The year 2017 was a very fruitful and adventurous moment in Nigerian politics; some of the political events generated much controversy among political actors while some depleted political parties among others. Here are some of the most noteworthy moments of Nigerian politics in 2017: NewsDirect takes a look at happenings in the year.
By Dare Raji
The victory of Prince Uche Secondus as the National chairman of the party has raised another dust in the party following the claims by some group of people in the party that the PDP National convention in Abuja was a tragic event in which election was not held but a selection of predetermined persons who were eventually announced as new NWC. The aftermath of the elections led to the emergence of a new party Fresh Peoples Democratic Party (FPDP). The Director-General of the FPDP, Prince Emmanuel Obi-Nwosu, briefing newsmen in Abuja, said that the group rejected the outcome of the December 9 convention which produced Prince Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman. But in a swift reaction by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodinyan, described the action of the group as a “comical act and childish attempt to distract the move to reposition PDP”. In a statement by the party it has vowed to wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Nigerians are eagerly waiting to vote out the APC. “We are going according to the plans and purpose of God. This country will be returned to the PDP, whether you like it or not, it is approved in heaven. You cannot do otherwise “
Alhassan rebellion, Atiku’s defection: PDP loses political heavyweights in 2017.
As 2019 election approaches The Year 2017 retrospect in the Nigeria political landscape was a beehive with political defection of political bigwigs from one political party to another. Back in September, In a courtesy visit to Atiku, The Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, declared her support for the former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar to become Nigeria’s president in 2019. The Minister added that Buhari had not told anybody that he would contest the 2019 presidential election. She said even if the President decides to contest the election, she would support Atiku for the presidency.
Alhassan, In her interview with BBC Hausa Service in which she declared her support for the former Vice-President. She revealed that Buhari had told his party members before the 2015 elections that he would only seek one term in office. If today Mr. President says he is running in 2019, I will go to him respectfully and thank him for giving me an opportunity to serve as Minister in your administration and then resign because my political godfather may be running,”
Since the defection of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from APC to the PDP there has been mass defection of politicians from one party to another. In the year 2017, many politicians has defected from one party to another. Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) The decision by Obanikoro, to leave his former party was based on the failure of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2015 general election and his failed attempt in clinching the governorship seat of Lagos when he lost to the current Minister of Works and Power, Barrister Babatunde Fashola and Mr Jimi Agbaje at the 2007 and 2015 respectively. Obanikoro is currently making moves to contest the 2019 Lagos west Senatorial seat in the 2019 general election.
The defection of Chief Adebayo Alao Akala; Alao-Akala, who served as governor of Oyo state from 2007 to 2011 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin; former Deputy Governor, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and a former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ayodele Adigun to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has further depleted the ranks of the PDP both in Oyo and the National at large. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his address to journalists when he received the defectors said that the ruling party APC has the capacity to accommodate all political bigwigs that found their way to the party “We have a stainless kitchen and we can accommodate as many cooks as possible and because we will have a variety of menu in the political kitchen of planning this future,” he said.
Also, the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Taraba State has lost one of its prominent politicians, a former acting Governor of the state, Sani Danladi, to the All Progressives Congress, APC. His defection came barely one month after the former state acting Governor, Garba Umar, defected to APC.