of Lagosians.

In Ogun State, the party is embroiled in a war between the state lawmakers and the  governor, Gbenga Daniel. The Ogun crisis is threatening PDP’s existence there.

In Oyo State, there is in-fighting between Governor Alao Akala and other PDP  members.

In the South East, the PDP has lost Anambra State and only recaptured Abia State  when the state governor, Theodore Orji, decamped to the PDP from the Progressive  Peoples Alliance Party, PPA, under whose platform he was elected into office. The  same thing applies in other states where the party is facing crises of legitimacy  and survival.

With the discontentment of voters and pressure from the Action Congress of Nigeria  in the South West, the All Nigeria People’s Party in the North and other political  parties in other regions coupled with the in-fighting within the party, there are  indications that the PDP may face its greatest threat to survival in the 2011  elections.

The party seems to be waiting to implode. What happened to Democrats in America on  Tuesday may soon befall PDP. The ongoing allignment of forces ahead of the 2011  election is there as a pointer. While Democrats mainly suffered from the economic  crisis and some unpopular policies, the PDP is regarded by most voters as a party  that rigs itself into power and that they are ready to stop such rigging and other  election malpractices next year. Already, the one-man-one vote campaign has begun to  checkmate PDP’s rigging machine.

We call on the other political parties to begin to mobilise and sell their  manifestoes to the voters and change the power equation by electing credible leaders  that will be accountable to the people. It is only when the leaders are accountable  to the electorate that meaningful development can take place.

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