In this piece, John Alechenu takes a cursory look at PDP’s rise to power, downfall and current struggle to return to winning ways after losing power in 2015.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which came into existence as a political entity on August 31st, 1998, celebrated its silver jubilee without fanfare on August 31st, 2023.
Observers are of the opinion that the reason for the party’s refusal to celebrate this significant milestone is not far-fetched. The party which once ruled Nigeria unchallenged for 16 unbroken years is now a shadow of its once vibrant self.
The indivisibility of the Nigerian polity. i. We affirm our belief in the unity of Nigeria under the Federal System of Government, We shall, therefore, continually promote political tolerance, accommodation and compromise, religious harmony, as well as inter/ethnic and intra/ethnic accommodation and cooperation.
“The party shall also promote geopolitical balancing as a fundamental principle of power sharing in the country in line with the principle of Federal Character; the party shall uphold the principle of power rotation in our party at all levels.”
Membership was drawn from all walks of life across Nigeria. Retired military officers, businessmen, academics and activists most of whom found common ground in the fight against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, which was believed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola as well as the brutal military regime of the Late General Sani Abacha.
Abacha’s sudden death in June, 1998 and the hurriedly organized transition programme put in place by General Abdulsalami Abubakar who succeeded him, culminating in the elections which ushered in the fourth republic.
The party proved its mettle with its sweeping victory at the polls in the 1999 general elections. Its Presidential Candidate, the then General Olusegun Obasanjo *(retd, won the election by a landslide. The party produced 21 Governors out of 36, it equally won a comfortable majority of seats in the Senate and House of Representatives.