he political space has suddenly become quite competitive in the aftermath of the 2015 general elections after the peoples democratic party PDP's bid to continue in power failed. Almost all of the elections that has come and gone since then has been fiercely contested with both sides using all the arsenals they can marshal. It is now no longer like those days when the opposition party's assertion were considered not dangerous or formidable enough to remove the party in power.
Now the party in power must tread with caution and be people-oriented. Also, they must through internal party democracy, organize in such a way as to reflect all and sundry or carry everyone along through a zoning or appointment formula that is premised upon the Federal Character Principle. Suddenly, the average electorate is not aloof anymore about what happens in government. Sovereignty and power is returning to the real place it belonged - the people.
Interestingly, today's ruling APC - once an opposition - exploited this seeming awareness of the average electorate to coast its way to power and thereafter forgot this most important winning strategy. Rather than consolidate upon their catchment by using the power-stable to woe the other zones that felt otherwise over electing the APC in 2015, it became the case of selective appointments to the consternation of everyone.
Even those who worked tirelessly to enthrone the APC in power were forgotten in a hurry while the Cabal gained the pride of place in the eyes of the federal government. To the extent that the amiable wife of the C-in-C as well as the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs Hon. Aisha Alhassan had to voice out those concerns. Not even those who eventually found a hiding place in the calls for Restructuring and behind the IPOB agitation had their begrudging signals picked by the Cabals-that-be.
Apart from this, a hither fore unknown Fulani Herdsmen became audacious enough to rampage the Nigerian terrain destroying lives and properties of innocent electorates as if to say that the Nigerian electorate's choice of voting PMB to power was a costly mistake whose nemesis had come. If one was to say things in black and white, one would no doubt harp on how the APC had so far mismanaged their most important asset - the voter's confidence!
Having boldly estranged itself from the people, the party itself seems to be battling with a number of issues chief amongst which is internal democracy. With El-rufai and his Buharist movement as well as Atiku, Kwankwaso, Tinubu, Tambuwal, Saraki and their respective movements in the APC; 6 strong men pulling the party in different directions will surely make it a ruin. But then, did we not see it coming? Are we surprised that opinions deferred among party stalwarts on almost every issue?
When a party that has been in power for more than two years running has not been able to successfully hold a national convention; has not been able to clear the air on the Babachir saga nor has it been able to establish any of their cardinal agenda? And with the 2019 general elections a little over five hundred days away; where can they be placed in a rating scale? Presently, pundits are still at a loss as to why the electorates are yet to begin to see that sour old melodrama they called campaigns.
The PDP may never have envisaged all these; that is, how all things are working in their favor today, so to speak. That the party that wrestled power out of their hands in 2015 could still not have found its course almost three years down the line. What more could any competitor wish for in the battle for political relevance and posture? This is why I think it'll be needful to suggest some strategies by which the PDP can return itself to power.
First of all, there is that issue of distribution of positions that caused the downfall of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan's bid to re-occupy Aso Rock in 2015. The Yoruba nation posited (although through unofficial sources) that they were rather sidelined during the six years of Dr. Jonathan and that was good reasons to have joined the Buhari/Tinubu bandwagon insofar as that would give them the meaning they believed was their entitlement in any political setting in Nigeria.
Hence, the PDP must be strategic about how they distributed positions this time. I suggest that for the Presidency, a Northwest/southeast ticket that fielded men like Alh. Rabiu Kwankwaso/Mr. Peter Obi or Alh. Sule Lamido/Dr. Theodore Orji should take care of the President/vice-president slot. For the National Assembly, the Senate president/deputy senate president should be zoned to the Southwest/Northeast with men like Dr. Ayodele Fayose and Alh. Ibrahim Dankwambo as eligible for the slot.
In the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the slot for the Speaker/Deputy speaker should be zoned to the South-south/Northcentral zones. Of course, this is only the idea of a freelance political strategist. The position of SGF may still go to the Southeast zone considering that in the overall arrangements, the zone holds no truly executive position. For the PDP's chairmanship contest, there is a serious demonstration of indolence as if the party is still asleep.
The line up of contestants who are mostly aged seems to suggest that the PDP may well face another disappointment soon. When the world around them talked about bringing the youths into governance positions, the likes of Bode George, Prof. Adeniran and Alao Akala are still being sold party forms to contest. For me, the contest should be trimmed to just the trio of Jimi Agbaje, Gbenga Daniel and Raymond Dokpesi.
Secondly, a political strategist cannot be more necessary than now. This is because a political strategist (Mr. David Axelrod) was involved in dethroning the PDP in 2015 and the same trick could once more be played. Democracy in Nigeria now is all about advancing and political parties need not be left behind (for whatever reasons) after whatever was trending. Afterall, an idea that came from one person can sometimes be accepted by all.
The PDP can decide to start afresh on its own by originating manifestos of national ideology to replace those of hate speech, ethno-religious sentiments and conspiracy against the common sense of the Nigerian electorate. This will enable Nigerians to gravitate away from the mentality of wanting to vote or be voted for on the excuse of tribe or religion into a mindset of welfare, service and equal citizenry that bordered on the oneness of the good people of this great country as well as on those areas of common good that can further unite the populace.