Beacon of Nigeria’s democracy hits rock bottom

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria Nigeria Bureau ABUJA, (CAJ News) TWO former governors and an ex-president of the Senate suspended and a sitting governor hauled before a disciplinary committee, the chaos afflicting Nigeria’s main opposition party has assumed a new dimension.Five senior leaders in total have been suspended, with their exit from the party not to be ruled out.
The in-house crackdown within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which is extolled for bringing democracy to the West African country in 1999 after decades of military rule, comes as the former ruling party is reeling from a third straight electoral defeat and is making frantic efforts to have the courts overturn the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, in the February 25 elections.PDP earlier this week officially filed its legal challenge, citing vote rigging.
shadow of its former self, PDP late on Thursday announced the suspension of former state governors, Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina).Others suspended are ex- president of the Nigerian Senate, Pius Anyim (Ebonyi), Aslam Aliyu, who is a chieftain from Zamfara and is among the most influential women in the party, and Prof.
Dennis Ityavyar from the Benue State.All are suspended for engaging in “anti-party” activities, which is a euphemism for the opposition by some in the opposition party against the ascension of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the election he eventually lost to Tinubu, amid controversial circumstances.
The future of Governor Samuel Ortom of the Benue State is also hanging in the balance after the PDP announced he will face the party’s Disciplinary Committee, on charges similar to those of the suspended leaders.The party earlier dissolved its leadership team in Katsina following factionalism.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” stated Debo Ologunagba, PDP National Publicity Secretary, as he announced the punitive action.But unity is alien to the PDP, which went into the elections deeply divided especially after Abubakar emerged the presidential candidate.
bubakar is a Muslim from the North and his emergence as the candidate came at a time it was a chance for a candidate from the largely Christian South to be nominated as the next president of the country, under a gentleman’s agreement in Nigeria that the presidency rotates between the regions, and to an extent, religions.Outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari is a northerner, hence the APC fielded Tinubu, a southerner.
However, for the PDP, this was a dilemma as the last president the party has as head of state, Goodluck Jonathan, is a southerner. He was the incumbent when defeated by Buhari in 2015. Buhari also defeated Abubakar in 2019.”I’m not sure PDP will survive again.
They took a Southern presidency to the North and failed woefully,” commented analyst Amionikhena Gabriel ItiekhaoOrtom is a member of a group of five rebel PDP governors, known as G-5, after Abubakar was elected the PDP candidate in the party’s primaries.Other defiant governors are the suspected ringleader, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Okezie Ikpaeazu (Abia), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Fayose’s “anti-party” activities stem from his endorsing the election of Tinubu and calling on Abubakar to concede defeat, at a time the PDP has filed a court challenge against the February 25 elections.Speaking to the media on Thursday, he scoffed at his suspension as “the last kick of a dying horse.
“Anyim had endorsed the APC in the governorship elections, at the expense of his own party’s. APC won the poll.
liyu is accused of promoting infighting in Zamfara, which PDP retained.APC won in 15 states and main rival, PDP, won in nine.
The Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNNP) each won one state.Coincidentally, LP and NNNP are led by former PDP governors, Peter Obi, and Rabiu Kwankwaso, respectively, who left the party as a result of factionalism.
nnouncement of results from two states was postponed because violence and irregularities marred the elections. CAJ News

Source: CAJ News Agency