The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) is notoriously reputed for the twin evil of impunity and imposition and such sentimental and emotional decisions have been responsible for its unfortunate downward fortunes from 2015, 2019 and the Ekiti gubernatorial elections in 2022.
As a build-up to the 2015 general elections, so many events that will later shape and define an apparent PDP defeat at the polls from state to national level kept occurring. There was no other place the concept of impunity and imposition was rampant than in the states.
In Benue state, for instance, Gabriel Suswam the incumbent governor then had presented Samuel Ortom to the elders of Benue state as his successor and they had accepted and endorsed him as such only for him to change his mind and opt for Terhemen Tarzoor as his preferred candidate.
It was therefore not difficult for Ortom to cross over to the APC and eventually succeed as he was the anointed one. That was one PDP loss too many due to impunity and imposition. Secondly in Plateau state, the clamor was for a power shift and all was set for power to move to Plateau South but Jonah Jang will not hear of such he brought in his distant cousin Gyang Pwajok as the candidate.
The clergy and the political class appealed to Jang to honour the zoning agreement but he turned a deaf ear. The presidency had at some point got wind of the revolt by the clergy and secretly sent a peace mission to appeal to them to support Jang but they will have none of that. The result was the election of Simon Lalong as the Governor of Plateau State.
In Kwara state, the preferred candidate was Dele Belgore but some mischievous elements went ahead to sponsor Simon Ajibola twice a senator and a Christian as the party’s flag bearer. Knowing fully well that Kwara constitutes 80% of the Muslim population and that there was no way that ticket can fly. All appeals to make amends fell on deaf ears, this outcome led to Gbemisola Saraki and some notable party heavyweights defecting to the opposition party, leaving the party to its fate.
Adamawa also witnessed a similar scenario as the party manipulated the process to install Nuhu Ribadu who was very unpopular amongst the voting population in the state. It was not difficult for Jibrilla Bindow to clinch the coveted seat effortlessly. Jigawa, Niger, Nasarawa, Anambra, Ondo, Ogun and Edo all suffered the worst of impunity and imposition which led to the party suffering from woeful defeats.
The notoriety of Ekiti in imposing governorship flag bearers is legendary. Ayodele Péter the Rock Fayose the Oshokomole had promised Nigerians that he and his deputy were serving only one term before exiting the scene so as to pave the way to fresh hands to continue where they had stopped. He not only reneged on such a promise but shut all doors to credible aspirants leaving his deputy Prof Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola Eleka as the candidate. The result was a sorrowful loss to the APC.
This, however, did not serve as a lesson to him, Sen Olujimi and Segun Oni credible aspirants were not only demystified but chased away from being contestants for the little-known Bisi Kolawole whose only pedigree is being a member of Ekiti state House of Assembly and state chairman of the PDP. This is the worst performance by the PDP anywhere in the country as it always comes first or second. If Segun Oni had been our candidate, victory will have been assured as all hands will have been on deck to salvage the state from the misrule of the APC.
The Ekiti election brings to the fore the lackluster performance of the current National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP. The party did not even organize a rally to garner support for the PDP candidate.
Unless the present system that lays more emphasis on the old war horses is jettisoned and vibrant youths are brought in and effectively engaged towards revamping the fortunes of the party, the road to perdition may not be far-fetched.