THE PRESIDENTIAL 32 STATES ORDER IS A WAKE-UP CALL ON THEM TO FIRM UP THEIR MERGER PLAN
Anyone who knows the octopus that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party was at inception in 1998 would marvel at what has become of the party. It was because of its sheer size that its founding fathers adopted an umbrella as its logo, perhaps as a reference to its readiness to protect its large army of members and sympathizers. Now, the party that was home to the major gladiators across the length and breadth of the country at birth has shrunk in size and potency and is now a shadow of its former self. But still, the party is holding the reins of power at the centre in Abuja, and holds sway in a majority of the states (23).
It was former chairman Prince Vincent Ogbulafor who predicted the PDP would rule for 60 years. Perhaps in ruling for that long, Bamanga Tukur, the present chairman of the party, has upped the ante. He said the party would win at least 32 states in 2015 (see quote on top of this page).
The PDP chairman spoke when some members of the party’s caucus visited him at his residence in Abuja. He said that was the mandate given the party leadership by President Jonathan. The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria has scoffed at that statement, saying it was wishful thinking and that the ruling party was living in a fool’s paradise.
The cerebral ACN National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed (Leadership Newspaper Politician of the Year 2012) said: “President Jonathan and Tukur are going to wake up one day and discover that they have been leaving in fools’ paradise. They will discover that the people deserted them a long time ago”. The Congress for Progressive Change and All Nigeria Peoples Party have also lambasted PDP for the statement.
Though I laughed when I heard of that challenge, but I think we shouldn’t resent PDP; the opposition parties shouldn’t begrudge the ruling party for sticking to its presidential mandate. It’s the party’s right to be adventurous, to be ambitious, to build its castle in the air. It’s perfect and normal. But let the party fix the Boko Haram problem and the growing security challenge across the country, make electricity stable for the people and provide jobs for the teeming unemployed graduates among others.
The party should then move to put its house in order and resolve the leadership crisis plaguing it across the states and Abuja before hoping to capture 32 states. As for the opposition parties that are talking merger in order to wrestle power from PDP, the presidential directive to PDP should be seen as a challenge on them to hasten up their merger arrangements, solidify their camp and hit the ground running with their programmes and candidates that would provide a credible alternative to the people. That should be the only perfect response to the presidential directive.