WHEN a factional leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta recently to intimate him of the crisis in the country’s main opposition party, the former president had pitied Sheriff’s predicament, while describing the PDP as ‘a dying baby.’
I want to disagree with Chief Obasanjo on this statement; the fact remains that the PDP is Nigeria’s main opposition party, and it is the only available option for Nigerians if they want an alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
What is happening in the PDP today, though unfortunate, can be resolved when the players laying claim to its leadership do away with personal ambitions.
If these people are not out to sabotage the party, then why is it hard for them to come to an agreement that will be of mutual benefit to all members, and most especially, the party.
In advanced democracies, there are usually two major political parties, with several other smaller parties.
In the United States of America, there are the Democratic and Republican parties, which are the country’s major parties, while in the United Kingdom, there are the Conservative and Labour parties.
In Nigeria, we have the APC and the PDP, which are the two major parties, and everything must be done by all lovers of democracy to ensure that these two parties thrive, particularly the opposition PDP.
While one may agree that the PDP took Nigerians for granted in its 16-year rule, I believe its members have learnt their lessons. We, therefore, need the PDP to keep the ruling APC on its toes, because if there is no strong opposition party, the ruling party will not feel challenged, and it may begin to act as if there is no one waiting on the wings to benefit from its failures.
Therefore, instead of Chief Obasanjo concluding that the PDP is a dying baby, he should help revive the party since he is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the PDP, with him ruling the country for two terms on its platform.
The PDP may be having its challenges at the moment, it is, however, not the end of the road for the party.
Every hand must be on deck towards ensuring that the party is repositioned in order to play its opposition role in this democratic dispensation effectively.
- Felix Adigun,