It was Vincent Ogbulafor, former PDP national chairman, who betrayed a fatal flaw and said the party would rule Nigeria for 60 years. Rochas Okoroacha, Imo state governor, also, once succumbed to the flattery of hubris in declaring that the APC would rule the country for 24 years.
The crux of this piece is to test the plausibility of Okoroacha’s declaration in the Petri-dish of today’s political realities.
In 2008 when Ogbulafor made that insufferable statement, he failed to see the future from a crystal ball. At the time, the PDP had 28 states as well as the centre in its firm grip. But it became gluttonous; obese with pride, and ignored the potency of a rising opposition and its capability to forge partnerships for a lethal onslaught.
The APC, the opposition party, was not a discredited assembly – at the time. Nigerians had grown wearily thin from the PDP misrule; hence many of them gave mortar to the APC for a mortal assault on the ruling party.
The APC tactically rode on the wings of the mass discontent and sealed the doom of the PDP in 2015. And the touted 60-year reign ended.
One thing was fundamental in the sinking of the PDP armada, and that is, a fierce opposition, which had not been tested with federal power. The untested, the underdog holds uncanny fascination.
However, the present political realities – as seen from my crystal ball – show that the APC may rule the country for 24 years – as Okoroacha boasted – or even 60 years. Why? The PDP today is an impotent opposition party. It lacks the fiery dragon to give the APC the kind of fire the current ruling party gave it in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
The PDP has also been tested with federal power, but it failed in handling it. So, there is no underdog fascination here. It failed in its management of temporal power. So, what different can it sell to Nigerians? It had its time in the sun; in fact, 16 years in the sun, but I doubt Nigerians would want an “encore”.
Although there is mass discontent under the APC government now, there is no “fierce opposition party” to ride on it to power – except a discredited one. This gap has caused the mushrooming of extra-political movements such as the Coalition for Nigeria, the RedCard Movement and the Nigeria Intervention Movement. These movements have one goal – to sink the APC and the PDP in the abyss of oblivion. But the potency of their goal is doubtful.
As it is – as seen from my crystal ball – the only force that can stop the APC is the APC. I believe the wrangling in the party can do what no opposition party or movement can do. But this is worrying for me because Nigeria cannot afford another long rule of impunity, lack of direction and purpose.
Fredrick is a journalist.
Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo.