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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Why PDP must not die by Chijioke Ogbobe

THE People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has dominated the Nigerian political scene right from its creation in 1998 with a mixed centrist, progressive-cum conservative ideology. It began piloting the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after a series of traumatising and retrogressive military interregnums.
The first president to emerge under its banner, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo, had the challenging task of uniting and reassuring a country which was just staggering out from a ruthless dictatorship characterised by unprecedented brutality, brigandage and gangster government under the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
PDP captured most of the governorship positions in at least four of the six geo-political zones of the country with a strong spread of National Assembly seats in all the geo-political zones. The party went ahead to tighten its grip on power, four years later, by almost doubling the number of governorship and National Assembly seats under its banner.
It inherited a depressed civil service, a country with decaying infrastructure, debilitating inflation, rampant corruption, battered international image and a largely disenchanted populace.
Within PDP’s first eight years, it was able to reduce Nigeria’s debt profile by successfully negotiating its debt with the Bretton wood institutions, radically revived and improved the country’s telecommunications network, successfully privatized and commercialized many state owned enterprises, established specialised institutions to tackle corruption and corrupt practices, curbed inflation, increased the national minimum wage, improved Nigeria’s battered international image, engineered Nigeria’s first civilian to civilian transition to power, etc.
During its second eight years in power, the Musa Yar Adua’ administration pacified the Niger Delta militancy by successfully launching an amnesty programme to rehabilitate the militants. His successor, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, raised the bar by revolutionising and presiding over an unprecedented growth in agriculture (appropriated by the current administration without acknowledging the efforts of its predecessor), built 13 federal universities, over 100 Almajiri schools, set up formidable infrastructure to curb the menace of corruption (BVN, TSA, etc), revived our moribund railroad, renovated and upgraded several local and international airports, unbundled and privatised our very cumbersome power sector, substantially increased our Foreign Direct Investment FDI, (under this administration, Nigeria was among one of the seven fastest developing economies in the world), enabling a largely effective and independent electoral body(now almost revised by the present Administration), guided Nigeria to having the highest GDP in Africa and, above all, ensured a peaceful and smooth transition to an opposition party. This is just to mention a few. Read more


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