At the onset of preparations for the Abdusalam 1999 elections, PDP was put together by prominent politicians from across the country. The founders meant well initially until the influx of retired military officers, who injected so much money into the party, deprived them of control of their party.
With the capture of power at the center as the sole objective, they did not mind admitting OBJ, who was fostered on them by the powers that be, as their presidential candidate.
With OBJ in the saddle, the founding fathers quickly lost ground and they were gradually and deliberately frustrated out of PDP.
The party became the destination of all shades of characters who wanted to be near the seat of power. The smaller parties were deserted leaving a few die-hard politicians in the opposition.
As to be expected, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Getting the nomination of the party was all that was required to get into office, elections did not count. The whole time is spent on “the next election”, with virtually no time for governance. The in-fighting became fierce and some could no longer bear the bruising or the embarrassment the party was becoming and decided to leave.
The result of the disarray in the party became glaring on March 28 and April 11th.
So, what becomes of PDP now, a party which at the height of its power intoxication vowed to rule for sixty years?
With many ex-PDP bigwigs like El Rufai, Tambulwa, Masari, Saraki, etc holding important and strategic positions in the APC, and with the PDP managing to hold out in southsouth and southeast, a lot would depend on how fast APC can make meaningful impact visible in the lives of the people.
Many politicians are not going to find Buhari’s regime palatable, it would not be business as usual. Hence if the people don’t see some positive signs quickly and become restive, these politicians who are used to easy money in PDP may do a ‘Babangida’ and pull the rug from under APC, moreso that many PDP members are still flocking into APC in droves. They may be up to no good.
On the other hand if things move smoothly for APC as presently constituted and the people are happy, the PDP may go into oblivion. That however does not rule out the emergence of another party consisting of what is left of PDP, those who will still leave APC having found no space there, and other fringe players.
They are however not likely to use a name that has gone down in infamy in the history of political parties in Nigeria.