Home OPINION COLUMNISTS Deflation Of The Largest Party In Africa, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Deflation Of The Largest Party In Africa, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Yusuf Ozi-Usman
Yusuf Ozi-Usman

A while ago, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) prided itself as the largest political party on the African continent. Of course, as the party that had been at the helm of affairs in the nation’s political power equation for about 16 years, the reality of being the largest, and even the most powerful, could never have been challenged.
After all, as it is now gradually becoming clear, the party that controls power, nation’s resources and every other thing that goes with power needs not blow any kind of trumpet about its size within whatever political geography.
The mass defection of PDP chieftains, shortly after the March 28 Presidential election in which General Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC) won, to APC, might have been taken by many as a surprise. But some political analysts would tell you that what is happening is quite typical of an average Nigerian politician. As a matter of fact, the twist to the whole art of defecting has been the calibre of those who defected. They included Senator Zwingina, Idi Hong and several others. Those were the strong leaders in the PDP whom anyone could bet would never cross carpet under whatever condition.
The defection was so swift, involving so many PDP bigwigs that the beneficiary Victorious party, the APC, had had to express some kind of reservation and fear. That was in a situation where APC ought to have drafted drums onto the celebration field to welcome them.
However, what one has been hearing from the chieftains of what remains of the PDP has been about stomach infrastructure which they say has been the basis for their erstwhile top shots’ defection to APC. This reasoning, real as it is in the Nigerian political context, is as well funny. This is because it is the same PDP that invented the concept of stomach infrastructure, when it was convenient for it: when the going was good as they say.
What is happening now is a reflection of the infantile nature of politicking in Nigeria: a situation where politicians, of all categories, would swing to wherever the bread is buttered.
And of course, the main attraction for most Nigerian politicians has been the platform to win elections. And winning elections has its own series of goodies, including the cash-flow, dignity, feeling belonged, especially in a political system where the winner takes all. If in future therefore, even the little known political party like All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) wins election at the centre, political bigwigs from APC and PDP will troop enmass into it without gusto.
The situation has taught whichever party is in government at any particular time a lesson; that it should stop bragging about its size, because, as it has been shown, the size is determined by where the leadership pendulum swings.
For now, would it be right to say that APC is now the largest party in Africa? They may even say in the whole universe!


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