Is Southwest In PDP Plans?
Nigeria News takes a look at the attitude of PDP leadership toward the Southwestern part of the country.
The recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States have shown that the Peoples Democratic Party may not really have the plan to dominate the Southwest as it did during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second term between 2003 and 2007.
It was clear, during its last convention when it chose its national executives, that the party had no agenda for the southwest and would not want to spend its resources in the region.
Prior to the convention in which a south-south leader, Prince Uche Secondus emerged as the National Chairman, no fewer than four aspirants from the southwest had contested for the position but they lost to the financial power of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Wike went to the extent of tagging southeast and south-south as the PDP states and that the leadership of the party must come from the regions. He was of the view that the southwest never loved the PDP and that it would be suicidal to entrust the party in the hands of the southwest leaders.
As a matter of fact, the former Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Chief Bode George who withdrew from the PDP national chairmanship race accused Wike of turning PDP to a regional party.
As it stands today, PDP is gradually taking the form of a regional party but it may not be able to play the strong opposition the likes of the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Alliance for Democracy played while PDP was at the centre.
The governorship election of Osun State a few days ago has confirmed this. The PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke was left in the cold by the party.
Having bankrolled the election with his family funds and eventually failed to muscle the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in an election that was decided by a rerun, Adeleke lacked the PDP supports when it needed it most.
While the ruling APC had to send a strong delegation to meet with the new bride in Osun, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Senator Iyiola Omisore in order to form a coalition with it so that it could win the rerun, PDP leadership stayed back in Abuja to monitor the events as it unfolded on television.
The APC delegation included its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and no fewer than six governors. They succeeded in convincing Omisore that the southwest must be for APC.
If not for the presence of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki in Osun, the PDP never thought it right to negotiate with Omisore. Why? The southwest is never in PDP agenda as it played out in Ekiti. The state Governor, Ayo Fayose was left to struggle alone as APC coasted to victory in the state about three months ago.
What happened in Ekiti and Osun states have revealed how desperate APC will go to win the presidential election for Muhammadu Buhari for the second term while PDP, due to its exclusion agenda will remain an opposition party.