So today is the PDP presidential primaries and for those who are uninformed, PDP is the ruling party here in Nigeria. They have been in power for close to 13 years now.
In many ways, the primaries today is seen by many as a strong indication of who Nigeria’s next president will be. I m not trying to knock the game of any progressives out there because I am one and will not be voting for the PDP anyway. However, it is a fact that the PDP controls majority of states in Nigeria and is the only party that can claim to be strong in all parts of the country, has a large political machinery for rigging and has a lot of financial backing because of its sheer size. Hence the title of the “biggest Party in Africa”.
But I digress, the presidential primaries today will be contested by the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan who has been in power for a year since his former boss died and Atiku Abubukar who was vice president for 8 years from 1999-2007.
The undertone of this contest is marked with regional rivalry. Goodluck Jonathan is a southerner while Atiku is northerner and the northeners feel that it is their turn to be in power as a result of an apparent zoning agreement. I for one don’t have a particular position on the issue of zoning. There are very convincing points on either side. If zoning is not adhered to, some regions and parts of Nigeria might never produce the president. Fact. However as a united country, Nigeria should be more concerned with a leader that can deliver than where the leader is from. To be factual, as a northerner who apparently has enjoyed a majority of power I don’t think it has brought any benefits to the region. Poverty still reigns, hunger, starvation and illiteracy is high. What has power brought the north of Nigeria? Nothing! It has made the region lazy to develop its vast resources and it is simply relying on oil produced elsewhere. Shame.
I have gone off the reservation there. I tilt towards anti-zoning however that doesn’t mean I think Goodluck Jonathan is the best option for PDP. He has proven himself to have a poor way of handling crises and is quick to apportion blame before investigation has been carried out. He does have some good ideas on how to run the country but he seems like a weak leader who has come off in dialogue as someone who doesn’t like the North. On the other side, Atiku has a legion of corruption issues pending and although he has a well laid out plan on his website for Nigeria. He is not trustworthy as a leader and might sell this country to himself.
Anyway, those are my two cents on the PDP primaries taking place today. My advice to non-PDP members like me, stay away from the venue because the primaries might turn violent. Be safe.