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PDP This opposition party has fallen

Today's appeal court ruling won't restore sanity to Nigeria's shambolic opposition party. The party remains a divided house

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PDP factional Leaders, Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff play

PDP factional Leaders, Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff

(The Nation)

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a mess.

And it's a self-inflicted, stinky and sticky mess.

The Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal has just declared a former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, the authentic chairman of the PDP.

It all began in May of 2016 when the once self acclaimed 'biggest political party' in Africa, held parallel conventions in Abuja and Port Harcourt on the same day.

Ali Modu Sheriff (L) and Ahmed Makarfi (R) play Sheriff and Makarfi (TV360)


The Port Harcourt faction settled for Sheriff as the party's chairman while the Abuja convention chose Ahmed Makarfi as chairman.

As the Port Harcourt convention was going on, court papers found their way round the delegates. The convention was a nullity, the court declared.

And then more court battles between Sheriff and Makarfi ensued.

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has often ruled that Sheriff is the legitimate PDP Chairman.

Meanwhile Justice Mohammed Liman of the Rivers division of the same court, keeps maintaining that Makarfi is the man.

Conflicting court judgments have been the bane of Africa's largest democracy, and in the PDP, the judiciary has found expression for its compromised self.

PDP Edo primaries: Makarfi urges Sheriff to tow the path of dialogue play Ahmed Makarfi (Thenewsnigeria)


The PDP spent all of 2016 trying to decide who its chairman should be.

In that period, the party lost all the governorship elections it vied for, lost most of its chieftains and ceded a couple of parliamentary seats to the governing APC at the center.

Throughout 2016, PDP had two party chairmen who were working at cross purposes.

In Donald Trump's voice, the party "was a total disaster".

As an opposition outfit, the PDP has been a joke.

It pounces on the APC when it shouldn't and goes lame when it should pounce.

Since it lost Olisa Metuh who was caught by the Muhammadu Buhari administration with his fingers submerged in the nation's cookie jar, the PDP hasn't found a suitable replacement.

Metuh was a lousy spokesperson with an equally lousy writing style, make no mistakes, but at least he was always jumping on the issues, however misconceived.

The party has gone from having Metuh as its spokesperson, to having Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose, as a champion for its causes--a sign that the PDP has hit rock bottom.

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As the Sheriff faction pops open the Champagne bottles in celebration of today's court ruling, the Makarfi faction will head to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment from Rivers.

"Two out of the 3 man Justices of the Appeal Court gave a scanty judgment in favour of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff while one went for Makarfi", the Makarfi wing of the party has just said.

Curiously, the party blamed the APC for its woes.

ALSO READ: 6 PDP lawmakers defect to APC

"The Judgment has finally shown that the ruling Party, the APC is out to create a one party state in the country. The Party is proceeding immediately to the Supreme Court to file an appeal against the ruling of today’s appeal court judgment", the defeated faction added.

The PDP will likely spend all of 2017 and most of 2018, battling in court for its soul--the one it never really had; for its leadership.

And by the time the 2019 general elections come around, the PDP will be left with no time to rebuild in order to give the APC a good fight.

The party lost the center in 2015 after lack-luster Goodluck Jonathan was shown the exit door by millions of voters.

Since that time, the PDP has been the clearest example of how not be an opposition party, in modern partisan history.

A total disaster.

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