Analysis – Divisions Could Signal the End for Nigeria’s Ruling Party
The People’s Democratic Party is no stranger to dissent and factionalism.
In fact, its tight grip on power in Nigeria is all the more remarkable given the number of divisive voices it keeps under one tent.
However, a major breakaway faction led by a former vice-president might just bring all these tensions to the surface, and give the newly-united opposition the chance it’s been waiting for.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria likes to call itself the biggest political party in Africa. As the largest party in Africa’s most populous country, this is no idle boast. It has been extraordinarily successful too, winning every single election in Nigeria’s democratic era and successfully bridging (or, at least, papering over the cracks of) the often-poisonous North-South political and religious divides.
It has never been a particularly harmonious affair. Conventions and congresses are raucous: there’s always someone unhappy with the leadership, and various factions plotting power grabs. Still, the party muddles along, safe in the knowledge that the opposition is even more fractured.
In the last few months, the PDP’s leadership have watched this comfort zone evaporate, with two major developments threatening its stranglehold on national power – and,…