By – Tunde Fadipe
The decamping of Ebonyi State Governor, Mr David Umahi from PDP to APC won’t be the last to happen in the South East. So many high profile movements from PDP will happen before June 2021. The aim is to strategically position the Igbos, the landowners of South-East Nigeria, for the presidential seat.
Since the end of the civil war, this is the first time the Igbos are making strategic moves to occupy the seat of power with the realisation that power is not given to anyone on mere wishes and sentiments, one needs to fight and negotiate for it. This time, especially for the 2023 presidential election, the Igbos will throw all their hats into the ring to clinch the presidential position.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is the oldest political party in Nigeria and the longest-serving party in national government. It has a record of sixteen unbroken years of leadership in Nigeria. PDP and South East are like Siamese twins, the loyalty of South Easterners to PDP is legendary.
Even when other regions find it difficult to deliver, the Igbos have remained committed to the ideal and philosophy of the PDP. The South East can be described as the natural habitat of the PDP. Then what went wrong between the two?
PDP is in a fix because of her history. The sixteen years reign of PDP government actually saw the south (Obasanjo and Jonathan) leading the country for fourteen years out of sixteen and the remaining was neither here nor there because Yar’Adua was not available.
It’s a moral burden on PDP not to consider the North for the seat of Presidency; it’s practically unrealistic not to think about the North considering the huge resources (both human and financial) the North has invested in the party. There’s also the challenge of the voting strength between the North and South East.
It’s normal for the South East to aspire for the presidential seat. This is practically the time for the South East since that’s the only region that has never clinched the seat despite critical attempts under PDP in 1999 and 2001 by Alex Ekwueme and the rest.
The PDP will, however, need to deploy all experiences garnered over the years to get over this problem. APC will surely capitalise on this to ground PDP and throw it into comatose.
For APC, the next president will come from the South, a straight fight between South West and South East is sure and welcome. The idea of the presidency being taken to the North will surely kill PDP as the South East will rather prefer to fight for a space from the South than to give it to the North.
To unburden the burden of loyalty, PDP will have to be careful or else, we may have to bury her before her 100th birthday as predicted by one of her founding fathers.
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