Nigeria′s PDP seeks to redefine itself | Africa | DW | 21.05.2015
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Nigeria's PDP seeks to redefine itself

In Nigeria, the process of rebuilding the defeated People’s Democratic Party is underway. Two leading party members have stepped down to ease efforts to strengthen the PDP and put it on course to return to power.

DW's Abuja correspondent Ben Shemang quotes an African proverb to sum up the state of the PDP, the party of Goodluck Jonathan, after its overwhelming defeat in the March 28 elections: "Success has many brothers and friends but failure is an orphan."

This is now being seen in the party's lack of vibrancy and the doubts being voiced over its ability to form a strong opposition to new president Muhammadu Buhari who will officially be sworn in on May 29.

A large number of African and Western leaders, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony.

PDP in crisis

In recent times, many PDP members turned their backs on the party and switched their allegiance to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

Adamu Mu'azu with President Jonathan

Adamu Mu'azu (center) with President Jonathan (right) before the electoral defeat

There were even accusations that some PDP party officials deliberately sabotaged President Jonathan's re-election bid, in retaliation for what they considered to be a poorly organized and unfocused election campaign.

The resignation of PDP party chairman Ahmed Adamu Mu'azu on Wednesday underlines the crisis currently rocking the party. The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, also resigned. Both men had been under pressure to step down following the PDP's dismal performance in the elections. It was the party's first electoral defeat in 16 years and the first time an opposition candidate defeated an incumbent president.

Mu'azu was the eleventh national chairman of the party that was founded in 1989 and was the sixth to have worked under President Jonathan who came to power in 2010.

Has Jonathan got what it takes?

The PDP's National Working Committee (NWC) praised Mu'aza for sacrificing his position in order to help the party. The committee called for calm and understanding, also from the media "at this time of a re-engineering process in our great party."

Observers expect ex-President Jonathan to take some 3 to 4 months to assess his position and build on the support he still has. DW's correspondent expects him to remain in politics and, after a period of reflection, "draw up a plan to revive the party. He has to show he has what it takes to pull members and resources together to march forward as an opposition party to be reckoned with."

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