The post-2015 PDP story is a lesson in resilience, as it gave the party a unique opportunity to fight another day. Recent events show that the party has given a good account of that opportunity by winning 15 states (more in ‘enemy’ turf), up from 13 States in 2015. This victory is even more significant considering that the party achieved this feat without federal powers.
For most people, it is indeed miraculous that a party disparaged as ‘dying’ and ‘weak,’ has bounced back to win more states in territories touted as ruling party strongholds, while fighting off fierce battles in its home turf. The declaration of Governor Nyesom Wike as the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election in Rivers State is the icing on the cake for the PDP’s resilience. It is also a confirmation that the PDP is very much on track to a resounding victory in the next election cycle.
For all of the massive exodus and leadership crisis that rocked the PDP post-2015, there was unflinching support from the PDP states, especially Rivers State. For some, Rivers is the main reason why PDP is still standing, but for others, Rivers led the pack and other States followed in the attempt to salvage the party. This is exemplified in the Party’s hosting of its presidential election primaries which produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Port-Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. In all of these, the State was always significant in the survival of the PDP post-2015. No wonder the ‘powers of darkness’ were out to take over the State, at all cost.
Did they succeed? Of course not. The victory of Governor Nyesom Wike has since attracted congratulatory messages from all quarters of the country, with many hinting on the ferocious battle he had to face during an election that was supposed to be a walkover following the disqualification of the main opposition in the State. For Governor Wike, he insists that the victory is for the people of Rivers State, but for the PDP, this is a statement concerning the 2023 presidency.
Owing to the massive fight put up by the PDP during the recent country-wide gubernatorial election, especially in Kano, while winning back 15 States like Oyo, Bauchi, and Adamawa from the ruling party, it is safe to say that the PDP has bounced back and is coming big for the topmost sit of the country in 2023. Also, with recent Tribunal declaration of the PDP as the winner of the September Osun gubernatorial election, it is easy to see a trend—that the PDP in Kano is on course to reclaim its supposedly stolen mandate in court.
Since 2015, the party has been surviving storms and hurricanes. However, with the events of Kano, Bauchi, Sokoto, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, and Oyo states, it is safe to say that the party will be back in 2023, not as a survivor, but as the hurricane that will blow away everything on its path to a resounding victory. For the PDP, the Rivers State victory is not like every other victory, it is a statement that the party has grown bigger, better and wiser.