As we continue to celebrate PDP for her very much deserved victory in Edo governorship election, it is time to pause to rethink and take stock.
With the glowing success of PDP recently, and clear hold of 20 out of 36 states in the Country, what is the thinking of PDP in the next presidential election.
It cannot be over emphad that PDP has enjoyed tremendous and unwavering support from the South and SE in particular since 1999.
It can also not be overemphasized that the SE has been poorly treated during the 16 years reign of PDP in the presidency.
The capital projects in the SE were largely neglected, the much noise on the 2nd Niger bridge, the dredging of the river Niger, the delapidated of her federal roads especially Onitsha Enugu express way, the ABA Portharcourt express way, the non presence of railway in the entire SE, lack of international airports, the glaring police and custom intimidation and harassment of SE states targeting business men on our highly delapidated highways …to mention but a few, are great dangers that the SE has been bedeviled with even before 1999.
However with the much unwavering support, the Govt of PDP has enjoyed from the SE, and the teaming membership of federal appointments and strong hold of strong political big-wigs of South Easterners in then govt, one would have expected that there would have been some light at the end of the tunnel, but tell me which of these problems saw the light throughout the 16 years reign of PDP.
We’re told by HE, President GEJ to be patient, and we gladly did and was hopeful that his second tenure would turn things around. And here we are, the holocaust of APC and Buhari govt swept over our hopes and our dreams.
Ironically, it seems that it was the APC that started some palliatives patching of the wounds of the SE, even with near complete absence of federal appointments of the Easterners, no thanks to the unprecedented and unrepentant favouritism, tribalism and ethnicity programs of Buhari and APC govt.
The second Niger bridge was Kick-started by the APC, though the completion is not insight, the Onitsha Enugu express way started in ernest during the re-election of PMB, and completely came to a halt immediately after his controversial re- election, Akanu Ibiam international Airport Enugu was politically completed and commissioned, the Portharcourt express way also commenced, no thanks to COVID-19 that hit our common purse drastically and put a halt to several federal projects in the south without hitting those in the North, rather, new ones were springing up especially in Katsina state and NW in general.
So, what is the fate of the SE in the contract of this country Nigeria, and especially in the party she believed in – THE PDP.
The Edo governorship election has clearly put the PDP in the lead of states in the country, and once again, what is PDP’s thinking in the 2023, presidential election visa Viz the SE.
The SE has suffered the highest price of neglect and disdain by APC govt, more than any other region in this country, especially in areas of federal appointments, and exclusion from federal projects, because of her inability to hide her preference for PDP.
But has the PDP treated the SE better?
I cannot point to any laudable initiated and completed federal government projects in the entire SE throughout the 16 years PDP reigned supreme.
As the SE continue to show her unrepentant love for the PDP, it is time for her leaders and leaders of the SE, to sit back and discuss and negotiate.
In politics and in business , all-over the world, You don’t get what you deserved, you get what you negotiated.
It’ll become glaringly clearer before the end of 2021, that PDP will lnot adopt zoning in the next presidential election.
It’ll take the shape of the 2011 presidential primaries between GEJ and Atiku Abubakar.
Though GEJ won due to overwhelming support by the entire south and the power of incumbency, it was truly the turn of the north, which was caught short by the death of President Umaru Yaradua.
Will the north going to take their pound of flesh now?
PDP has not produced any presidentbof northern extraction beyond 2 years in her 16 years of supreme. Is the north not part of PDP, and has she not rendered tremendous support too ?
The continued glowing ambition of Atiku Abubakar would not have a better chance to be fulfilled than now, if he clinches the PDP ticket.
The PDP may truly have a better chance if a popular northerner clinches the ticket, and wrongly or rightly, the SE would always support PDP.
So, for how long would the SE still serve. When would the party she believed in since inception appreciate the SE both in federal projects and in clinching the coveted presidency?
The hard truth is that the SE may not produce the president in 2023.because the PDP may not succumb to the pressure of zoning to the SE, due to the poor voting strength of the SE,and the much higher capacity of the North, and PDP seems to have brighter chance of regaining the presidency with a popular northern candidate even though it should be the turn of the South in general and SE in particular, just as PDP did in 2011 using the power of incumbency of GEJ to retain power, though then, it was turn of the north!
So what went around ,seems to have come around!
Therefore, PDP with leadership of 20 states and may still count more should not pretend that things would take care of itself at appropriate time, she must sit down and talk with all the major stakeholders and negotiate the future of the party and the country in general.
The SE must take the lead, because we don’t have any other alternate party unlike the north that is sharply favoured among the 2 major political parties.
Wait a moment, am thinking loudly, it may be a game plan of the north to gradually shift more states to PDP having enjoyed an 8 year reign in APC,now want to duplicate same in PDP. Little wonder the likes of Governor Tambuwal started early relocation from APC to PDP since 2015 in preparation for 2023, what an early start and visionary.
APC may likely zone to the south in 2023, to fulfill all righteousness, but will technically vote for a northern candidate in PDP.
Yes, APC whose leadership is of the core north may trade off the 2023 presidential election to PDP just to retain power in the north.
Afterall, parties in Nigeria has no defined identities nor manifesto.its just a vehicle to ride to political powers. And in politics, there is no permanent friend nor peanent enemy. The only thing that is permanent is interest!
It is therefore increasingly necessary that the overwhelming loyalty and services of the SE to the PDP should be discussed and negotiated and shouldn’t be left for chance nor be taken for granted.
With the turn out of events in Edo governorship election, the APC has truly lost steam to PDP and will continue, if PDP continue to do the needful including discussing with the SE who have seemingly paid the greatest dues.
Chinedu Ifeacho, writes from Ukpo Dunukofia Anambra State.