OPINION…Atiku, Wike, Ayu, Obi: Who ‘Killed’ The PDP?
Following the June 12, 1993 national crisis the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came to power at the return of democracy in 1999. It led Nigeria for sixteen unbroken years! Olusegun Obasanjo (who was nearly liquidated in prison by the late demented despot, Gen. Sani Abacha accused of fomenting a phantom coup d’etat against the kleptocratic maximum ruler from Kano) became President and ruled for eight eventful years.
He handed over power grudgingly (having failed spectacularly in his third term gambit) to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. When the latter died in power his then deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, was made President by the legislative strength of ‘doctrine of necessity’ by the Senate.
Jonathan, the clueless one, was democratically deposed by the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. Now, the PDP is in the opposition having lost power it had claimed would remain in her hands for sixty years! Instead of sixty they got only sixteen!
Indeed, the PDP has the structures on the ground to win back power at the centre. All it needed to do was to put its house in order — something it failed to do prior to the presidential poll.
With Obi definitely out and Wike and co still playing executive spoilers the prospects of another failure to capture power was pointing dangerously in the horizon. Before quitting Obi had marshalled out cogent reasons for his exit. The ‘Obidient’ national movement leader must have sensed the division and bad blood that would follow the PDP Convention hence his decision to decamp.
Mathematically speaking the total votes cast in the presidential poll (even though manifestly manipulated in favour of the ruling party) indicated that a combined united political force of the opposition could have decimated the misruling APC and Asiwaju Tinubu were they united in their ranks.
Alas, the controversial APC candidate was rigged into power in a sophisticated digital electoral heist never before witnessed in our country. Not even when ‘Babacracy’ in his ‘do-or-die’ politics was in power did we see such brazen allocation of votes not scored!
Prior to the presidential primary Convention of the party last year the PDP was united and going strong, confident of bouncing back to power eight years removed from Aso Rock. The Convention, however, jettisoned the zoning arrangement and conveniently went for the man with the money to spare. It backfired big time!
Atiku, ever desperate for power, outspent the other serious contenders (including Gov. Wike) for the top job. He clinched the ticket with the unpredictable Rivers henchman coming second. And since then confusion and indiscipline had been the order of the day.
Governor Wike, feeling cheated, began a ‘rebellion’ within the party. Again, the ‘wound’ was made deeper and worse when instead of picking him as his running mate Atiku went for the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Wike then declared ‘war’ and formed the Integrity Group of five aggrieved PDP Governors: Oyo’s Makinde, Abia’s Ikpeazu, Enugu’s Ugwuanyi and Benue’s Ortom.
The bone of contention remained that the G5 Group sitting PDP Governors were demanding uncompromisingly the immediate resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu. Given the debatable fact that Ayu, a ‘northerner’, ought to go with a fellow northerner, Atiku, having emerged as the party’s official presidential candidate in accordance with the party’s rules Ayu and co had other plans.
Ayu refused to go and Atiku was powerless to do anything to that effect. The crisis deepened and discordant tunes were played by different actors from Port Harcourt to Abuja to Makurdi. Gov. Ortom, Ayu’s home state Governor, saw reason opposing his continued stay as the party’s Chairman!
Ayu must have reached a secret ‘deal’ with Atiku having wangled him into the presidential race as the highest bidder! Gov. Wike saw the treachery and cried blue murder. He went to the extent of accusing Ayu of grand corruption!
Now, the crucial question: who among Atiku Abubakar, Nyesom Wike, Iyorchia Ayu and Peter Obi ‘killed’ the PDP? Who among these men bears the greatest responsibility for the ‘death’ of the opposition party? Who did what? Who played a perfidious role towards the outcome we now see?
Well, to provide a satisfactory answer to this poser we must remind ourselves of the controversies, the recriminations and bad blood leading up to the implosion of the party.
Before the Abuja Convention took place the former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, dumped the PDP for the Labour Party and contested the presidency under the LP platform. His candidacy revolutionized election in Nigeria, the ensuing controversies and litigations following the Asiwaju Tinubu ‘victory’ notwithstanding.
We ask again: who ‘killed’ the PDP? The answer floats in the air! Your guess, therefore, is as good as ours. While at that we hold that the aforementioned quartet are responsible one way or the other for the ‘demise’ of the PDP.
While we recognise that the damage has already been done it must be acknowledged that it was morally reprehensible for a northerner of Fulani extraction to want to succeed another man from that region in power for whatever reason.
In a complex multi-faith, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic country as ours it is inconceivable, an insult on our collective intelligence, for a man from one region and religion to want to replace another of the same region and faith. No matter the man’s good intention, nobility of character or experience in politics it remains indefensible.
But we know all along that Gov. Wike was fighting more for his political survival and interest than the logical clamour for power shift to the South. Wike invested heavily in the PDP presidential ambition but he got a shocker when Gov. Tambuwal played Brutus at the eleventh hour!
It bears emphasizing in the final analysis, however, that for the comatose PDP to be revived and restored to ‘life’ the squabbling irresponsible trio (Atiku, Ayu and Wike) must be made to step aside!
Otherwise, more self-inflicted political woes and failures lie ahead!
AUTHOR: Ozodinukwe Okenwa
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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