The People’s Democratic Party had claimed over and over again that they would rule this country for 50 years, but that 50 years was drastically shortened following their defeat in the 2015 presidential elections. For so long the PDP had looked virtually unstoppable and perhaps nobody knows this more then the president-elect, Mohamudu Buhari who had run for the post in 2003, 2007 and 2011 before succeeding in 2015. So what happened to the juggernaut PDP?
For one, the last 4 years were the most careless in PDP’s very long reign. There were scandals after scandals with no respite in sight. Whether it was Stella Oduah, Deziani Maduwake, Aba Morro’s job interview fiasco, or the subsidy debacle in 2011. It seemed the only thing the PDP government had to offer was scandal, fresh out of the oven.
The GEJ administration had the worse human resource management in PDP’s history. Incompetent people where given key positions or put on key platforms and though sometimes this didn’t cause serious harm, it was a drain on the energies of Nigerians. Whether it was Doyin Okupe Labaran Maku and Reno Omokri’s pitiable PR attempts or Dame Patience charismatic speeches even on the campaign trail. Soludo’s dissections of GEJ’s policies and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala’s legacy also didn’t help matters for the PDP.
Bad Campaign strategies played pivotal roles in PDP’s loss. The #BringbackGoodluck2015 campaign posters didn’t sit well with the Nigerian people following the Chibok girls kidnapping. It was callous and insensitive. Also, GEJ and the PDP forget the most important rule of winning free elections in Nigeria…don’t forget the north! The PDP systematically lost or edged out key influential northerners from the party and while it had no immediate consequences, the Buhari’s landslide victory in the north was because of the absence of an influential northerner endorsing the PDP. Although they tried to compensate with endorsement by the Royal Fathers, it appears the plan back fired. Some social media campaign strategies also fell flat, no one can forget Reno Omokri’s opinion poll where Nigerians retweeted for Buhari with the fear of God.
But by far the biggest flaw of the PDP was poor governance. There is absolutely no excuse for Jonathan’s failed attempts to tackle Boko Haram successfully until it became evident that a loss at the polls was eminent. The reaction to the abduction of the Chibok girls was appalling. Social media and International news media outlets had to pry responses and reactions out of the mouth the Nigerian government and even at that it sounded like children’s bable and not that of a government proactively at work to secure its citizens. Dozens of promises fell flat over the last four years which also is not uncommon with the PDP, but a new low was hit with the train propaganda. I believe it goes, vote for GEJ, he gave us trains.
It wasn’t all bad for the Jonathan Administration and the PDP. They restored sanity to our election process by appointing the incorruptible INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega. Unfortunately for them the true freedom to vote ended up voting them out of government.
However the PDP is needed now more than ever, Nigeria needs a vibrant opposition party to continue moulding her democracy. PDP needs to remain intact, go back to the drawing board and look for some of its brightest minds and hardest working hands, they need to roll up their sleeves so that come 2019, they will give APC a run for their money.