By Ali Abare
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is becoming so undemocratic in recent times. This is no longer the political party that dubbed itself the ‘largest party in Africa’, with the motto, ‘Power to the People’.
From unfolding events since after the 2023 general election, the PDP has shown itself as a political party that is so much aversed to democracy and known democratic ethos. The party has in a way jetisoned its motto and instead insisted on winning elections both at the federal and state levels, through undemocratic means, sponsoring protests and becoming antagonistic of recognised authority.
In Abuja, the PDP is mobilizing its members to lay seige on the city, trooping out in numbers to occupy the streets and picketing the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The aim of the handlers of the party, is to cause disharmony and anarchy by throwing the country into chaos. This scenario is now being replicated across states where the PDP governorship candidates either came second or even a distant third.
In Nasarawa State, the party has, since the declaration of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Sule by INEC as winner of the guber election, mobilized its membership to take over the streets of major cities across the state.
This is however not the first time the PDP is losing the governorship election. The party ruled the state from 1999 to 2011. Since then the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and subsequently, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has defeated the PDP especially in the gubernatorial election.
What is common knowledge is that, the PDP has never accepted its defeat in good fate. Rather, the party has always challenged the outcome of previous guber elections before the courts, claiming as always that it was shortchanged.
In 2019, the same scenario played out after INEC declared Governor Sule as winner of the election, with the then PDP candidate, Hon David Ombugadu disagreeing with the declaration and seeking redress via the courts.
In 2023, the same Ombugadu was beaten once more by Governor Sule. Instead of following the recognised process of challenging the outcome of the election, the PDP instead, keyed into the shenanigans of the national body by mobilizing its supporters to first block major roads in Lafia, the state capital before taking to the streets of major towns across the state in protest.
After the INEC state returning officer, Professor Tanko Ishaya declared Governor Sule winner of the 2023 guber election, the PDP came out with a ludicrous claim that it won the election, with its supporters haranguing the university administrator and Vice Chancellor of the Universiry of Jos, calling him all manner of despicable names.
The new low displayed by the PDP that many agreed, contravenes acceptable culture and tradition of the people of the state, is the sponsoring of women who wear black clothing and who often display naked bodies after agreeing to be paid.
In previous elections, the PDP had gone ahead to protest the outcome of the guber election through the courts of law. However, in what may appear linked to the alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS), where the agency said it has uncovered a plot to install an interim government in the country, the PDP in Nasarawa State appears to be acting the script of these fifth columnists out to derail the country’s hard earned democracy.
The women hired by the PDP to cheaply debase womanhood by paying village mothers one thousand naira apiece to bare their naked bodies in public, if nothing, is but the manifestation of the alarm raised by the DSS of the plot being championed by ‘misguided persons’ with ‘entrenched interests’.
The insistence by the protesting PDP women to continue in their macabre show of shame, in spite of ab order banning all forms of protest in Nasarawa State, if more than anything else, confirms the fears of the DSS that part of the general plot being masterminded by the PDP, is to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of a State of Emergency in the country.
By refusing to abide by the warning issued by the police banning all forms protest in Nasarawa State, the PDP are only looking for a way to cause the breakdown of law and order, thereby justifying the statement issued by Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the service when it described the alleged plot as an aberration aimed at undermining the country’s constitution.
Apart from the absurdity of women displaying their naked bodies in the name of protesting the outcome of an election that already produced a winner and lovers, the charade by the PDP in Nasarawa State is alien to the electoral laws of the country. There is nowhere it is stated that political parties that lost elections can seek power through the staging of protests, especially by naked women.
The display of cultural aberration by the PDP women, mostly drawn from the ethnic group of the PDP governorship candidate, who frequently abuse the sensibilities of the good people of the state, is but the height of degeneration by a political party that midwived the return of democracy in Nigeria.
That the PDP in Nasarawa State can resort to exploiting vulnerable rural women, to hire their services for a pot of porridge, marks the height of incredulity and desperation. The people of Nasarawa State have resoundedly rejected the PDP at the 2023 governorship election. This is an incontrovertible fact.
By allowing itself to be used as a tool to derail the country’s democracy as disclosed by the DSS, the PDP in Nasarawa State has shown that it totally lack the patriotism and honest desire to lead the state but is merely chasing the seat of power in order to pursue ulterior motives.
Those harmless mothers that are paid pittance to bare their skin in public, are but the manifestation of the deprivation the PDP is willing to subject the people. No responsible political party that is seeking the mandate of the people that could be so ruthless as to turn the same people into animals in a zoo that others can go to watch.
The PDP in Nasarawa State should be told in clear terms that, no amount of protest, including baring naked bodies of women, could turn around the outcome of the just concluded governorship election. The INEC has declared Governor Abdullahi Sule as the winner and the recognised option left for the PDP is to go to court.
The women that wore black and who manifested high degree of recklessness by refusing to heed to the warning by the police banning all forms of protests, are never freedom fighters but mere pawns in the hands of desperate politicians who are on a fruitless mission seeking to acquire political power outside the letters and terms constitution of the country.
Those women protesting daily at the secretariat of the PDP in Lafia are not heroines, they are instead lawbreakers driven by puppet masters who are too careful not to involve their daughters, sisters and mothers but only exploit vulnerable rural women who are brainwashed into thinking they are fighting a cause.
The PDP has no cause to fight in NasarawaState. The battle has since been lost was lost, after the people of Nasarawa State unanimously chose Governor Sule of the APC, as was declared by INEC. The PDP is left with two choices known to the law. Either go to court or wait till 2027 and contest again.
By insisting on a mandate it has already lost, forcing women to bare their bare skins, in allusion to ancient, non-existent, ineffective ritual, in a 21st century democracy like Nigeria, only serves to confirm that, the PDP is indeed, on the road to infamy. The naked women on display at the secretariat of the party is but the final nails on the coffin of a political party that once prides itself as the largest party in African.
And how the mighty have fallen. Especially with the PDP resorting to voodooism to lay claim to political power in this era and time. Voodooism, naked bodies and protests, have no place in the country’s electoral laws.
Abare is the Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Nasarawa State.