By HENRY UMORU, Assistant Political Editor
WITH the outcome of March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections and those of April 11 Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections, it is no longer news that the once powerful house with solid blocks and cement has fallen.
The building did not just fall on its own. Before the very eyes of its owners, it crashed and even on the heads of the occupants. It is now an official statement that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, having ruled the country for sixteen years and boasted that it would administer Nigeria for sixty years, has finally lost its place as the ruling party.
PDP’s loss of the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) did not only come to its supporters across the country as a rude shock, but a devastating defeat
It was the first time a ruling party would lose the presidency or control of the National Assembly after an election. The final nail on the party, was its poor showing at the April 11 governorship elections.
. The APC secured over 60 seats out of 109, while the PDP got 45, with some senatorial districts elections still pending in states like Edo where that of Edo Central and Delta Central were still inconclusive as at the time of this report.
With this development in the Senate, the PDP has lost its positions of Senate President presently being occupied by Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Position with Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Majority Leader Position which has Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba and Senate Chief Whip with Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo as the occupier to the opposition party, the APC.
Interestingly, even with its large number of Senators as the upper chambers prepares for the 8th Senate, the APC lacks a two- third majority or 73 seats required for key decisions and with this, the APC would count on the PDP as well as the Labour Party, LP; Accord and the Social Democratic Party, SDP which shared five seats.
During the Governorship election and out of the 29 states where elections took place, PDP which had boasted in 2008 through its former chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, that the party would control the Federal Government until 2068, when it was in control of 29 out of 36 states of the federation, with only Lagos, Anambra, Bauchi, Borno, Edo, Kano and Yobe states not in its then well endowed kitty, crashed to win only seven states. They are Akwa Ibom; Enugu; Ebonyi; Delta; Gombe; Delta and Rivers.
APC on the other hand won in Adamawa; Ogun; Lagos; Katsina; Kaduna; Kano; Sokoto; Borno; Oyo; Yobe; Bauchi; Niger; Plateau; Kebbi; Benue and Nasarawa with those of Abia, Imo and Taraba inconclusive.
One shocking aspect of the election on the part of the PDP following its avoidable mistake of imposition of candidates, was how it lost in its traditional states since 1998 to the APC. The states are Kaduna; Plateau; Niger; Sokoto; Bauchi; Adamawa; Benue; Jigawa and Kebbi States, just as it lost grip of Kogi. State where the APC clinched the Senate Seats with the very powerful Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Smart Adeyemi defeated by a former member of the House of Representatives, Senator- elect, Dino Melaye.
In Kaduna, Senator Ahmed Makaifi lost out to his former Commissioner, even as plots by Governors Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and Aliyu Babangida to make it to the Senate failed, just as the ‘ Almighty’ Sule Lamido of Jigawa was defeated by the APC as moves to install a successor failed, same for Governors Ibrahim Shema of Katsina and Jonah Jang of Plateau who made move to swap position with his brother failed. Though Jang made it to the Senate, Senator Gyang Pwajok who is representing Plateau North was defeated during the Gubernatorial election by Simon Lalong.
The dominance of PDP had started in 2003 after it successfully won five states in the South West, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and Osun, but could not win Lagos, just as after the April 11 governorship election, the PDP party was able to salvage some pride by retaining its states in the South-South like Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Rivers with elections not yet in Bayelsa and Edo States and won in South-East states like Enugu, Ebonyi, with that of Imo and Abia inconclusive. In all, APC now controls 22 states, PDP now controls 13 and APGA with one state.
What next for the PDP gladiators?
With the coming on board of the present political dispensation, the PDP in 1999 produced the president in the person of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who after eight years in the saddle, handed over to late Umar Musa Yarí Adua, also of the PDP. It was the party’s third successful victory at the presidential polls over the opposition.
Also at the National Assembly, the party also held sway and since 1999, it controlled the majority at both the House of Representatives and the Senate, while the opposition parties had no choice than to play the role of the minority, the new place for the PDP, a party which will now under go what it takes to be in the opposition. The PDP’s control of power at the centre, the state level and the National Assembly appeared unassailable, against the backdrop that the PDP pushed the power of the opposition parties to the geo- political zones
While the defunct Action Congress (AC) and later the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN held sway in the South West, the now rested All Peoples Party (APP, later All Nigeria Peoples Party) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) were in control of the North and South East respectively.
Now that the PDP will be in the opposition for the number of years, one cannot put together, even though the opposition from the Alliance for Democracy, AD; ANPP; Congress for Progressives Change, CPC; APGA; ACN; Accord, APC, all put together played the second fiddle for sixteen years, questions that now beg for answers are what next for those PDP gladiators who held sway for sixteen years, what role would they play now, how will they revive the party, what national role will they play or will they just disappear into thin air?
Saturday Vanguard attempts to X- ray some of these PDP leaders, Stakeholders, Elders, members of the National Working Committee, NWC; members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, among others.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo. Jonathan will formally handover to the President- Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, retd, May 29. Jonathan had conceded defeat to the president- elect to save Nigeria from total collapse, a decision which may not have gone well with some PDP leaders and those in the Kitchen cabinet. While the President would go to Otuoke, Sambo would relocate to Kaduna to relax and come up with the next strategy. What next for first lady, Patience Jonathan and wife of Sambo, Amina Sambo?
Adamu Muazu, Uche Secondus, Oladipo, Metuh, other NWC members
A major loser in the entire scenario was the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Muazu who came on a rescue mission following the exit of the former National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The PDP did not only lose the Presidency to the opposition during Muazu, as a sitting National Chairman and first of its kind in Nigeria, he also lost in his state where the PDP could not be rescued even with a combination of Yuguda and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed. They will, even in Bauchi, remain in the opposition. For fear of intimidation, they may remain in Abuja where politicians who lose out usually stay.
Even though the PDP lost at the centre, the likes of PDP Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; PDP National Financial Secretary, Elder Bolaji Anani, and Deputy National Secretary, Onwe Onwe will still be relevant in their respective States of Rivers, Cross River and Ebonyi where the PDP won the governorship seats. It will not be the same with the National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo from Osun, National Auditor, Adewole Adeyanju; National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh: National Youth Leader, Abdullahi Mai Bashira; National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, National Woman Leader, Chief Kema Chikwe; National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, Ambassador Kazuare whose states are controlled by the APC.
What next for Senate President Mark, Ekweremadu and Gwarzo who held to their various positions for many years, what roles will they play at the Senate having occupied the number one, two and senior positions, how will they make the PDP become vibrant again in the Senate. Mark will miss Ndoma- Egba; Ita Enang; Gwarzo; Adeyemi and others who will not join them at the 8 Senate.
Anenih, Ogbulafor, Bello, Anyim, Nnamani, Gana, Clark
What next for the Chairman, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih, the Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin; Dr. Ahmadu Ali; Prince Vincent Ogbulafor; Okwesilieze Nwodo; Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Chief Bode George; Dr. Mohammed Haliru Bello; Chief Ojo Maduekwe; Dr. Musa Babayo; Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun; Alhaji Yekini Adeojo; Chief Ebenezer Babatope; Chief Edwin Clark; Prof. Jerry Gana; Senator Ken Nnamani; Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Senator Adolphus Wabara; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; Chief Godwin Bozimo; Senator Ibrahim Mantu; Sule Lamido; Abdulkadir Kure; Isa Yuguda; Aliyu Babangida; Senator Jubril Aminu; Iyom Josepine Anenih; Ambassador Hassan Adamu; Senator Aniete Okon; Chief Sergeant Awuse; Senator Ameh Ebute; Chief Dan Orbih, all State Chairmen; all State Working Committee, SWC and all Zoning National Working members.
As PDP is out, what next for Erelu Obada; Hajia Bola Shagaya; Former Governor Peter Obi; Coordinator, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, Ifeanyi Uba; Chief Chris Uba; Prince Arthur Eze; Political Adviser to the President, Prof. Ahmed Rufai; Senator Ben Obi; Chief Osita Chidoka; Senator Joy Emodi; Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau; all the serving Ministers; Senator Sarki Tafida; Senator Bode Olajumoke; Arc. Ibrahim Bunu;.Gen. David Jemibewon, retd; Senator Jim Nwobodo; Arc. Victor Attah; Adamu Waziri; Chief Don Etiebet; Shetimma Mustapha, Chief Femi Fani- kayode, Chief Mike Ogiadhomhe, Chief Raymond Dokpesi,among others.
Come May 29, the PDP will have to readjust itself and get used to playing the opposition which the APC played for 16 years, we wait as these gladiators position themselves for this reversal of fortune, learn from the mistakes with a view to rebuilding the PDP and possibly bounce back as promised by Metuh.