Recently the PDP has started to bungle its own goodwill. While the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has maintained that he stands for deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in Nigeria, the spokesman of the party, Kola Ologobondiyan is saying something else.
Deregulation means that the market would be made free and subsidy removed, which would initially lead to price increase. This would continue for a while before prices drop as a result of the workings of the market mechanism. This does not mean an instantaneous price reduction as Egbon Kola has put it or has implied to the ordinary citizen.
No government has had the pleasure of determining the price of petroleum products and has not gotten his fingers burnt. While the attempt by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration to control prices of petroleum products is a disastrous fraud, the thing proposed by Kola and Atiku are polls apart.
Two things come to mind here. One is that the party should present concrete reasons why it needs the votes of Nigerians. Giving promises without explaining how it would be achieved should be the last thing on the PDP’s table or it should not be there at all. Vague promises like “reducing prices of petroleum products” should be removed from PDP’s campaign lexicon. Nigerians are not stupid. Parties such as the outgoing APC made such vain promises and didn’t get anywhere because there was never a plan to actualize it.
Well respected men like Prof Tam David-West who championed this campaign of deceit have long gone into hiding either out of shame or complicity. For whatever reason though, Nigerians know now that they would not give their votes to just anyone who comes along with fantasy and dreamy promises.
Secondly, the party must learn to speak as one. The statements emanating from Kola’s tabkle are deemed to be the official PDP’s position. To this end he and the presidential candidate should, through well -tailored speeches, can produce something that appears from the stables of people of strategy. Otherwise the people would not take the PDP serious.
Nigerians are hopeful. They are enthusiastic about an Atiku presidency, but they are watchful. They are watching out for any replication of the vague, nebulous and purposeless tendencies of the APC. The PDP should not jeopardize its own chances by making drab statements. The APC is not a group of people to be taken seriously as per governance. They have proven to be hedonistic and wasteful, granted that Nigerians are willing to kick them out. One thing however, I am sure Nigerians cannot and would not want to do is vote in a party who shows signs of crass incompetence.