Still reeling from the damaging loss of five governors who constitute the G-5 rebellion, the PDP is facing yet another internal storm after members, including senior figures of the party’s campaign council, traded blame on Monday over the cause of the party’s poorly-attended presidential rally in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital crucial to the victory chances of any presidential hopeful.
Sources revealed to PODIUM REPORTERS that the candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, was disappointed at the level of turn-out witnessed at the rally despite the considerable sum devoted to ‘crowd mobilization’ and the importance of posting a good show in the city-state, which is considered the political home of his main opponent and candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Atiku reportedly expressed his disappointment to the leadership of the campaign who wasted no time in pointing fingers and trading blames in a desperate bid to avoid responsibility for the failure.
We gathered that some members of the party attributed the failure to what they regarded as the ‘irresponsible management’ of the party’s affairs, notably by the Office of the National Organising Secretary which they accused of filling travel jets for political tours with hired sex workers at the expense of mobilizers and other party operatives central to the party’s grassroots mobilization and planning.
An official of the party who requested anonymity told us that, “the rally in Lagos was obviously a disappointment and the truth is that a lot of our party members are now demoralized. There are loud murmurs of many switching camps because there is a sense that the APC will win the election by a good margin. The reality is that in Nigeria’s politics, nobody likes to be on the losing side, and with everything going right now in the PDP, it is beginning to seem certain to a lot of members that Atiku is going nowhere.”
“On who is responsible for the Lagos failure, some people are blaming the Organising office because they said the boys there are fond of filling planes with hired sex workers who have no serious role on tours at the expense of actual mobilizers capable of helping the party. So there is the sense that even the management of the party is totally out of touch and focused on frivolities.”
Others maintain that another possible cause is Atiku’s growing reluctance to “spray the cash” due to his developing cold feet over the amity within the APC where all the governors, including the northern extraction, look resolute on working committedly to ensure the emergence of Bola Tinubu. This sharply contrasts the state of affairs within the PDP where influential Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, is leading a rebellion of other four governors who have sworn to sink Atiku’s ambition.
As a result, the source claimed that Atiku is “keen on limiting his losses” by tightening his apron, unlike in times past when he “rained the dollars believing it would help his run.”
“There is a wing of the party greatly displeased with Atiku’s approach this time because he is not spending. But can they blame him? It appears the man is aware that victory is highly unlikely and he wants to limit his loss so that he can enjoy his political retirement in peace as this is obviously his final shot at the presidency,” he said.