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Analysis: End of a Tumultuous Era — PDP on the Chopping Block in 2011

By: Franklin Otorofani, Esq.
 Published March 22nd, 2010

Highlights:

**Barely four months ago, Jonathan was a mere presidential ornament in Yar’Adua‘s backroom office in the presidency. Today, he is the Sole Administrator of Nigeria who, like the sun, is at the center of our political universe from whom all powers radiate to animate our national planet—the nucleus of the emerging power center.—Franklin Otorofani

**The PDP may be dreaming of ruling the nation for another fifty years and there is nothing wrong with dreaming. But if it wants to rule for another four years, Jonathan is the answer and it is well advised to have him on board for the 2011 presidential elections. He might not be ambitious, but as we have seen, his political trajectory is destined for the ultimate presidential title with or without the support of the PDP oligarchs. Hasn’t the party learnt its lesson yet?—Franklin Otorofani

**The issue of the moment is not whether Iwu and INEC are responsible for electoral malpractices, but to do all in their powers to avoid them and where impossible discountenance votes procured through undemocratic means by voiding them.  This is the phase that Iwu and INEC have moved into at the moment—to deliver credible elections to the glory of Nigeria and her electoral system. And that’s bad news for the PDP. Iwu and INEC will do this regardless of any pressures or underhanded interference from the ruling party or the opposition because Iwu is bent on leaving a worthy legacy of credible elections.  He just did it in Edo and Anambra states at the local and state levels and he will do it again at the national level – Franklin Otorofani

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With the nation emerging from the strangle-hold of military dictatorship in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), formed by a group of 34 eminent Nigerians led by former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, equally emerged as the heir apparent to the throne and chief inheritor of the bequest of the decadent political infrastructure left by the departing military oligarchs. The discredited generals wasted no time in replacing themselves with one of their own, former boss and one time military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, brought from prison to continue from where they left.  In a military fashion, the gritty, no-nonsense general soon appropriated the political platform of the G34, which, coupled with the rump of late General Musa Yar’Adua’s People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), had metamorphosed into the PDP.

The PDP under Chief Olusgun Obasanjo (as he preferred to be called under civilian rule) almost succeeded in obliterating all traces of opposition from the polity and roamed the political landscape like a vicious predator out to gobble up all political entities the membership of which were only too happy to jump ship and partake of the goodies dangled before them in the PDP. Where the moral anatomy of political entities is emptied of ethical contents the end product is political prostitution and unprincipled politicking that is solely dictated by survivalist instincts rather than higher values of service to the people.  Presently, Nigerian politics is dominated by primordial clans of survivalists and not ideological thinkers and actors. The days of Awo, Zik, and Aminu Kano, are over and replaced by mundane politics of the stomach, which they share with the lower animals in the wild, and not of service that is the hallmark of their counterparts in other parts of the civilized world.

The PDP as grandmaster of Nigerian politics understood this only too well and made its moves to weed the political farm in Nigeria of its poisonous undergrowths that had tended to undermine its supreme authority and total control of the farmstead. It is to be recalled that the defunct Nigerian People’s Party(NPP) was at its inception just as big and powerful as the PDP, but it soon splintered with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) emerging from its rubbles and the party ended up weakened with another name to go with---the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP). And the AD itself further splintered to become the Action Congress (AC). The splintering of the NPP was the harbinger of the political undergrowths that have become the lot of the Nigerian political farmstead, which inevitably gave the PDP the opportunity to poach, annex, and where possible obliterate the mushrooming entities as happened, for example, with the AD in 2003. These opportunistic political undergrowths only survive on crumbs from the system and add no greater value to the political system than can be derived from epiphytes. 

Armed to the teeth with total control of the National Assembly and more than three quarters of the states through hook and crook, the party arrogantly served notice on Nigerians and the opposition that it was ready to rule for the next 50 years unchallenged and uninterrupted. And there was nothing anybody could do about it. Not even the military who do not depend on anybody’s votes to gain and remain in power could dare Nigerians in that manner. But the PDP was so cocksure of itself that it served that notice on Nigerians without batting an eye. And before Nigerians could cry out, “Not in my country!” the party had laid the foundation stone of its N50bn secretariat complex in Abuja designed, in its sheer size and grandeur, to send a clear message that it meant business and certainly not in a hurry to vacate the presidency anytime soon. And why wouldn’t it be drunk with power? A party with questionable electoral mandate at each and every election has managed to rule the nation for 11 unbroken years thus far and still counting until it celebrates its jubilee at 50! Not even the military could achieve that feat.

With the anemic, myopic, and visionless state of the opposition in the nation, Nigerians were forced to swallow the insult because it seemed they had nowhere else to turn to, as it were, to liberate them from the stranglehold of their native, modern day internal colonialists.  However, the question of liberation wouldn’t have arisen in the first place had the party made such a difference in the lives of Nigerians, as for instance, the Communist Party has done in China. Ever heard of the Chinese complaining about the long rule of the Communist Party in China? China has only one political party and that’s official that has been in power since 1949! The Chinese are happy with their leaders and the Communist Party and have largely resisted western calls for openness and western style democracy. That is not to say there are no Chinese dissidents who hate the system as should be expected, but they’re a negligible minority.

For all Nigerians care, the PDP could rule for another millennium if it so wished if it could provide them with basic social amenities to make their lives a little easier and not the eternal purgatory and drudgery that is now their lot. What do people care for if their basic needs are being met by the state in terms of economic opportunities, security, and the availability of efficient and effective social services at their beck and call? Pretty little! When we get right down to it, politics is an elite sport and not for the masses, who are only used to install the elites in power only to be discarded until the next around round of elections. That is the nature of politics ala democracy, whether it is in developing or developed nations.  As experience has shown in developed democracies, people do not even bother to go to the polls when they have little to worry about. Under such conditions, they can only be mobilized for the polls on fringe issues not on anything substantive that bother on their material well-being.  Even so, turnouts would still be low and disappointingly so. When we compare, for instance, voter turnouts during the Gore/Bush 2000 presidential elections when the US economy was still roaring with record budget surplus bequeathed by the Clinton administration, or during Bush/Kerry presidential election, when the economy was still strong, to voter turnouts in Obama/McCain 2008 presidential election elections when the US economy had already tanked with record budget deficits, the difference is stark clear.  The acute voter apathy witnessed during the Bush/Gore and the Bush/Kerry elections respectively, was remarkably absent during the Obama/McCain election, thanks to the economic worries caused by the financial meltdown in 2008. 

When the electorate is gripped by economic worries, some politicians in office should dust up their resumes and be looking for jobs because when people have worries in a democracy they’re revved up for the polls, determined to throw out those perceived to be responsible for their woes or not doing enough to either remove or at least mitigate them substantially. Under such poisoned political atmosphere even a cow standing for election against the status quo would defeat an incumbent at the polls.  Obama was swept into power with the gale of public discontents about their economic conditions.

The present political situation in Nigeria is not altogether far from the scenario painted above.  If anything, it represents the above scenario and that, in and of itself, is enough to make the PDP sober and soul-search itself, if not totally jittery.  But the reverse is the case in Nigeria where the party appears to have nothing but absolute scorn and disregard for the dire economic realities Nigerians are facing, made even worse with the total absence of basic social amenities.  One reason for this is that Nigerians have never really tasted the good things of life such as well developed and efficient social infrastructure, as would for instance, the citizens of developed democracies save for the few elites who are either linked to the government or the business sector or the religious clergies the professionals, who travel out. Yet all Nigerians are victims of decaying infrastructures at one level or another. Presiding over the degradation of their quality of lives should bother the ruling party sufficient enough to make amends and deliver on its solemn pledges made to the people of Nigeria. Yar’Adua came to power promising to declare a state of emergency within his first months in office indicating that he was sufficiently acquainted with the power problem confronting the nation, which was then a whole lot better than it is today.  The power situation has degenerated further under Yar’Adua. As at the time he took over power generation was peaking at 4000mw which was and is still grossly inadequate for a nation that requires no less than 30,000mw by some estimates.  The president had no qualms reneging on that fundamental undertaking made to Nigerians. Thereafter, he came up with another promise of generating up to 10,000mw by the end of the year 2009. Come 2009 and power generation plummets to under 2000mw and remains so till date. His promise on electoral reforms solemnly made and for which the Justice Uwais panel was set up and came up with certain critical recommendations has similarly not seen the light of day. Niger Delta began and ended with declaration of amnesty for so-called repentant militants with some token handouts and nothing more---just a declaration and Yar’Adua went to sleep on us and he’s yet to wake up from that slumber till date.  Scarcity of petroleum products has become the norm rather than the exception in the land. Heinous crimes such as kidnapping and daylight robberies under the nose of law enforcement agencies, magnified and accentuated by mini-jihads in parts of the North, have unleashed deaths and destructions on innocent citizens thus making the lives of hapless Nigerians to become short, nasty, and brutish in the extreme. 

All these calamities are taking place under a PDP government that is flush with petro-dollar with oil prices hitting and staying at the rooftops. Yet the government could not implement up to 30% of its own budgets with unspent funds returning to the treasury to be budgeted over again and again in a cycle of unfulfilled budgetary circus.  A government this weak and anemic on budget deliverables in the face of huge oil receipts has no business remaining in office. Yet, ironically, the PDP has been returned to office at every election. Many Nigerians are quick to cite electoral malpractices as being responsible for the party’s electoral victories. However, that is only part of the story and not the whole.  This is because from the verdicts of the electoral tribunals the elections of the overwhelming majority of the PDP governors including the President have been validated by the courts. Of all the PDP governors elected in the last elections, only two in Edo and Ondo states have been invalidated with the remainder declared validly elected by the courts, discounting Anambra state which was a carryover from the 2003 elections.  Those who hoist rigging on rooftops as being solely responsible for PDP’s electoral victories had better come up with something else because that simplistic conclusion does not hold up to judicial scrutiny and amounts to pedestrian reductionism which trivializes the issue. It is, therefore, more profitable to search for a more sophisticated explanation; one that takes into account the several factors that combine to determine electoral outcomes in Nigeria. In this connection, therefore, one would venture to state that while electoral malpractices have become endemic in the nation’s electoral system and have obviously exerted negative effects on electoral results on the whole, other primordial factors are at play, which have little or nothing to do with electoral malpractices. 

One of such is the traditional power of incumbency. As the INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu observed regarding the inability of the opposition which included such favored heavyweight like former CBN Governor, Professor Charles Solubo, to dislodge Governor Peter Obi from power, you do not go after an incumbent office holder with fragmented weapons by fielding a multiplicity of parties that end up splitting the votes of the opposition. That is the first law of elections. The Nigerian opposition had been going after the incumbent PDP governments at the center with fragmented weapons by fielding a multiplicity of party candidates and the net result is nothing but disaster for the opposition. And the reader would ask, didn’t I just say that even a cow would defeat an incumbent when the voters are angry about their economic conditions and revved up for the polls? Yes, but that happens not in a multi-party system with fragmented political parties, but in two-party or limited party system as it’s practiced in advanced democracies. A two or limited party system aggregates votes while a multi-party system fragments votes into nothingness. It is near impossible for the above model to work out in fragmented party environment like obtains in Nigeria, and the elections in Anambra state just proved it. Governor Peter Obi was returned on a minority votes with the opposition combined garnering more votes than him.  But fragmented votes do not make a difference even if their totality amounts to the majority votes. And that’s why Peter Obi is back in power!  This should serve as a signal lesson for the opposition in Nigeria, that no matter how unpopular the PDP may be at the moment, if it fails to field a common candidate against the PDP at the center, it will continue to remain in political wilderness and Ogbulafor’s boast will come to pass, while it continues to whine about rigging. It is critically important, therefore, that the opposition rallies around single candidates through some mutually beneficial arrangements rather than fielding presidential candidates of their own without making a dent, which is sheer ego-tripping.

Another potent factor could be found in PDP’s divide and rule zoning formula. By dividing the nation into North/South for the purpose of the presidency, the party had psyched and conditioned the zones to expect their turn and vote for its presidential candidate from the zone to which the slot is due at any given moment.  Thus when the PDP fielded Yar’Adua in the 2007 election from the North, the South was ready to support him knowing that after his tenure the presidency would rotate back to it, to either the South/East or South/South with the South/West already zoned out by virtue of the previous Obasanjo’s two-term presidency. By this reasoning therefore, the South was not ready to gamble with another party fielding a candidate from the either the South or North for fear of derailing its chances.  Thus even if an opposition party fielded Northern candidates like Abubakar Atiku and Mohammadu Buhari as the AC and ANPP did respectively, it would have amounted to taking a gamble with these candidates whose parties have not publicly and officially adopted the zoning formula like the PDP. Why go with the unknown when the known is available and beckoning on you to come and grab it? It makes no sense at all!

A third potent factor is financial inducements. Nigeria’s electoral development has yet to attain that grainy level of campaign financing regulations that would effectively checkmate the electoral bazaars that go for elections in Nigeria. It is so easy for moneybags to ‘win’ elections in Nigeria even if the candidate is known to have corruptly enriched himself while in public service.  The electoral culture in Nigeria is so atrociously corrupt that even the average voter openly demands money for his vote and would go for the candidate with the deepest pocket possible.  Thus a party like the PDP bristling with government contractor millionaires has little or no difficulty buying up and warehousing electoral votes during polls.  And this is by no means limited to the PDP alone as the opposition parties are also in the game. When we talk of a corrupt electoral culture, it should be understood that it is a systemic issue not necessarily a party a ruling party issue only.  Endemic poverty coupled with lack of political education is at the root of the problem and the politicians would like to keep it that way and only get to cry foul when they are at the receiving end but keep mum when they’re the beneficiaries. 

The above factors, together with others like ethnicity are currently playing to the advantage of the PDP—that is until now, that a Daniel has come to judgment!  My analysis of signals from the fast emerging Jonathan presidency points unmistakably to a thunderous, earth-quaking game change that will put the ruling PDP on the chopping block. Although Ag President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was elected and ruling under the platform of the PDP, it is my prediction that he will ultimately be transformed to become that party’s nemesis that will see the end of PDP as we know it. Therefore, regardless of the prevalence of the potent factors in favor of the PDP enumerated above, the party is headed for the rocks and will— listen to this, lose the next presidential elections.  And the cynic may ask, what is the basis for your prediction? Such predictions had been made in the past yet the PDP came out tops. Why would it be different now?

Two fundamental developments in the polity are responsible for the encroaching PDP doomsday. First and foremost is the burning desire by INEC under Maurice Iwu to conduct credible elections come 2011 of which the Anambra election that returned Peter Obi to power is only a harbinger and foretaste.  This writer has always argued and will continue to argue that Iwu had nothing to do with electoral malpractices that had bedeviled our previous elections. The politicians themselves are the culprits not Iwu. Electoral reforms must begin and end with the politicians otherwise nothing will change. Reforms must be centered on the players not the umpires. I had put out series of articles dating back to 2007, patting Iwu on the back for successfully transiting from one civilian administration to another; a feat yet unequalled in the annals of Nigeria’s electoral history and I’m happy to observe that many notable Nigerians are now coming to the same conclusion even if belatedly.  That said, it is still critically important for INEC to deliver an election that is seen by the ordinary man and woman in the street as credible, free and fair, such as recently conducted in Anambra state. The issue, therefore, is not whether Iwu and INEC are responsible for electoral malpractices, but to do all in their powers to avoid them and where impossible discountenance votes procured through undemocratic means by voiding them.  This is the phase that Iwu and INEC have moved into at the moment—to deliver credible elections to the glory of Nigeria and her electoral system. And that’s bad news for the PDP. Iwu and INEC will do this regardless of any pressures or underhanded interference from the ruling party or the opposition because Iwu is bent on leaving a worthy legacy of credible elections.  He just did it in Edo and Anambra states at the local and state levels and he will do it again at the national level. At the moment that spells disaster for the ruling PDP in the forthcoming polls.

Unless the opposition manages to shoot itself in the foot yet again the present mass angst against the ruling party will sweep it out of power in one gale. Having recorded a feat in civilian to civilian transition in 2007, I’m reasonably confident that INEC is ready to record another and the ultimate feat of party-to-party transition to complete the job. Nigeria might be a democracy but her democracy and electoral success are incomplete unless and until she is able to transit from one government formed under one political party to another government formed under another political party—that is to say, party-to-party transition and not merely from one government to another of the same party as happened between the Obasanjo and the Yar’Adua administrations. That is the next hurdle before the nation and all the auguries point to this eventuality beginning in 2011 however with the caveat that the opposition is ready and willing to stake its claim to the presidency under one roof, and not as political undergrowths as presently constituted.  For the opposition to make a breakthrough vote fragmentation must be avoided like a plague.

Enter Jonathan: However, this feat cannot be attained in isolation. For it to come to fruition, it must be coupled with another more potent factor in the making—the political ascendancy of Jonathan. The treatment of Jonathan by his political party in the wake of the Yar’Adua imbroglio left a sour taste in the mouth. Before he was made Ag President, his party had treated him like a political orphan who had no place in the presidency.  That he was effectively sidelined by Yar’Adua even in matters dear to his heart as the roiling Niger Delta cauldron while the PDP looked the other way did not help matters at all.  It only served to cement the perception that Jonathan was merely an ornamental object in the presidency just to balance the aesthetic equation at the nation’s seat of power.  At the time he needed his party’s support to fully assume presidential duties in the absence of Yar’Adua, his party literarily turned its back on him and gave him a cold shoulder. It even warned its members in the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council that he was leading then as VP not to touch him even with a long pole; all because it wanted to be in the good books of Yar’Adua.  In the language of William Shakespeare, Jonathan was like a dog tied to a stake and bayed by other dogs.

Everyone was positioning himself to be in Yar’Adua’s good books rather than doing what was right for the nation to the detriment of Jonathan. And what is more? Even the governors from his Niger Delta base were scheming and plotting day and night to upstage him, including the one from his own Bayelsa state, as reported.  And no sooner did the National Assembly brush aside the party’s shenanigans and invested Jonathan with the title and powers of Ag President than the same party rushed to warn him that he could not contest for the 2011 presidential elections as if it had an axe to grind with him. It would soon follow that warning with an executive meeting that promptly zoned the presidential slot to the North thus putting paid to any notion of Jonathan contesting the 2011 elections. That singular decision has the effect of abruptly aborting his brilliant political career midstream.  That is the height of wickedness. All these humiliations were inflicted on a man who did not seek for the position he found himself occupying and who had proved himself time and again during one the most trying times of the nation, as one of the humblest and most loyal deputies ever to grace the face of the presidency, made more starkly so in the face of the ambitions, treachery, and disloyalty of his predecessor- in-office under the previous Obasanjo administration. This man bore these indignities from his own party and home turf with uncommon equanimity, Spartan stoicism, and decorum. 

Pray, how much more mean-spirited could a political party be to one of its own in such high ranking position of authority in times like these? It only goes to show that, just like the Yar’Adua’s Kitchen cabinet and the security agencies, Ogbulafor and his PDP gang are only loyal to Yar’Adua and nobody else, not even the nation.  But the good thing is that all that is not lost on Jonathan. PDP will pay dearly for its act of betrayal in the fullness of time and that’s 2011.  Jonathan’s sending of the Justice Uwais report to the National Assembly unedited is the first sign that the game is about the change for good and that’s pointer to what lies ahead that will fundamentally affect the fortunes of the PDP. What is more? His sacking of the entire Federal Executive Council (FEC) and keeping the PDP leadership in the dark while at it is danger signal for the PDP that its days in the presidency are numbered unless the PDP leadership sees the handwriting on the wall and moves to reconcile quickly with Jonathan.  Barely four months ago, Jonathan was a mere presidential ornament in Yar’Adua ‘s backroom office in the presidency. Today, he is the Sole Administrator of Nigeria who, like the sun, is at the center of our political universe from whom all powers radiate to animate our national planet—the nucleus of the emerging power center. That’s right. There is a new power center emerging in the nation with Jonathan at its nucleus, because the old things have passed away!

This reality is fast dawning on Ogbulafor and his PDP henchmen at Wadata House in Abuja. Characteristic of the typical Nigerian opportunists, however, Ogbulafor was quick to claim after a visit to Jonathan that the party was duly consulted before the FEC dissolution. Hear him: “…being a PDP government, there was no way the acting president would have embarked on such a major decision without the knowledge of the party…” and hinting that the party would play a critical role in the reconstitution of the FEC as reported by THISDAY ONLINE (031910). However, the fact that the PDP chairman has gone to such lengths to show that the party is still relevant in the Jonathan presidency is clear indication that all is not well between him and his party executive on the one hand, and the Ag President on the other hand.  That Ogbulafor went back with other executive members to plead with Jonathan to carry the party and allies of presidents Yar’Adua and Obasanjo along in the reconstitution of his cabinet, is proof positive that the party had been sidelined by Jonathan in his bold moves. It seems clear, however, that Ogbulafor is playing smart by gradually changing his colors in the absence of Yar’Adua’s recovery. That is the reality that has now cruelly settled on all those opposed to Jonathan’s presidential elevation. It came, anyway, by sheer providence and in spite of their stout objections. However, to what extent the party is ready to severe its umbilical cord with Yar’Adua and make nice with Jonathan now holding the levers of powers, remains to be seen.

That said, the party’s current executive led by Ogbulafor should be under no illusion that Ag President Goodluck Jonathan cannot be pushed aside and have his rising political star dimmed or sacrificed on the altar of political expediency masquerading as zoning formula.  Jonathan cannot be denied a chance to gun for the presidency since the party is still stuck with Yar’Adua and has bluntly refused to make him president and stuck with the title of acting president in total disregard for the constitution.  Ogbulafor must be reminded that he cannot serve both masters at the same time nor can the party eat its cake and have it back. He should choose between Yar’Adua and Jonathan because the line is already drawn in the sand. If he doesn’t see it now, it will be too late when the cookies begin to crumble. 

Come to think about it, if Jonathan is being denied the presidency by his own party, not the opposition parties, why on earth should he deliver the presidency to the same party that denied him the chance to go for it? That is not how it works. Politics is give and take. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. It’s that simple! The party cannot therefore dictate to the Nigerian nation which part of the country should produce the president and which part should sit on the stand as spectators. That is a matter for Nigerians to determine not the PDP or Victor Ogbulafor, or anyone else for that matter. It amounts to sheer arrogance of power for the PDP to arrogate to itself the prerogative of determining who should run or not run for the presidency and from which part of the country he/she should come from. It’s time to call the PDP bluff and respect our constitution if it is worth respecting at all.

Yes, it is time for Ogbulafor and his damnable executive to go because they have outlived their usefulness, and have constituted themselves into a formidable cog in the wheel of progress in our young democracy. Rather than being part of the solution they have become the problem itself for the nation.

Ogbulafor can pretend all he wants that all is well between the party executive and the Ag President at the present time, but it seems clear to the discerning observer that Jonathan is fighting back like a wounded lion and he is doing it with presidential grace.  Who would blame him? He has pledged to deliver credible election anchored on electoral reforms that had been marooned by Yar’Adua for three years. That declaration and the sincerity with which it was made, is good news for and a shot in the arms of the opposition but bad news for the PDP. PDP can say goodbye to the presidency unless something untoward happens in the run-up to the presidential elections, which no one can foretell. How and when Jonathan will make his ultimate moves will become clearer as the days and months go by. But this much is clear to me: no politician who has tasted power at that level would sit idly by while his party power merchants abruptly abort his political career midstream in the name of an unconstitutional and illegal zoning arrangement without fighting back with all the powers and weapons at his disposal. PDP has just shot itself in the foot and might as well kiss the presidency goodbye, come 2011!

That’s right! The PDP has its head on the chopping block. As things stand at the moment, the PDP as we know it, will cease to exist unless it makes peace with Ag President Jonathan otherwise it should know that it is on a death row and only Jonathan can save it. The PDP oligarchs must understand that the party has survived thus far because it is in control of the presidency and therefore in a position to dispense favors to Nigerian politicians who hanker after their material comfort and nothing more. Without Jonathan’s support, PDP will be out of power in a matter of months.  Losing Jonathan translates to losing the power of incumbency, which is the only leverage it has at the moment as it has frittered away its goodwill. That is the certain fate that will befall it unless and until it retraces its steps by allowing Jonathan to contest the next presidential elections and leave it for the electorate to decide who wins and who loses. That is democracy at work as opposed to party dictatorship imposed on the nation.  It is the prerogative of the people not the party to determine who runs and who wins or loses, not the party’s. 

While it is not yet clear at the moment which direction the wind may blow, suffice it state that the worst thing that can happen to the PDP is to force Jonathan to quit the party and run under another party platform.  But some may ask, what makes Jonathan special? Is he not part of the despised PDP that Nigerians have served an eviction notice on? Not exactly the same. This man appears remarkably different from the power merchants in the PDP. He is a chip from another block. His simplicity is simply disarming and his sincerity shines through his words and actions. Above all, he’s not ambitious, and yet power finds him out wherever he is hiding and latches on to him like a second skin. It’s too early to judge the man, but apart from the power of incumbency which he now has, he has demonstrated sincerity of purpose and dynamism which is gradually but steadily endearing him to the hearts and minds of Nigerians, which the PDP is wholly lacking.  Having wasted its goodwill, only Jonathan can redeem the battered image of the PDP and that’s the more reason the party should fall in line behind him with all its heart and soul.

The PDP may be dreaming of ruling the nation for another fifty years and there is nothing wrong with dreaming. But if it wants to rule for another four years, Jonathan is the answer and it is well advised to have him on board for the 2011 presidential elections. He might not be ambitious, but as we have seen, his political trajectory is destined for the ultimate presidential title with or without the support of the PDP oligarchs. Hasn’t the party learnt its lesson yet? The sole question to be asked and answered therefore, is: does he have the right to contest for the presidency under our laws and the constitution?  If the answer is no, I’ll be glad to know the law or constitutional provision that bars him from contesting for the highest office in the land. If the answer is yes, so be it, and let the law rule! That, in essence, is the true meaning of “The Rule of Law” not Kaase Aondoakaa’s fraudulent jingo. How about allowing the rule of law take firm hold in our nation? That would be a nice beginning and worthy departure from the fraudulent past. Wouldn’t it?

I rest my case for now.

Franklin Otorofani, Esq. contact: mudiagaone@yahoo.com



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