Dokpesi, PDP and all the odds
Contrary to the objective of the death wish deployed by the ruling APC against the PDP, recent developments in the PDP point clearly towards a revitalization of the party driven by a redefinition of its political profile. Even the most pessimistic pundit must concede that the tempo and temperature of the battle for the soul of the PDP that pitched Ali Modu Sherrif against Ahmed Makarfi highlighted the rise of Africa’s largest party rather than its fall.
The eerie irony of the PDP’s defiant profile is that the ruling APC’s pathetic squandering of electoral popularity is providing the impetus for Nigerians to earnestly yearn for a repositioned PDP renaissance. Believe it! Arguably, the most potent force of redefinition and repositioning of the dynamics of PDP politics is the wave of shifts and slides of party command and control generated from within the party itself as marvellously manifested in the Ali Modu Sherrif-Makarfi skirmishes. The strategic impact of that episode has dealt a heavy blow on the presumed pre-eminence of PDP governors in determining which way the party goes. It was a blow long expected but stoutly deflected by the governors until the inevitable alienation of majority of members finally swept them out of dominance and relevance, owing among others to poor judgment in their choice of Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman.
Today’s scenario of a new PDP devoid of the arrogance of power brandished by governors and their legion of collaborators is the best thing to have happened to the party because it has effectively restored the more legitimate leverage of the hitherto powerless members and followers. Most significantly, we now have the best opportunity to restore the elective sovereignty of delegates in the choice of candidates of the party, which was the greatest casualty in the monopolistic manipulation of power by past governors of the party. It has since been confirmed that the erosion of internal party democracy which eventually crippled the PDP began with the subjugation of the process of emergence of delegates to the whims and caprices of state governors.
The remarkable resolve of the credible leaders of the party to stay the course in charting a new people-oriented direction for rebuilding the PDP has also strategically snubbed the judicial junketing approach to management of democratic party politics that once frustrated the popular will of party members. In particular, the decision to jettison the decadent duelling among northern party leaders over the remnants of party chairmanship tenure by fast forwarding the southern ticket has adequately liberated the full potentials of credible, people-oriented leadership capacity to the obvious advantage of the party’s rejuvenation agenda.
In this context the exciting emergence of Chief Raymond Dokpesi as a leading contender for the national chairmanship of the party is symbolic of the much needed redefinition of the political profile and character of the party.
Oseghale writes from Abuja.