The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has christened itself the largest party in Africa and, in a recent declaration, its National Chairman, Bamangar Tukur said the party was the “Lionel Messi” of Nigerian politics. Can the party sustain the boastful declarations ahead of 2015? Taiwo Adisa examines the trends.
THE plan to merge opposition parties in the land to face the all-conquering Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in the pipelines for long. Ahead of the 2007 general election, some political leaders under the banner of ‘progressives’ had floated the idea. Leaders of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) then realised the need to expand the coast and ensure a merger with parties across the geographical divide. Thus, in 2005, a political contact committee was put in place under the leadership of the party’s presidential candidate in the 1999 election, Chief Olu Falae. That committee went round seeking alliances with “like-minded progressive political parties” in its bid to form the “mega party.”
Incidentally, the effort did not go far, as misgivings crept into the leadership of the AD. Some leaders of the party believed that Falae was deviating from the original objective and that he was aiming at forming his own party. With such misgivings, it was not surprising that the mega party arrangement could not fly. The party ended up as the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPA), a variant of the AD, which further weakened the impact of the pioneer progressive party of the Fourth Republic in its South-West area of dominance in the 2007 election.