If Ali Modu Sheriff had won the case in the Supreme court yesterday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s biggest opposition party, would have split into many fragments, with some joining the newly and hastily registered political parties and others joining the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). The PDP would never have recovered. Ali Modu Sheriff knew he had no support of the majority of the members of the PDP but still wanted to muscle his way anyway. The final judgment changed the atmosphere of politics in the Nigerian landscape. Even non-partisan Nigerians celebrated Ahmed Makarfi’s victory.
After the supreme court’s judgment yesterday, even those that have concluded that the PDP is dead have lost their voices. They know in their heart of hearts that the PDP is back on its feet and now need time to recover. But then all that rest on the shoulder of Ahmed Makarfi.
Since taking over power over two years ago, the APC government have not been able to turn things around. Over half of the two years they spent in power they looked adrift and unprepared for the challenges of governance. They have not been able to improve on the economy as the prices of commodities that affects the masses skyrocketed leaving a lot of their supporters grumbling and disenchanted. The president’s health has left the party unstable as gladiators within are looking towards the battle of 2019 presidential election, right now under assumption that President Muhammadu Buhari may not contest. Even if he is contesting the PDP would give him a run for his money.
So many of the APC governors in Northern Nigeria who rode on the popularity of President Buhari to win their states have not impressed their people and in two years they have become quite unpopular.
The people in the PDP know these things and yesterday’s judgment has energized the party and its members. In fact those who hastily left the party over this crisis may be regretting now. If the PDP will start preparing now and rebranding their battered image, they may spring a lot of surprises on an APC that is right now divided. I don’t see the party mending these divisions before 2019.
If the PDP recovers after it’s resurrection from near death experience I see it springing surprises. The APC aren’t doing anything spectacular for people to keep them in power, the people in the PDP know that. That the PDP has finally and fully resurrected is no doubt, what is doubtful is whether they would take advantage of APC’s many problems and change the change.