Developments In The PDP, Rivers State And Prospects For Democracy In Nigeria, By Dr Junaid Mohammed
The attention of all democrats, patriots and lovers of peace and harmonious co-existence among Nigerians, must be drawn to recent developments in PDP at the national level, and which are now snowballing into a full blown governmental and security crises in Rivers State.
Rivers is coming to the limelight because of the irresponsible, unconstitutional and bizarre, illiterate actions, of the so called first lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan, who hails from the island village of Okrika in Rivers State and who sees not only Okrika but the whole of Rivers States, as her personal domain to exploit, abuse and destabilize as she sees fit because her husband Jonathan happens to be the president.
It is worth noting that the Nigerian constitution makes no provision whatsoever for the post of first lady, the constitution dos not mention that position, and confers no rights, privileges and or responsibilities on spouses of our president or heads of governments. It is therefore illegal and completely ultra vires the constitution for any citizen, president or his spouse to userp executive powers, and go about throwing their weight, as if they were legally recognized holders of such offices according to the law. As at the time of writing, the commissioner of police in Rivers, his command structure and other security services are at the command of Patience Jonathan, and by her and presidential orders, most security facilities due governor, the speaker and others so entitled, have been withdrawn. Mean- while professional thugs and all manner of criminals are being recruited and pressed into service to destabilize the elected government of Rivers State.
Some primitive notables in the PDP potraying their ignorance of both Nigerian history and general broad, sweeps of history worldwide are talking ostrich like to the naive effect that the crises in the governors’ forum, and PDP generally, is an internal affair of the PDP. Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly the PDP-rightly or wrongly, elected or rigged, is the largest political formation in the country. By that very fact, the fortunes of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy, security under the law inter and intra-communal harmony, civic and political cultures, and individual leadership demeanor, tolerance, comportment and attitude of respect towards the law; are inextricably linked with the attitude, styles and directing moral compasses and worldview, if any, of that party. Nigeria is doubly unfortunate in having a defunct, morally bankrupt and ideologically void party, micromanaged by an incompetent, irresponsible, illiterate and rudderless presidency, that run on an ad hoc basis, permanently sleepwalking from domestic crisis into interminable international disasters and catastrophies without end. This president and his team, cronies and party are the root causes of our national malaise, and insecurity, which seem set to continue.
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes, so wrote Geoge Santayana, the Spanish American philosopher (1863-1952). Current developments in PDP and especially in Rivers, bears an uncanny resemblance to the development in the old western region, which led to the collapse of the first republic, with very serious and bloody consequences. Then and now, the popularly elected leaders of those parts of the country were prevented from exercising political power and control. The operations of the police, the army and the rump of security services were interfered with in a brazen political manner. Political thugs were hired and paid to do the biddings of politicians supported by the political party in power at the center, The demise of the first republic and its bloody consequences was but a matter of time. The rest was history. In a manner reminicent of Obasanjo’s extra-judicial removal of DSP Alamiesiegha, former Governor of Bayelsa, with the cooperation and active physical involvement of then AIG. Hafiz Ringim, later rewarded with the I.G. ship to harmonise with INEC and perfect the rigging of 2011. The current CP Rivers, is bending over backwards to accommodate the president, his cronies and his illiterate wife, to ignore or pervert the law and the constitution and norms of decent political behavior, to harass, intimidate Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and thus destabilize, a strategic state like Rivers. Those in the PDP who imagine that this serious and fundamental crisis can be contained by some band aid or artificial cordon sanitaire, have a shocker awaiting them. According to Robert Michels, the leading authority on philosophy, structure and organization of political parties. Parties are by their very nature, sociological open systems. A party is not a secret cult or a closed shop in trade union terms. To succeed or to fail, it has to be open and public. Lawlessness, impunity, and absence of scruples does not solve problems. Laws, constitutions etc are guides to human conduct and peaceful, cost effective mean to resolve crisis, and not convenient tools to be used or abused and discarded; based on the convenience whims and caprices of those in temporary positions of power, authority and influence. The overriding attitude of PDP leadership, the PDP president, his cronies etc. is an open invitation to anarchy. For his party, his tottering crisis prone government and most unfortunately for Nigeria. The preponderance of the PDP in the governing processes is a clear and present danger to democracy. Add to that the dictatorial proclivities of the party leadership and penchant for hand picking illiterates and corrupt thugs into key and sensitive positions; you have the making of an inevitable disaster.
Latest developments throws into doubt the very possibilities of elections in 2015, the very reason for the desperate manouvres now going on. If the de-facto commander –in-chief, the de-facto defence Minister and army commander Gen. Ihejirika who is an in-law to patience, and his police and S.S.S. counterparts, are behaving in openly political partisan manner as heads of Jonathan’s personal militia; it goes without saying that Jega’s INEC will hold no elections worth the name. The result will be announced as a formality, after turning the country into an armed camp, very similar to what happened in Kaduna State, in 2011. That Attahiru Jega, INEC chairman, every member of INEC’s national body of commissioners, every resident electoral commissioner (REC), down the line is a card carrying member of the PDP is a universally known fact, drawn attention to, by many Nigerians for years. Recently, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, my humble self, the former chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Barrister Festus Okoye etc have drawn attention to this fact, and demanded a thorough reorganization of JEGA’S bankrupt INEC. It will be dangerous to assume at face value, that credible elections will be held under Jega and with Jonathan in power in Abuja, and with the current mindset and tribal and sectarian disposition of the armed forces under Ihejirika and co.
Those who cherish democracy must stand up and be counted, and treat the whole country as one legitimate arena of democratic action. Rivers State and the fate of its governor must be of enormous concern to all democrats and patriots. Within Rivers State and without: Evil thrives when good and decent people take their eyes off the ball, or pretend it is of no concern to them or too far away from their neighborhoods.
Personally I do not know and have never met Gov. Rotimi Amaechi in person, in Port Harcourt or anywhere else on earth. I have not been to Rivers State since the expiry of my national service in the defunct OMPADEC (now NDDC) in 1996. I am however invested in Amaechi’s struggles because I believe democracy is the only way to govern a free people rationally, and to exercise legitimate power over a free people. If the PDP and its incompetent president treat this country like a conquered and vanquished people, they must be cured of their delusion, soonest.
DR JUNAID MUHAMMAD,
Nassarawa, GRA Kano.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org