Accessibility links

Crisis in PDP Could Break Ruling Party Dominance, Says Analyst

  • Peter Clottey

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan delivers a speech in Port Harcourt on 14 May 2010 (file)

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan delivers a speech in Port Harcourt on 14 May 2010 (file)

A political analyst says crisis in Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will break its dominance in the country’s politic as well as strengthen opposition parties to significantly garner grassroots support ahead of next year’s general election.

Professor Kabiru Mato, director of the political science department at the University of Abuja, said a decision by President Goodluck Jonathan to run as the ruling party’s presidential candidate in next year’s election could plunge the PDP into chaos.

“Technically, we may say it’s the end of the very vexed arrangement of the party which rotates power between the north and the south. But, in some sense if we are to base it on decisions of earlier meetings held yesterday and the day before by the expanded party leadership, the implication of the decision that perhaps it will be unfair to send the sitting president out just after a term,” he said.

Local media reports suggest that the ruling party will soon decide whether to allow the president to run in next year’s vote in spite of an unwritten agreement that allows the presidency to rotate from the Christian south to the mainly Muslim north.

Okwesilieze Nwodo, chairman of the ruling PDP, was quoted as saying that President Jonathan should be allowed to represent the ruling party in next year’s vote.

This came after Vincent Ogbulafor former chairman of the ruling party announced his opposition to President Jonathan representing the PDP in next year’s election.

The former chairman wanted the unwritten agreement within the PDP to be respected since Mr. Jonathan is a Christian from the south.

Ogbulafor later stepped down as chairman of the PDP after he was charged with fraud.

Professor Mato said no candidate can win the presidential election without the support from the north of the country.

“This might be the breaking grounds that a lot of Nigerians will be looking for to weaken the hold on Nigerian politics that PDP has had in the last 10 or 11 years… I will assure you that [this is] technically the end of the PDP dominance of Nigerian politics,” Mato said.

He also said that a majority of Nigerians want the ruling party’s more than a decade dominance to be broken ahead of next year’s election.