APC will now be in the saddle at the presidential and senatorial levels for the next four years. There are very high expectations of Buhari, especially from those that voted for him. Most of his supporters believe he will tame corruption, tackle and even defeat terrorism, unravel and solve the nation’s economic and electricity woes and more. He has unveiled his covenant with Nigerians and it looks promising.
I was talking to a friend of mine in Nigeria. She is a staunch supporter of Jonathan. Just after Buhari was declared winner, I called her. “How about the PDP guys”, I asked. “They are all in mourning”, she said. “Many believe that PDP is now dead”, she opined. I hasten to say that Nigerians believe in instant gratification. If they are not in the ruling party, if they are not provided with the platform to vie for and win elections immediately, if they are not in a position to get juicy contracts and oil blocks, then everything else is failing as far as they are concerned. For them, there is no such thing as taking time to build or rebuild a solid foundation over a period of time and reaping dividends later. PDP was alive, to them, when it was the ruling party, but as soon as it lost, they are declaring it dead forgetting that there are other patriotic things a party can be doing even if it is not in power.
As soon as the election results were called, I predicted on Facebook that Nigerians would soon witness an avalanche of defections from PDP to APC. I prognosticated that political harlots and perambulators in PDP would soon commence an exodus from the party. After repudiating APC during the elections, some will now start groveling for platforms to run for elective offices. Others will be seeking new oil blocks or opportunity to keep the ones they already have. Many will be looking for ministerial appointments and the like. Then there is Fani Kayode, the tactless PDP henchman who spewed hate and lies as far afoot as his duplicitous influence could reach. He will be one of the first to slowly start eating his erstwhile caustic words, preparatory to begging to be taken back by APC. Recently, he said he was just doing his job and not all he said during the campaign were personal.
The unfortunate danger in political defections that we will soon witness from PDP to APC is that it will force Nigeria back to square one. For 16 years, the ruling party turned Nigeria into a one-party state. The party was too big, too well financed and too dug-in to lose presidential elections or be defeated. Hence, they became complacent. Knowing that the party would always win elections no matter how they governed, members paid little or no attention to the needs of the people. Under the party, Nigeria’s economy tanked, insecurity grew, standard of education fell, the value of the naira continued on the downward trend. This dominance and attendant complacency would have continued had APC not merged with smaller parties, becoming a viable opposition that eventually dislodged PDP. Nigerians just needed to change the one-party system that is akin to the military administrations we had in the past.
Now that APC has won, the advice to PDP is: lick your wounds, dust up your behind and spend the next three months in retreat. Use that moment to take stock of what caused the defeat. This frank analysis should include: what PDP did wrong, what Jonathan did wrong. Should Jonathan have unleashed his wife on Nigeria as he did or should she have taken up just a measured and dignified role? Madam Patience helped alienate Jonathan from many Nigerians. The way she carried herself and spoke to Nigerians, shutting down traffic whenever she visited, attempting to deny Chibok tragedy, fighting a governor as if she was an elected official, was strange and uncalled for.
PDP must also look at issues like the unnecessary time they expended on inanities. For example, while the issue of Buhari’s certificate may have made some dent on the man’s popularity, it is now clear from the election results that it had little impact on actual voting especially in the north.
One of the issues that split Jonathan’s camp and began to portray him, as “King Nebuchadnezzar” is the fact that he unnecessarily denied Gov Amaechi the opportunity to head the governor’s forum when the man clearly won. Once Amaechi became alienated from Jonathan, he played a major role in opposition APC.
Also, the after action review should include looking closely at what APC did right and even what they did wrong. For example, there are videos circulating of underage kids thumb-printing ballot papers in the north in favor of APC.
The result of this analysis and after action review will help PDP restructure in readiness for the next round of elections and then go into robust but constructive opposition.