Since the advent of democracy in the
fourth republic in 1999, the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, has been having
an easy ride in all presidential elections in
the country. Apart from the fact that all the
opposition parties that contested against
the PDP in the past, lack national spread,
PDP leaders were not complacent as they
actually worked hard to ensure victory
for the party. The interest of the party was
uppermost among PDP members and they
never took their opponents for granted.
To reward their members, the behemoth
ensured that it is winner takes it all
and only those within its fold and its
sponsors maximally benefitted from the
government. All the juicy appointments,
apart from some ministerial slots, and
federal contracts were exclusive reserve of
loyalists of the party. Those that ventured
out of the PDP umbrella for one reason or
the other, soon found themselves begging
to be readmitted into the party when they
started feeling the pinch of zero patronage
from the central government.
However, after winning several elections
in succession without serious challenge
from the opposition parties, leaders of
the ruling party became complacent and
they began taking things for granted.
Even when the opposition political parties
eventually admitted that they cannot
upstage if they continue to go it alone and
went into merger talks, leaders of the PDP,
especially members of the Adamu Muazuled
National Working Committee, NWC,
dismissed the merger with a wave of the
hand because they saw strange political
bedfellow dinning on same table. By the
time the All Progressives Congress, APC,
eventually emerged, PDP still maintained
its position that the marriage will soon
PDP only started having a rethink,
albeit belatedly, when some five rebel
governors led by former Vice President,
Atiku Abubakar and Rotimi Amaechi
of Rivers state and their supporters, last
year, defected to the opposition APC.
The depletion also affected the National
Assembly and States Houses of Assembly
where several members of the party
jumped ship to the opposition party. The
emergence of the APC changed the game
on the political landscape as the party has
since become a thorn on the flesh of the
Prior to the defection of the five governors
to the APC, the PDP was having very
serious challenges within its fold. Even
within the National Working Committee,
NWC, there was serious rift as the former
National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye
Oyinlola ganged up against the former
National Chairman, Dr Bamanga Tukur at
the behest of the former factional chairman
of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rotimi
Amaechi. The rift eventually consumed
Prince Oyinlola. Oyinlola’s exit did not
solve the drift within the party as some
vested interests ensured that Tukur, who
is an unrepentant supporter of President
Goodluck Jonathan, was shoved aside.
It took the ingenuity and sagacity of
the immediate past chairman of the PDP
Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih and
some elders of the party to halt the drift in
the party before the Adamu Muazu came
on board. The PDP Governors Forum
led by Governor Godswill Akpabio also
played key role in restoring some measure
of normalcy to the party before Adamu
Muazu came on the scene and changed the
game in the favour of the PDP. The ruling
party started to gradually regain some
lost ground by recovering Ekiti state and
poaching of some lawmakers and other
foot soldiers from the opposition party.
With renewed confidence the PDP
appeared set to repeat the old miracle in
2015 until few months back when the party
conducted its primaries for various offices.
Prior to and during the primaries some
chieftains of the party within the NWC put
self above the interest of the party when
they manipulated the process that threw
up the candidates of the party. There were
reports that some NWC members brazenly
sold the PDP tickets to the highest bidder.
It never bordered these chieftains of the
party that the opposition APC is waxing
stronger and was waiting in the wings to
reap from whatever post-primaries crisis
within the PDP. These political merchants
in the garb of PDP officials ripped off
aspirants and were smiling to their banks
with loots collected from aspirants.
One of the most celebrated cases that
blew into the open was the case in Delta
state. In the cash-for-nomination scam that
rocked Delta state, one of the State PDP
governorship aspirants, Ndudi Elumelu,
was compelled to petition the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
after the whooping sum of N750 million
was collected from him with an assurance
that they will hand over the PDP ticket
to him irrespective of who wins the
primaries. Elumelu was said to have been
absolved of any wrong doing, but the main
suspect in the bribery case, an Abuja based
billionaire who turned himself in to the
EFCC indicted many party stalwarts in the
NWC who he claimed were complicit in
sharing the N750 million bribe.
The principal suspect is also said to be a
friend of a PDP National Vice Chairman
and son-in-law of a former Minister of
Aviation. While EFCC is looking into
Elumelu’s petition, more aspirants have
volunteered to testify on the huge cash-fornomination
deals during PDP’s primaries.
The cash-for-nomination scam is not
limited to the aspirants in Delta state as
several aspirants from other states also
claimed they lost huge sums to dubious
officials before the primaries. These
mindless PDP officials that illegally
manipulated the PDP primaries and
created disaffection within the rank have been described as the real
enemies of PDP because their
action left many members of their
party aggrieved. These aggrieved
members of the PDP are the
people that are supposed to be the
foot soldiers of the party during
this crucial election period. But
because they were short-changed
by some greedy officials of the
party some of the aggrieved
members of the party defected to
the opposition. Those that stayed
put within PDP are not raising a
single finger to assist the party
in the electioneering campaign.
Though Vice President Namadi
Sambo went on trouble shooting
mission to reconcile those that
were short-changed during the
primaries, a good number
of the aggrieved PDP members
are yet to come to terms with
what befell them and have stayed
aloof barely one month to the
presidential election.
Political observers also
identified another set of members
of PDP that were tagged enemies
within the party. These sets are
those who were given various
assignments to assist the party
in the electioneering campaign
but ended up in diverting most
of the logistics they received to
their private use. Among them
are some that are supposed
to mobilise some interest and
professional groups for the party,
but did little or nothing to assist
the party to check the rampaging
APC. Some of those that fall into
this category lived in the past
that PDP can easily over-run the
opposition during the election
and for it to spend money on
engaging groups, will amount to
waste, expend the logistics.
Political observers and vast
majority of PDP members
believe that PDP suffered the
humiliating defeat in the hands of
the APC because of the omissions
and commissions of members
of the NWC. The report that
NWC members shared obscene
amount from the treasury of the
party shortly after losing the
presidential election did not go
down well with members of the
party who were still nursing the
wound inflicted on the party by
the APC.
Instead of accepting
responsibility for their failure,
the NWC went in search of
scapegoats. Initially the Adamu
Muazu-led NWC blamed the
aides and close associates of
President Jonathan of being
responsible for the defeat of the
party during the presidential and
National Assembly elections.
The NWC issued a “strong
warning” to the president’s
associates and aides, asking them
to steer clear of the party, and
not use their closeness to Mr.
Jonathan to cause crisis in the
“The National Working
Committee, NWC, of the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, has issued
a very strong warning to some
ambitious aides and associates
of President Goodluck Jonathan
trying to use their closeness to
him to cause crisis in the party
and pave way for more defection
to other parties,” the party said
in an unusually strongly-worded
The PDP said it would expose
such individuals and make them
face the full weight of the party
disciplinary measures if they fail
to immediately retrace their steps.
The NWC in a statement signed
by the party’s National Publicity
Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said it is
“aware of the clandestine activities
of such aides and associates of the
President including their unholy
alliance with some elements in
other parties to undermine and
weaken the PDP by attacking its
“The NWC is aware that
these same individuals who
mismanaged the presidential
campaigns are now desperately
seeking to cause crisis in the PDP
with a view not only to divert
attention from their misdeeds but
also to ensure that they remained
politically relevant by hijacking
the party structure for their
selfish purposes.”
In another attempt to exonerate
itself from the misfortune of
the party, the NWC changed
their tune a few days later and
attributed the loss of the election
to hate campaign by officials
of the party’s Presidential
Campaign Organisation.
Addressing journalists, the
National Publicity Secretary of
PDP, Olisa Metuh, said the party’s
headquarters was sidelined
during the campaigns, and that
“overzealous” persons were
allowed to run a hate campaign
against Buhari, thereby making
the former military ruler more
Metuh said: “In 2003, President
Olusegun Obasanjo ran against
Odumegwu Ojukwu, while late
President Umaru Yar’Adua also
ran against him in 2007.
“If the PDP had run its
campaign based on hate speech
against the Ikemba Nnewi, he
would have won by a landslide
in the whole of the South east.”
However, the excuses of
the NWC did not cut ice with
members of the party who were
very equivocal that the NWC
members must resign to pave
way for new leaders to emerge to
rebuild the party.
A former political aide to
the president, Ahmed Gulak,
called on the chairman of the
PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, to take
responsibility for the defeat and
“If the belief of the majority
of the members of the PDP is
anything to go by, you could say
that the party chairman was the
number one culprit for the dismal
outing of the PDP,” Gulak said.
“There is no party chairman of
the PDP since 1998 that has led the
party to such a disastrous outing.
As a result, the national chairman
should consider himself one of
those that have to give way for
the new party to come up. In fact,
he doesn’t need to be told to turn
in his resignation,” he said.
Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti
state and members of the PDP in
the South West, also joined other
PDP members in calling for the
resignation or sack of Muazu
and other members of the NWC
but rather than do the needful,
the NWC engaged Fayose in
war of words. The outcome of
the British election gave Fayose
additional justification for his call
for the resignation of Muazu and
NWC. After losing the election
conducted last week, British
Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband,
and that of Liberal Democrats,
Nick Clegg, threw in the towel to
pave way for new leadership of
the parties.
Fayose said Muazu should be
honourable enough to follow the
same path as the British LP and
Democrats leaders.
“Muazu’s case is even
worse than that of the British
party leaders, who resigned
immediately their party lost
because majority of PDP members
no longer have confidence in his
(Muazu) leadership and there is
no way a willing leader can be
forced on unwilling followers.”
“This is not about any
personality and I am also not
operating here on empty boast
because Ekiti State was delivered
to the PDP 100 percent.
“Rather, it is about issues.
Imagine the PDP not getting up to
five percent of the votes in Bauchi
State, the National Chairman’s
home state and someone is still
not being honourable enough to
“Haven’t we now seen what
operates in saner climes with the
resignation of the British LP and
Democrat leaders? Shouldn’t our
party National Chairman also
take a cue from this and allow
for fresh minds to steer the ship
of the party at this difficult time?
“Leaders in this country should
learn from their counterparts in
other climes because like I said
earlier, when a war commander
leads his troop to an embarrassing
defeat, such commander does
not need anyone to tell him that
he needs to leave the war front
for another commander to take
over,” Fayose said.
The NWC only left Fayose alone
when Governors Sule Lamido
of Jigawa state and Babangida
Aliyu of Niger state joined the
fray in demanding the immediate
resignation of the Muazu-led
The heat on the NEC became
hotter on Tuesday when the
Director of Media and Publicity
of the PDP Presidential
Campaign Organisation, Chief
Femi Fani-Kayode responded to
the claims of NWC that it was
hate campaign by the campaign
organisation that led to the defeat
of PDP in the presidential polls.
Fani-Kayode declared that it
was simply the incompetence
of the NWC and the secret pact
that some of them had with the
opposition, that caused PDP
defeat and demanded that the
NWC step aside.
His words: “They are traitors
and they are working for the
enemy. Did these so-called party
leaders complain when Jonathan
was attacked by the APC and Lai
Mohammed every day?
“I find it strange that they are
prepared to accept the personal
attacks on their own candidate
as being acceptable; yet, they
complain when we attack the
candidate of the other side.
Whose side are these people
really on?
The PDP campaign Spokesman
declared that members of the
campaign organization “stood
up for the President and fought
for him when he was faced with
the most vicious, malicious and
hateful gunfire that this country
has ever known.
“They fought for him gallantly
when he was faced with the most
effective and ruthless campaign
of calumny that this country has
ever known from an opposition
that was ruthlessly efficient in
all its ways and that was not
prepared to spare him.
“The truth is that the APC
media machine was awesome;
yet, we engaged them fire for fire
and bullet for bullet and I do not
regret that. If we had not done so,
we would have lost the election
by at least 10 million more votes
than we did.
“We spoke the truth, we
engaged the enemy on all fronts
and we not only fought them
to a standstill, but for the first
time since the establishment of
the APC, they were put on the
defensive. If one or two members
of the NWC are so ignorant that
they cannot make a distinction
between virile political banter
and a hate campaign that is their
Interestingly, less than 12 hours
after Fani-Kayode slammed the
NWC, the national chairman
caved in to pressure and tendered
his resignation. The chairman of
the party’s Board of Trustees,
BoT, Chief Tony Anenih followed
by resigning to pave way for the
emergence of Jonathan as BoT
chairman; though Mr. President
is yet to indicate any interest in
the position. However, other
members of the NWC have
insisted that nothing will make
them vacate their offices as being
demanded by majority of the
members of the party nationwide.
Political watchers are of the
view that the elders of the PDP
need to look inwards to check
the activities of these enemies
within its rank before they do
more damage to the party. As the
party is traversing the country,
soliciting for memoranda from
party members on how to
rebuild the party, concerned
elders of the party must intensify
reconciliation of aggrieved
members and ensure all the
officials that were impediments
to achieving its target during the
election are made to step aside.
The party is facing its toughest
challenge since 1999 and how the
greedy merchants and enemies
within its rank are managed, may
determine its fate and survival as
a political party.
If the belief of
the majority of
the members
of the PDP is
anything to go
by, you could
say that the
party chairman
was the number
one culprit
for the dismal
outing of the

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