August 26, 2013

As PDM joins the political race

THE  political climate is getting foggier and complicated as INEC was reported over the weekend to have registered another party apart from the APC, thereby creating more avenues for politicians who enjoy jumping from one party to another to test  their popularity at the forthcoming polls in 2015.

The new party- Peoples Democratic Movement- was said to have been floated and financed by some highly placed Nigerians led by former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Atiku, it would be recalled, formed the PDM  as a crucial anchor that  gave  birth to the present PDP. This was while he was under the tutelage of  the late General  Shehu Musa Yar’Adua during the military era.

With the backing of the PDM, the Social Democratic Party, SDP, was able to outdo the National Republican Convention,  NRC, in the elections of that period.

It will be recalled that Atiku held the franchise of the PDM which he used effectively when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, aka OBJ, was scheming for a  second term ticket under the PDP.

With 14 serving governors under his control as Vice President, Atiku almost succeeded  in  upstaging  OBJ, almost literally  bringing the President  to his knees.

The governors  wanted to replace Atiku with OBJ  for the 2003 presidential election but somehow, Atiku himself begged them to let him go. If those were to be believed, it could well have been that some of the governors who had withdrawn their threat later faced various forms of victimization from OBJ and subsequentlyAtiku himself suffered greatly  as the President embarked on full scale vicious revenge mission.

The heat put on Atiku was such that he decided to dump the PDP for the opposition Action Congress Party, ostensibly to actualise his presidential ambition. But it did not work out and the former Vice President returned cap in hand, begging to be re-admitted   into the PDP.

On his return he kept working  towards realising his presidential ambition once again. Unfortunately his old nemesis, OBJ, was still around to frustrate him when he made his bid at the PDP presidential primaries at the Eagle Square.

The news of the registration of PDM as a party did not come as a surprise except for those who are not familiar with the Atiku design to ascend the presidency by hook or crook.

The Daily Independent of August 19, 2013 with a front page headline: ‘’PDM Unsettles PDP,” reported that the  PDP high command were caught unawares and they did not know of the PDM schemes until the party’s registration was announced. The paper cited some PDP politicians who had benefitted from the party to be involved in what it described ‘’ as a great betrayal and a very strong position should be taken against the traitors”.

The confusion was again more compounded when the former Vice President denied any knowledge or involvement in the birth of the new party, saying:  “I may not be aware of the registration of the PDM as a party but I cannot stop my friends who are ready to register a party if they so wished.  I am still in the PDP”.

This is not surprising because politicians are known to play games,   always finding new ways of trying to bargain for better gains and opportunities.

With the emergence of the APC  and now the PDM , the political market is becoming crowded and it is better for politics and its practitioners, most especially as the other APC had not found the  might and spirit to come out to compete for the  APC acronym. Some other mischief makers had gone one step ahead to register a party which might end up being North- based and do battle with both the APC and PDP, splitting votes as they move along to the disadvantage of both parties. Will the PDM  throwing  its hat  into the 2015 presidential election signal  any  substantial gain for itself or APC?

It is, perhaps, too early  in the day to gauge  to whose advantage the coming into being of the PDM will be. Something tells me it is simply a bargaining chip by the Atiku Group of the PDM to rattle the comfort zone of the PDP across the country and by extension they will also collide with the APC  in the  the Northern states, especially the battle ground states  of  Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and Sokoto states.

One thing  is sure and that  is that  the more the parties , the better for a healthy rivalry and politicking. It might also be a new ball game for parties which hitherto  had banked on sweeping the polls with their multiple brooms.

That  instead  of fragile brooms as weapons of sweeping to power, they might reach for sledge hammers and other weapons of selective destruction to reach Aso Villa because the ruling party, the PDP will fortify itself with all the coercive powers of state apparatus to bear on the 2015 elections.

Mortar   for mortar, broom for broom, naira for naira and just name it. It is going to be total war to finish because in a state of war anything goes, including starvation of your opponents.

*Mr. WILLIAM BOZIMO, a veteran journalist, wrote from Asaba, Delta State.