Over the past week, the Peoples Democratic Party has lost three former governors who were members of the party: Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Donald Duke (Cross River) and Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano).
Why It Matters:
Though the PDP has tried to downplay the defection of the former Governors, losing three top profile players as a result of an internal crisis does no good to the party’s morale going into a general election year. No matter how it is spun, it is a blow to the fortunes of the party.
What we know:
Though the defecting ex-governors have all given several reasons for their exit, the bottom line is that they all could not have their way internally with the party, especially in their various states.
– Uduaghan: “Let me tell you something. The PDP has never protected its own. PDP can use you and whatever happens to you after, nobody cares.”
The former Governor has reportedly pressured his successor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to assure him of the Delta South Senatorial ticket — a request the state governor is not disposed to. According to Insiders who spoke with TheScoop, Okowa had urged the former Governor to enter into the primaries and slug it out with the other candidates led by James Manager who has occupied the seat since 2003. Uduaghan hints at a little bit of entitlement having publicly stated that he sacrificed his ambition to enter the Senate in 2015 in favor of the ambition of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But Governor Okowa also appears to be convinced that his predecessor had joined the APC to avoid anti-corruption prosecution, a popular conspiracy theory that has gained ground in the political circles.
– Duke: “That the PDP is zoning today is actually a betrayal of those ideals it started off with because it was a national organisation. Today, in some parts of the country, it is hardly in existence.”
Donald Duke wants to be President of Nigeria but his party has zoned the ticket to the North of the country. Donald Duke’s departure to SDP, a party that has openly stated that it had no interest in zoning position has more to do with his ambition than any other potential issue with the party. “I was a member of the PDP but over the years we saw the fortunes and the values of the party dwindle. When a former President walks out of his party, you know there is something. Over the years, you will see that it lost its values and became a shadow of itself.”
– Shekarau: Shekarau maintained that he was leaving the party “due to the injustice meted on him and his supporters by the PDP leadership.”
Shekarau left the party following a breakdown in negotiations for power sharing following the defection of Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor and a serving Senator from the State. Kwankwaso insisted on owning 51 percent of the state’s party structure leaving the three other leaders of the party — Ibrahim Shekarau, Aminu Wali and Bello Gwarzo with 49 percent combined. This decision did not go down well with the other stakeholders especially Shekarau who had been once bitten by Kwankwaso who took over the APC structures once he joined the party in 2014.