WHERE is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, heading? It is doubtful if PDP, any side of it, knows. Matters are complicated, so complicated that the intentions of its members are unknown. The size of PDP and its pervading influences are factors in its struggles.
It is equally important to note that the insistence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that PDP adheres to the party’s constitution in electing its national executives, is partially responsible for most of the slide that has hit PDP. Other interests have fed on this to unleash anger at the party leadership.
There are some who are happy to watch PDP tear away at itself. Their expectation is that the feud would result in the break-up of PDP. It is a vain expectation. The central interest in PDP is access to power. It is an aspiration some consider too important to explore on other platforms.
Many politicians believe they would have easier access to power through PDP. Some of them have been on the queue since 1999. The realisation that 2015 may still elude them accounts for the upheaval in PDP.
However, the aspect that bothers the public is the distraction PDP tussles have provided in the past few months. Leaders of the party are seeped in the politics of 2015; governance has taken a back seat. The effect is noticeable.
Governors virtually live in Abuja as they are in different informal committees that have been constituted for 2015. Their constituencies wait for their attention. The electoral promises they made are in abeyance in the midst of political and economic challenges the country faces.
PDP is reaping the consequences of running the party as a fiefdom. Its blunders have had minimal effects on the political fortunes of the party since its ascension to power in 1999. The major character of PDP is that it barely plays by the rules, any rules. Rash of changes that attends its constitution during power contests has exposed the party to inconsistencies, which are at the centre of the crisis.
Once, the PDP rule was that anyone aspiring to high office, had to win elections in his ward, local government area and State. When candidate Olusegun Obasanjo failed to deliver a single polling booth but got the waiver to be presidential candidate, PDP became a party of waivers.
The rules suffered further depletion even as new ones were made. As PDP reorganises for future elections, INEC should be applauded for insisting that internal democracy rules in PDP, and indeed all the parties.
Nigerians want political parties to deliver on their promises and not waste the time between elections in internal wrangle. PDP stands out because its size spreads the Nigerian’s misery.