With the general elections over, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has taken a knock it never envisaged would come this early. But there are still some die-hards left in its fold who can shorten its stay out of central power writes EMMA ALOZIE
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which calls itself the largest political party in Africa is in need of rescue. The party has imploded and is in dire need of direction.
After the 2015 general elections, it has now become clearer that the PDP is in the opposition. With the tsunami that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has become, it may look like an uphill task for the PDP to return to power in the foreseeable future.
The reality on ground is that the PDP as a party needs direction and leadership. With no clear cut leader in sight, the party may not find it very easy challenging for power at the centre in the next four years.
However, there are PDP men who have shown that with more hard work, they can resuscitate the comatose PDP and ready it for the next general elections.
Governor Ayo Fayose:
He is the governor of Ekiti state. He has been in the eye of the storm in the build up to the election. At a point, it was as if he was the main challenger of APC’s General Muhammadu Buhari. He took up the gauntlet to challenge the APC and vowed never to allow APC win the election at least in Ekiti state.
He fought and delivered Ekiti to the party, being the only state in the South West that President Jonathan won. Soon after General Buhari was declared winner, the APC lawmakers in Ekiti started moves to impeach him. Rather than being agitated, he described them as jesters. Then, he established his political supremacy in the April 11 House of Assembly election in the state, where he led the PDP to victory, winning all the 26 seats in the state legislature.
Governor Fayose has shown that by his sheer doggedness, grit and determination, he can be in the forefront of PDP’s revitalisation. He can lead the party in the South West and see to it that the party’s flag can be kept vibrantly afloat, at least in the South West region.
Governor Godswill Akpabio
He is the outgoing governor of Akwa Ibom state and he is also a senator elect. He has held the state in great bond. He has shown that he is a mover and grassroots mobiliser. Though he is going to the senate, he has shown that he can lead the party perhaps in the South South region. His tenacity and sense of purpose is very much needed at this critical time in the life of the party. Those who know him closely describe him as a go-getter and his wide contacts will help in galvanising nationwide support for the party.
The number of votes he delivered to the party in both the presidential and governorship elections shows that he should be one of those spearheading the revival and resuscitation the party preparatory to the 2019 elections. He should be key to the continued existence of the party especially at this most trying time in its life.
Senator David Mark
In the absence of any substantive leader of the party, David Mark can be a rallying point. A ranking member of the party, he is the longest serving senator in the history of Nigerian senate. He was there in 1999 when the first senate was inaugurated and has ever since been there. In the last eight years, he has served as the senate president and this has given him much leverage and more prominence.
With his wide connections, he can start mending fences. He can reach out to many of the aggrieved original members of the party who left in the heat of the power tussle and this is very key to the resuscitation of the party. Interestingly, he has vowed to remain a member of the PDP even if he was the last man standing. With this in mind, he should be another rallying point to reposition the party in order to keep it afloat in view of the elections four years ahead.
Former minister of state for education and now governor-elect of Rivers state, Wike has shown that he is a true party man. With sheer doggedness, he wrestled Governor Rotimi Amaechi to a standstill. When Governor Amaechi became rebellious, he came in handy to checkmate him. He took over Rivers PDP and prevented it from going aground. He rallied round the remaining party members and went to work. The result of which is the massive votes he delivered for the party both in the presidential and governorship elections.
With the enthusiasm he has shown, he is one of the few that the party could rely upon to rebuild the party. Being a governor of Rivers state, one of the most resource rich states in Nigeria, funding the party for revival may not be a huge problem to him. He seems a good organizer who has what it takes to be a rallying point. The PDP may have suffered a huge blow, but if the likes of Wike can work the way he worked in keeping Rivers PDP alive, then the future of the PDP nationwide may still be bright.