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The Implosion of PDP and the Nation (II)

The rope, in this conundrum, is the mega party and the bird that dangles on dangerous thin thread is the ‘New PDP’. The essence of…

The rope, in this conundrum, is the mega party and the bird that dangles on dangerous thin thread is the ‘New PDP’. The essence of this dichotomy, this intra-party fragmentation, is the fact that the absence of a mature political culture in the country, manifest in the failure of internal democracy in the ruling party, (and other parties also) is responsible for the political rupture in our country. In other words, the acquisition of power, political power, without effecting democratic growth because that power was sought, not for the genuine reason of growing the nation but largely for self-serving, feathering the material nests of the power-seekers, has failed to materialize in good governance.
Let us break this down to stark recognizable symbols. Since 1999, when civil rule ( I am hesitant to name it democratic rule) returned to the country, the dominant and dominating party, especially, that has run government at the centre and the incoherent and inarticulate opposition, have not functioned as political parties intent upon bequeathing a legacy of democratic governance and the delivery of public goods to the electorate. The ruling party, a bewildering contraption of diverse interests, aims and aspirations, never really set out to provide a responsible, accountable and envisioned leadership through the erection of strong structures. The mushrooming opposition groups, which could have provided a formidable check and balance, or even an inspiring alternative to the governance by arrogance, cavalier and impunity of the amorphous dominant party, were themselves no better in the breach of the essential democratic tenets than the party they oppose. Mostly, therefore, it was impossible for the critical and popular masses to identify clear choices with which to align at critical moments in the nation’s post-military aegis. In such a confused scenario of arrogant power mongering by the hegemony at the centre, weak opposition groups, and an inept and passive civil society and electorate, the entire nation lies in a state of near-comatose.
The implosion within the ruling party, which came in fact much later than anticipated by political analysts and theorists, was inevitable. The party wobbled along through its numerous internal dissensions, from one general election to the other. Many have felt that it was a miracle that the party, which has gloated over its seeming invincibility and chest-pounding over interminable governing aegis, actually held on together this long and this far. But, as I averred earlier, it was hardly surprising, given the incoherence of opposition and the criminal passivity of the electorate.  But there had been sufficient and instructive potentials within the party that the centre could no longer continue to hold in the face of unchecked anarchic trends that inter the fabric of the PDP itself which have finally erupted to the surface in the last few weeks. The critical question to ask here is, beyond all the lucid expose and narrative of the internal crises of the PDP, will the party survive this implosive climax in its life? If it does, what is positive for the nation’s future, resulting from the ‘shake up’ in the dominant party?
An enduring resolution of the crisis would have proved feasible if the aim of the struggle is the ultimate rescue of the party from its present path of incoherence and reposition it for robust, democratic governance—as claimed by the ‘New PDP.’ Unfortunately, the perception of the ‘rebellion’ by the mother party is clearly at variance with the canvassed intention of the ‘internal opposition group’ led by the Seven Governors and its managing structure of leadership. There is a dug-in, entrenched, almost irreconcilable position by the warring parties within the party. Most objective observers discern that the ultimate motif of the ‘warfare’ is 2015—a race, which as I said last week, started from May 29, 2011. The battle for 2015 had made good governance and governance deliverables near-impossible. There have been critical landmarks of governance inertia, as the nation crawls, dangerously to the edge of the precipice. The state of insecurity of the nation rises exponentially as the battle with Boko Haram and the blood-let in Nassarawa rage mortally. This lethal insurgency battles has not cut any significant ice with the mega and mini factions of the ruling party. The weak infrastructure of state and its deleterious effect on national growth and development have become a mere pawn in the political calculus of power seekers from within the party. The responses to the issue of reconciliation, or at least to finding enduring resolution to the internal crises (which is rapidly festering into an open sore for the nation) are unhelpful.   The response of the bigger fraction, indeed of government, is to say the least un-stately. The sack of the nine ministers, under all kinds of guises, has been attributed to vengefulness. Many think that the nine Ministers were certainly not the most incompetent and non-performing. The criteria for their removal ought to have been made public at a crisis moment like this. There are suggestions that most of the ministers were sponsored by most of the ‘erring’ Governors. The present rumour that the replacement for these Ministers will not admit nominations for these governors lend credence to charges of punitive action against the opposition within. The graceless obstructions to certain aspects of the functions of Governor Amaechi, a critical member of the 7 Governors at issue, are not actions taken in favour of resolution of the crisis within the PDP.
What about the political actions of the ‘New PDP’? The body language of Governors and their agents sound very like war-mongering. The match on the National Assembly and the fracas, circus-show, that emerged from it belies the drive toward peace-making. Some of the pronouncements of the members of the 7G within their territories of jurisdiction resonate the anti-democratic actions of the parent body that they pledge to rout. The key issue, nay bone of contention, as I have said earlier, is the control of political power, come 2015. Should Jonathan run or not run? The Jonathan group is determined that his second term bid is not subject to negotiation. The ‘rebels’ insistence on the sacking of the brash Chairman of the mega faction of  the Party, Alhaji Bamanga Turkur, has been seen as a mere smokescreen over the real issue, which is the dissuasion of Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election, upon the strength of an existing Agreement.
There can be no conflict resolution without meaningful dialogue, cessation/suspension of hostilities and tactical withdrawal of ‘arsenals’ for strategic alliance. None of these expedient compromises is presently in practice. How will mere anarchy be not loosed upon the PDP world—and how may this not reverberate across the nation’s political landscape?

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