PDP has been known for its money power. It believes so much in the power of money. It oozes money from all pores. It celebrates money such that it's another name is 'share the money'. It makes no pretense of the fact that it is monetarily rich. Money is PDP's aphrodisiac that wakes its potency any time its existence is threatened. Money has come no handily to bail PDP from situations that threaten its existence. Once PDP deploys money on its often quarrelsome members, all problems get instantly settled. Once PDP unleashes money on the electorates, it walks away with questionable electoral victories. It does not hide its attractive affinity to money such that at every turn, it is quick to flaunt its rich resource base and intimidate others int submitting to its ravaging desires and wishes.
In the run up to every election, PDP has made a ritual of gathering its monied members and financiers to make a public show of its control of the purse. It had always called up those that have benefitted from its many pro-money policies to make returns for any impending electoral battles, and they have returned bountifully to its expansive war chest. With such huge purse, both the electorates and the electoral system become pliable tools the PDP uses . Anyway it chooses. Thus, with every election, money is never always the problem of the PDP. It has money in abundance as it has always manipulated the state treasury to ensure it always has enough when its opponents scratch for funds to run their own campaigns.
PDP and its members want all to believe that the earth is theirs and the goodness within. They want to be seen as the owner-managers of Nigeria's vast estate. They want to be perceived as the only people with the capacity to gather enormous resources and spend such in whatever way they want. Their body language bespeaks this fact. They question their opponents if they spend minimal fractions of what they spend as pocket money. They brook no rival to their affluent status and as such, deign themselves as the unchallenged ones to spend money as they wish. It was such that when PDP's rival, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari got a paltry N54 million from his own fundraising effort, the righteous PDP czars questioned how come he got up to such amount when they have the sole license to raise money for whatever purpose they deem necessary. It is such that when Buhari goes on campaign with a chattered plane, PDP righteous spin masters ask where he got the money to chatter a plane. To them, they remain the sole people capable enough to hire planes for their own campaigns even with more than fifteen air crafts in the presidential fleet turned in for their campaign. It is such that when Buhari's wife made a donation of N135 million drugs to victims of Boko Haram insurgency, PDP propagandists sought to burst the space with questions of how she came about such amount of money to purchase drugs.
In the run up to the on coming general election, PDP made a noisy business of gathering their clients in the business of running the Nigerian economy to come under one roof and in one night, pulling a hefty N21billion for its 2015 electoral battle. This is apart from the limitless license it has with the national treasury where it freely dips its hand to fund its political projects. By this, it sent a clear signal to its poor opponents that the impending battle is going to thread the usual path. Knowing that its opponent is not monetarily gifted, it was a road show that the coming election, like previous ones, will be won and lost on the turf of money politics. Nigerians know that the PDP has no rival in this sphere. It has sat on the country's wealth for sixteen years and in those sixteen years, has bred a cabal of thieves, rouges, plunderers, treasury raiders such that it has a thick cache of the monied denizens that can always pull together any amount to ensure that the feasting go uninterrupted. It is within PDP that those who benefitted from the missing trillions of Naira, the missing billions of dollars, the multi-trillion Naira fuel subsidy scams, the trillion Naira kerosene subsidy scam, the winding list of multi-billion Naira scam contracts, the seedy oil deals, the multi-trillion Naira import duty waiver bazaar and all the many corrupt deals that have come to define PDP' sixteen awful years in power, domicile.
In the election campaign proper, PDP has enormously displayed the power of money. Remember that when electioneering campaigns were yet to be kick started, PDP embarked on a very expensive nationwide road show under the Transformation Agenda of Nigeria. This took the party to all parts of Nigeria in a sole display of its very potent resources. The opposition never challenged it because it didn't have the resources for such an enormous road show. It was a solo effort and even some enlightened observers like Prof. Akin Oyebode and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba ( SAN) readily wrote off APC and called the coming election for PDP because they saw only PDP campaigning all over the country. It never occurred to these learned patriots that electioneering campaigns were illegal when they hastily wrote off APC. But with the flag off of the campaigns, PDP had been trailing so poorly that it had hardly organized decent rallies in many states while its opponent pull mammoth crowds of enthusiastic supporters even in states PDP took as their strongholds. While the opposition increases in strength and support, PDP has significantly decreased in strength and support, even with its stupendous resources.
Every day, PDP spends hundreds of millions of Naira on media advertisement; print, electronic. Internet. It has mopped up all available media space and has taken up all purchasable advert spaces to place, very often, meaningless smear campaigns against its opponents. Sure, these are what money can do. PDP is in its usual game, and it is exclusively a money game. PDP has been extravagant and boisterous in displaying its monied status before Nigerians in this campaign. It is indulging in mass purchase of people, wooing Nigerians in any currency to support its frantic effort to hang on to power. Groups, associations and all manners of gatherings are being induced with hair-raising amounts of money all over the country. Pastors, cultural groups, women groups, traders, market women, traditional rulers, students, youths, nongovernmental organizations are being purchased to support PDP's inordinate ambition to hang on to power. PDP is sparing nothing because it has the money, it has the key to the treasury and, of course, the power. PDP has been spending money as if it will soon go out of fashion to purchase the support of Nigerians for it to continue in power. Its stomach infrastructure politics is built solely on employing money to buy poor food rations for dehumanized and pauperized Nigerians in exchange for their votes.
> But then, how come money seems to work for PDP In reverse mode in this election? What did PDP do wrong this time around that its legendary money power is failing it so badly? How come age old tactics of massive deployment of money is failing PDP this time around? I ask these because going to the 2015 election, PDP is trailing so badly behind poor Buhari and his APC such that credible opinion polls have shown that PDP does not stand the chance of garnering 30 per cent votes in the coming election. It is this fear and reality that made the PDP, which started campaigns for this election so ahead of its opponents, to desperately clobber INEC to shift the election on very flimsy contrived grounds. The irony of the PDP fate is that the more money it spends, the more its electoral chances plummet. After spending so much of its famed excessive war chest, the PDP, a party in government, is today perceived as the opposition party in this campaign. It is clutching at every available straw to keep afloat as blackmail, insult, lies, propaganda, deceit, character assassination; fabrication have formed the collapsible basis and central core of its campaign. PDP is flailing so helplessly on the APC tailboard even with the enormous resources at its disposal so what is the problem?
Why is it that it is the PDP that is raising vacuous and specious allegations of rigging, manipulation, and electoral chicanery when it is the party in power and with its heavy resource base? Why is it the PDP that is desperately playing cheap ethnic and religious cards to hang on to power? Why is it the PDP that is seeking to shift the goalpost deep into the second half of a soccer game when it has such intimidating resources? Why is it the PDP that is making such laughable demands as change the leadership of INEC, remove every impediment to free manipulation of election as a panacea to its worsening electoral fate? Why is it the PDP that is alleging of being intimidated in a game usually determined by huge money that it had in abundance? Why is it the PDP that has to engage in very subterranean moves to not only force a shift in the elections but scuttle the entire process it had kick-started with illegal TAN rallies months before electioneering was legally kicked off? Why is it the PDP that is today running so disoriented, so confused and so ragged around the shadow of just one man- Muhammadu Buhari even with the enormous money and power at their disposal?why is it that the PDP is finding it hard swinging the campaigns and subsequently the coming election with its huge money? Why is PDP not dictating the pace of the game this time around but poorly trailing the APC? Why is it that with all the propagandists PDP had purchased for its campaign, it is finding it extremely difficult to mount a decent campaign free from the annoying inanities, childish fabrications, personal insults, blackmail and attack that has become synonymous with PDP's wonky campaign so far?
> Yes, the huge campaign war chest the PDP has gathered is worsening PDP's problem, and this is a viable case study for students of Nigerian electoral contest in the years ahead. The flu that has hit the PDP quest for continuation even with its enormous resources may be a viable theme for the cleansing of the farcically scrambled electoral system in Nigeria. What is happening to PDP today, even with its unassailable money power, needs to be researched into to bail Nigeria from the cabalistic politics PDP excels in and which thrives in inordinately cornering all state resources and employing same to purchase state power. Why money is not working the age long tricks for PDP, today remains perhaps a puzzle to the members of PDP that have invested heavily in leveraging the enormous power of money to stay in power perpetually. As the rescue of Nigeria from the clutches of negative politics that has prosecuted the progressive decline of Nigeria. I know that PDP leaders, members, henchmen, fixers and enablers are ran ragged pondering how their famed money power is failing them so woefully as they grapple with the realities of losing power to a less monetized opposition that is depending on the freelance goodwill of Nigerians to come to power. Yes, money itself has its expiry potency against a people that have been pushed to the wall by corrupt and bad governance. Faced with the determination of a people, it stands to fail those who place their trust on its artificial power. This is the lesson PDP will take home after the 2015 general election if it survives beyond that date.
Peter Claver Oparah