These times are just right for some lucky ones. Imagine, things are falling into pleasant places for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in these hard times. The party has never had it so rosy in recent times.
The party is not pretending. The sacking of its embattled chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff (SAS), by the Supreme Court meant everything to the PDP. That ruling could have marred and ruined the party. But it went the other way. And PDP is lavishly making the maximum use of the happy times.
Coming so soon after its victory in Osun West Senatorial District, nobody could begrudge it for the victory. Since then, Senator Adetunji Adeleke has not stopped dancing. You dare not stop him.
PDP’s fortunes were at the lowest ebb when it lost its 16-year hold on power in 2015. In any case, everybody, including the party itself, saw it coming. It was a calamity that must happen. And it did with complete devastation.
And trust Nigerians, they did not shed crocodile tears over it. Instead, they swarmed on the victorious All Progressives Congress (APC) for celebrations. Since then, the centre could not hold for PDP. It was almost one day, one trouble; and members were deserting it in great numbers. They headed to the APC, of course!
The party was left in the cold to fend for itself. It was such a trying time. It actually reaped what it sowed. Over the years, PDP had become swollen-headed, stiff-necked and extremely arrogant. It was law unto itself and believed its words were law onto us.
Glaringly, its leaders were selfishly working at cross-purposes. They only disagreed to even disagree further. They were poles apart from one another.
They refused to listen to good counsel. They were erroneously convinced that everything began and ended with PDP. As a matter of fact, their weird projection was to rule and wreck us for 60 years in the first instance. We saw them displaying breathtaking haughtiness at ridiculous heights.
Things were getting messier by the day. Yet, it carried on as if nothing was amiss. All the while, APC was soaring in length and breadth. It exploited every blunder made by the PDP. In fact, APC was on its trail, yet PDP ignored all that.
The party and its Federal Government were tactless in everything they laid their hands on. They never got anything right again; behaving like a cursed party. Their actions and inactions were nothing to write home about.
That was how PDP wobbled and fumbled into the 2015 general election. And it fell from its fake Olympian height. The party crashed like a careless pack of loose cards.
Even before this mighty fall, it heedlessly lost six governors to its haughtiness. The governors warned and gave enough signals that they were ready to destroy the party. And PDP graciously allowed it to take its full course.
After it met its Waterloo in 2015, PDP began the journey to its greatest self-inflicted battle. From the blues sauntered Sheriff, former governor of Borno State.
His ramming into PDP was like a hurricane. He entered from all sides and claimed the chairmanship of the party in February 2016. He never enjoyed a peaceful reign. He had Ahmed Makarfi, a fellow ex-governor (of Kaduna State), to contend with.
Like SAS, Makarfi was also a senator. But that is where their “striking” similarities ended. They never saw eye-to-eye; they couldn’t have. The Supreme Court settled that permanently on Wednesday, July 13, 2017. It affirmed Makarfi as the authentic party chairman.
In the 19 years of its checkered existence, the PDP produced 15 chairmen. What a high turnover! Tragically, none of them ever completed the four-year tenure.
Only Senator Ahmadu Ali came close to that. He came in as acting chairman to replace Chief Audu Ogbeh in January 2005. He was lucky to have been confirmed through an election three months later. But that was how far his good luck could carry him. He lost the chair in 2008, a year short of his full term.
That has been the lot of PDP. That is the reason it has not offered the desired formidable opposition. Its opposition arm has been spearheaded by individuals who opted to take the risk.
Two strong characters stood out in this regard: Governor Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) and Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers). They have proudly offered to be counted. They have never wavered, they are committed to their dear party.
They have uncommon passion for the party and its interests. The two were among others present to witness the Supreme Court ruling.
Fayose, who is also the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, poured out his heart after the judgment: “I never imagined myself being in the same party with impostors.
“I went to court with a bottle of perfume, which I wanted to use to spray my card and party flag and set them ablaze, even within the court premises, if Sheriff had won. That was why I went to court.”
Wike cautiously took the case to God. He spoke at a special thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt: “While we are reconciling, we must be vigilant. Nobody will take me unawares. Satan will never sleep. Satan will always find ways to cause havoc. Woe betides the person who is a mole of the deadly party.”
Will the PDP ever rise and walk again? Fayose responded: “Though I believe that we remain the same PDP family. Even the reactions of Sheriff’s people show that we are together.”
All the same, he insisted: “Whoever participated in the matter must show some reasonable level of remorse for their actions.”
Makarfi couldn’t agree less: “There is no victor, there is no vanquished. We must be open to reconciliation. But there is a caveat, reconciliation does not mean we take what belongs to people and give you. Reconciliation must be based on equity, equality and values.”
He is resolute and vowed that this ugly history must not be allowed to repeat itself. That is why the party still needs the strong will of the Fayoses and Wikes in the party.