The People’s Democratic Party, PDP has been experiencing a wave of mass defection from the party across the country of late and in a recent Punch News report, the member representing Obudu/Bekwarra/Obanliku Federal Constituency Cross River state; Mr Legor Idagbo and his 30,000 supporters also dumped the party for APC. Recall, the governor of the state, Ben Ayade had earlier in may also defected from PDP to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
Amid these series of defections, 2 major sources of worry for the PDP remain apparent. These are below;
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1. The party, PDP appears to be losing strength in its 2 major strongholds
Governor Ben Ayade had recently defected from PDP to APC
Since 1999, PDP has continued to enjoy a lot of popularity within the southeast and south south zones especially when it comes to the presidential poll. However, since reclaiming Edo state from APC in the 2020 gubernatorial poll, the party has lost Ebonyi and Cross river state to APC through the defections of David Umahi and Ben Ayade respectively. APC, with its control of 2 states in the southeast continue to grow in strength while PDP’s strength continues to ebb away.
See the list of southeast states and the current ruling party below;
1. Abia (PDP)
2. Ebonyi (APC)
3. Anambra (APGA)
4. Enugu (PDP)
5. Imo (APC)
Also, many opinions still suggest that there may be more defections from the PDP in the southeast and south south before 2023 presidential poll. Recall sometime ago, some of the party leaders in the southeast threatened to dump the party if the 2023 presidency was not zoned to the region. However, considering the speculations that PDP may likely favor a northern candidate in 2023, the chance of further defections from the region cannot be fully ruled out.
Also, Looking at the south south region and the speculations surrounding the Edo state governor Obaseki, due to his relationship with the president and some APC governors, PDP may also risk losing another state in the region before 2023. Can PDP favorably compete with APC if it keeps losing many top politicians in these 2 regions?
2. The party appears also to be unable to gain reasonable ground on APC in the southwest and other strongholds of the ruling party
Failure to secure Ondo state meant PDP only has one state in the southwest to boast of. At the moment, APC continues to control 21 states across the federation with only 14 for the PDP. Instead of reclaiming its lost territories, PDP has witnessed the defections of top southwest politicians such as the former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel and a host of others.
With the north still very much dominated by the APC, it is almost logical to state that PDP may not be able to match its greatest adversary in 2023 with these series of defections.
However, as it stands, unless PDP is able to gain more states on APC, winning the 2023 presidential election may become even much more difficult for the party.
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Image credits: Wikipedia, Vanguard