Nigeria: Power Struggles Tearing Ruling Party Apart

A fierce struggle for the control of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is creating a deep division into the party.

The presidency, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and state governors are all battling for the soul of the party.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) faces possible implosion. The party is currently beset by fresh internal wrangling that is tearing it apart.

Unlike the previous crises that were characterised by open disputes or one strong leader fighting another (as in the case of then-President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy Atiku Abubakar),

Sunday Trust gathered that the current war for control is being waged mainly behind the scene and is multifaceted. The Presidency, the state governors, former President Obasanjo and many influential figures are all jostling for the control of the party in different ways ahead of 2015 elections.

Sunday Trust investigation reveals that personal ambitions of the party’s leading figures, group rivalries, corruption and indiscipline are turning it into an ungovernable behemoth.

The party’s directives are being flouted at will and organising election to fill its Board of Trustees’ (BOT) chairmanship post is becoming a herculean task, sources say. These two cases were visible last Friday. The national secretariat had summoned Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako over the way he allegedly defied its order and conducted a local government election in his state. But when he appeared before the national leaders on Friday he made it clear to them that “the election stands”.

On the same Friday the leaders also held a meeting at the Presidential Villa (ostensibly to elect a new BOT chairman, at least as earlier news report said) but it ended up discussing about the procedure for the election which is now scheduled to hold in January next year.

The growing confusion in the party is also visible in the reconciliation agenda of its national leadership. The national chairman of the party Alhaji Bamanga Tukur launched the reconciliation programme to bring back influential party members who were frustrated out of it in previous conflicts, but the state governors and other figures made it clear to him that it could only be done on their own terms — in some instances they brazenly blocked it, investigation reveals.