PDP: The Fall And Rise Of Viable Opposition Party
The Nigeria News reports the victory of Ahmed Makarfi over Ali Modu Sheriff at the Supreme Court.
It was obvious that the ship of the People Democratic Party, PDP was heading towards iceberg when almost all its members at the National Assembly defected to a newly formed All Progressives Congress, APC in 2014.
The defection started with five PDP governors who detested the style of the former President Goodluck Jonathan and would not want him to contest in 2015 general election.
PDP became shaky and totally fell after the 2015 presidential poll losing to the gangs of politicians who had quickly assembled as APC for the purpose of ousting Jonathan.
It was a sweet victory for APC and of course President Muhammadu Buhari but a bitter pill for Nigerians who have since been battling with economic recession in the last two years of the present administration.
No doubt, APC had succeeded in clamping the wings of the only formidable opposition with its policy of anti-corruption with almost all strong members of PDP arrested over various corruption cases.
As a matter of fact, the PDP chieftains, except the former president were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, detained and forced to refund looted funds to the Federal Government.
PDP crumbled into financial and image crisis. The party that ruled the country for 16 years lost many of its prominent members to the ruling party while groping with court cases against its members and itself.
The party could not hold due to leadership crisis, persecuted and prosecuted by the ruling party over its ostentatious and unbridled financial spending towards winning the 2015 presidential election.
After the fall, some of the PDP members regrouped and lobbied the former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu-Sheriff to become their new National Chairman, which he reluctantly obliged.
In a short time, members noticed that Sheriff was fraternizing with some key members of the APC, suggesting that he might be a mole in PDP.
The party inaugurated a National Caretaker Committee, chaired by former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
In December 2015, the committee organized a national convention in Port Harcourt Rivers State but its plan to create a stronger party was thwarted when a Federal High Court nullified the convention, describing it illegal without the consent of the National Chairman, Modu-Sheriff.
The court also announced Modu-Sheriff as the authentic National Chairman of the party but another Federal High Court in Port Harcourt declared Makarfi as the chairman.
The party was faced with two different court verdicts, which made it impossible for any of the leader to lay claim to the party National Secretariat in Abuja.
Twice Modu Sheriff had tried to occupy the secretariat, twice he was stopped by the members of Makarfi faction.
However, Modu-Sheriff took his case to the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt and won. He was declared the National Chairman and had been parading himself as the number one member of PDP until Wednesday, July 12 when a Supreme Court, hearing the suit of the Makarfi led group sacked Modu Sheriff.
The five-member jurists led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen said that erased the judgment of the appeal court that confirmed Sheriff as the national chairman of the party.
The judges agreed that despite the landslide judgment of the appeal court, declaring Sheriff as the National Chairman of PDP, the Makarfi group had the right to organize a convention, which of course it did in accordance with the party constitution.
Now that the PDP leadership crisis has been put to rest, it PDP leadership crisisheralds the rising of viable opposition for the ruling party, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike said.
Wike was with other PDP bigwigs at the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Those who were present included, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, Chief Bode George and many others who are supporters of Makarfi and who had earlier promised to quit the party if Modu-Sheriff had won at the Supreme Court.
They jubilated as PDP rose from its fall.