Peoples Democratic Party (Nigeria)

The Peoples Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in Nigeria, along with its main rival, the All Progressives Congress.[3]

Peoples Democratic Party
ChairpersonUche Secondus[1]
SecretaryUmar Ibrahim Tsauri
Chair of Governors ForumAminu Tambuwal
Founded1998; 23 years ago (1998)
HeadquartersWadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Way, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja
Political positionCentre-right[2]
Colours    Green, white, red
SloganPower to the people
Seats in the House
139 / 360
Seats in the Senate
42 / 109
13 / 36

Its policies generally lie towards the centre-right of the political spectrum.[2] It won every presidential election between 1999 and 2011 and was, until the 2015 elections, the governing party in the Fourth Republic, although sometimes amid a few controversial electoral circumstances.[4]


PDP National Headquarters, Abuja

In 1998, the PDP in its first presidential primary election held in Jos, Plateau State, North Central Nigeria nominated former military leader Olusegun Obasanjo who had just been released from detention as political prisoner as the presidential candidate in the elections of February 1999, with Atiku Abubakar (Governor-Elect of Adamawa State and a former leading member of the Social Democratic Party) as his running mate. They won the presidential election and were inaugurated 29 May 1999.[citation needed]

In the legislative election held on 12 April 2003, the party won 54.5% of the popular vote and 223 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives, and 76 out of 109 seats in the Senate. Its candidate in the presidential election of 19 April 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo, was re-elected with 61.9% of the vote.[5] In December 2006, Umaru Yar'Adua (formerly of the People's Redemption Party and the Social Democratic Party) was chosen as the presidential candidate of the ruling PDP for the April 2007 general election, receiving 3,024 votes from party delegates; his closest rival, Rochas Okorocha, received only 372 votes.[6] Yar'Adua was eventually declared the winner of the 2007 general elections, held on April 21, and was sworn in on May 29, 2007, amid widespread allegations of electoral fraud. In the Nigerian National Assembly election, the party won 260 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives and 85 out of 109 seats in the Senate.[7] At the PDP's 2008 National Convention, it chose Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as its National Chairman on March 8, 2008.[8][9] Ogbulafor, who was the PDP's National Secretary from 2001 to 2005, was the party's consensus choice for the position of National Chairman, selected as an alternative to the rival leading candidates Sam Egwu (who was backed by Obasanjo) and Anyim Pius Anyim. All 26 other candidates, including Egwu and Anyim, withdrew in favor of Ogbulafor. Meanwhile, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje was elected as National Secretary.[9]

In 2011, after the People's Democratic Party saw members defect for the Action Congress of Nigeria, some political commentators suspected that the PDP would lose the Presidency.[10][11] Following PDP candidate Goodluck Jonathan's victory in the 2011 elections, it was reported that there were violent protests from northern youth.[12]


The longtime slogan of the People's Democratic Party has been "Power to the people". During the party's National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 21 May 2016, David Mark, a former President of the Senate of Nigeria, introduced "Change the change" as the party's campaign slogan for the 2019 general elections.[13]

Political ideologyEdit

The party has a neoliberal stance in its economic policies and maintains a conservative stance on certain social issues, such as same-sex relations.[14][15]

Economic issuesEdit

The PDP favors free-market policies which support economic liberalism, and limited government regulation. In 2003, President Olusegun Obasanjo and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala embarked on an economic reform program, which reduced government spending through conservative fiscal policies, and saw the deregulation and privatization of numerous industries in Nigerian services sector — notably the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) industry.[16]

On the other hand, the PDP adopts a more leftist stance towards poverty and welfare. In 2005, President Obasanjo launched Nigeria's first National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that every Nigerian has access to basic health care services.[17]

The PDP strives to maintain the status quo on oil revenue distribution. Though the PDP government set up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to address the needs of the oil-producing Niger Delta states, it has rebuffed repeated efforts to revert to the 50% to 50% federal-to-state government revenue allocation agreement established in 1966 during the First Republic.[18]

Social issuesEdit

The PDP is against same-sex relations, and favors social conservatism on moral and religious grounds. In 2007, the PDP-dominated National Assembly sponsored a bill to outlaw homosexual relations, making it punishable by law for up to 14 years in prison.[19]

The party is a moderate advocate of state-autonomy and religious freedom for the Nigerian states. In the year 2000 the introduction of Islamic law in some states in Northern Nigeria triggered sectarian violence in Kaduna and Abia states. The PDP-led federal government refused to bow to pressure from the southern, predominantly Christian states to repeal the law, and instead opted for a compromise where Islamic law would only apply to Muslims.[20]

Tunde Ayeni, chairman of the PDP fundraising event in December 2014 who donated N2 billion was involved in the mismanagement of bank's funds.[21]

2015 electionsEdit

In the 2015 elections, the incumbent president and PDP presidential nominee, Goodluck Jonathan, was defeated by General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress by 55% to 45%, losing by 2.6 million votes, out of approximately 28.6 million valid votes cast. Out of Nigeria's 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, General Muhammadu Buhari won 21 states while President Goodluck Jonathan won 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory.[22]

2019 electionsEdit

In the 2019 elections, former vice president Atiku Abubakar and PDP presidential candidadate and his party rejected the outcome of the elections as INEC was yet to conclude the process and make an official pronouncement. On the 25th of February, PDP National Party Chair, Prince Uche Secondus alleged that the result as announced by INEC were incorrect.

PDP Supporters during a Political rally at the Headquarters

2020 electionsEdit

Godwin Obaseki won reelection as governor of Edo State on 20 September 2020 with 307,955 votes, defeating sixteen opponents. Security was tight and voters took health precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected 57,000 and killed 1,100.[23]

Electoral historyEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Party candidate Running mate Votes % Result
1999 Olusegun Obasanjo Atiku Abubakar 18,738,154 62.78% Elected  Y
2003 24,456,140 61.94% Elected  Y
2007 Umaru Yar'Adua Goodluck Jonathan 24,638,063 69.82% Elected  Y
2011 Goodluck Jonathan Namadi Sambo 22,495,187 58.89% Elected  Y
2015 12,853,162 44.96% Lost  N
2019 Atiku Abubakar Peter Obi 11,262,978 41.22% Lost  N

House of Representatives and Senate electionsEdit

Election House of Representatives Senate
Votes % Seats +/– Position Votes % Seats +/– Position
1999 57.1%
206 / 360
  206   1st 56.4%
59 / 109
  59   1st
2003 15,927,807 54.49%
223 / 360
  17   1st 15,585,538 53.69%
76 / 109
  17   1st
262 / 360
  39   1st
85 / 109
  9   1st
2011 13,312,817 46.63%
203 / 360
  59   1st
140 / 360
  63   2nd
49 / 109
  15   2nd
2019 11,283,714 41.34%
115 / 360
  25   2nd 11,608,069 41.87%
45 / 109
  4   2nd


  1. ^ "Supreme court sacks Sheriff, declares Makarfi authentic PDP chairman - TheCable". 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b Okonta, Ike (12 April 2003). "Nigerians struggle to hold on to their precarious democracy". Taipei Times. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  3. ^ Campbell, John (2010). Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 9. ISBN 978-1442206915. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  4. ^ Osumah, Oarhe; Ikelegbe, Augustine. "The Peoples Democratic Party and Governance in Nigeria, 1999- 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  5. ^ Sam Ade, Alex (23 April 2011). "Presidential elections 1999-2011 in figures". Vanguard. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  6. ^ Africa | Nigeria party picks its candidate. BBC News (2006-12-17). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  7. ^ "2015 general election". INEC. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  8. ^ Debo Abdulai, "PDP Convention: Intrigues, horse-trading as Ogbulafor emerges chairman" Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Tribune, March 9, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Nigeria: As Ogbulafor Emerges PDP Chairman, Obasanjo Loses Grip", Daily Trust, Abuja (, March 9, 2008.
  10. ^ Obasanjo threatens to quit PDP – The Guardian Archived 2011-01-13 at the Wayback Machine. Nigerian Bulletin (2011-01-06). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  11. ^ 2011: Defection wave in the PDP. (2010-12-02). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  12. ^ "Things turn nasty". The Economist. The Economist. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  13. ^ "2019: PDP adopts new slogan 'Change the Change'". WDNews. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  14. ^ Katsina, Aliyu Mukhtar (2016-04-01). "Peoples Democratic Party in the Fourth Republic of Nigeria: Nature, Structure, and Ideology". SAGE Open. 6 (2): 2158244016651910. doi:10.1177/2158244016651910. ISSN 2158-2440.
  16. ^ Nigeria Gb. (PDF). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  17. ^ [1] Archived March 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ [2] Archived May 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Africa | Nigeria moves to tighten gay laws. BBC News (2007-02-14). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  20. ^ AFRICA | Sharia compromise for Nigerian state. BBC News (2001-11-02). Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
  21. ^ "Ex-Skye bank chief who donated N2bn to PDP campaign to be arraigned for fraud". Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Election Result-Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission". INEC. 2 April 2015. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Nigerian opposition governor wins re-election". AFP. September 20, 2020. Retrieved Sep 20, 2020.

External linksEdit