PDP: A National Burden & Jonathan’s Cross By Odusote Oluwakayode
Discussing the issues surrounding PDP is somehow boring going by the fact that the whole crisis is just one of the battles that would be settled in 2014 the moment all ego and interests of the “rebel” governors and other party members is amicably sorted especially such that concern former President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo. The political foes of Obasanjo are rarely forgiven and it seems President Jonathan do not understand the political game he has plunged himself and the party into.
Obasanjo played a critical and the most significant role in ensuring the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as president, unfortunately, the aftermath of his presidency has been witnessing rumors of political disagreement between the two. Obasanjo has been the de facto leader of the party since his era as president. He designed strategies towards taking charge of the party leadership with alleged roles in the subtle removal of the first PDP National Chairmen from Solomon Lar, Audu Ogbeh – perceived to be too close to Atiku Abubakar and Barnabas Gemade.
In his soon-to-be released auto-biography, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, THE STORY OF MY LIFE which was reported in the vanguard newspapers, Atiku Abubakar maintained that “As President and Commander-in-Chief, from his early days in office, Obasanjo caused his party and the Senate to pick a wrong choice for the Senate presidency – Evan(s) Enwerem was made Senate president against the party’s position that Dr. Chuba Okadigbo should be the one; Obasanjo launched an onslaught against opposition; he captured the South West geo-political zone states except Lagos; when his Third Term bid failed, he paid the polity back by imposing Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as the PDP candidate and then made him President; when the Yar’Adua illness saga started, Obasanjo it was who, after obtaining incontrovertible evidence that Yar’Adua would not survive, played on the polity by coming out to admonish Yar’Adua to resign if he knew he could no longer discharge his responsibilities as President and Commander-in-Chief; once Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan became first, Acting President and later President, Obasanjo moved to take charge as godfather”.
So when a onetime “shoeless” aspirant from Otuoke in Bayelsa state called Goodluck Jonathan became the President of the most populous black nation on earth, he was expected to rob and not bite the fingers that installed him as president. He was not expected to look down on some of his former colleagues that dared all odds to assure his installation. He was not expected to look for new friends, most of who were onlookers while the gladiators permutated his emergence as president.
Before becoming president, the political story of President GoodluckJonathan didn’t depict that of a brilliant politician relevant to be considered a factor or threat in national political competition. He was more of a humble and obscure politician with a semblance of the “yes sir” framed minded individual. During the party primaries, It was Obasanjo that fought for him against the powerful aspirant like Atku Abubakar; during the presidential election, it was allegedly rigged for him and courage was even purchased to give him the expected confidence.
The PDP for a long time have been at war with Nigerians by their usual permutations of rigging out the favored candidates of the electorates, the most recent being the rerun local government election held in Offa local government area of Kwara state. It is from their stunning theory of calculations that Nigerians are made to understand the reality of a 1 greater than 2. Nigerians have been hunted by the PDP’s shadow for a long time but it seems the tide has changed as the PDP is now being hunted by its own shadows.
The practice of accepting the mathematics of lesser numbers to higher numbers gathered public momentum when the presidency recognized a faction of 16 breakaway force of governors that lost the NGF election earlier this year to the greater 19 governors and when it pampered a team of 5 minority legislators to move impeachment motion against the speaker of the Rivers state house of assembly with majority of 27 legislators behind him. At those moments of reckoning, the presidency was expected to do the right thing – support legality. Now, the shadows are hunting as the presidency this time and the Bamanga Tukur led PDP are furious that a minority number of seven (7) governors could have the gut to form a parallel party claiming to be the genuine PDP. The PDP does not need an umpire to settle the scores. PDP has been caught in its own web and the crisis rocking the fold may not be a “family affair” as arrogantly declared in the past by the don of the family of cabals.
The PDP is endowed with numerous cabals and it seems each government at the federal and states levels are demonized with their respective cabals. We had the bitter experience of a cabal during the medical crisis of late Umar Musa Ya’ardua, the cabal took charge for Sullivan Chime in Enugu state and they are currently making permutations in Taraba state deceptively for Danbaba Suntai. Mr. Jonathan gained from the cabal and the refusal to pay the necessary dues will be costly as the nation is presently witnessing.
This time, the president may not be heard by Nigerians if he is forced to raise alarm that he is a shoeless president. Subtly, the minister of information Labaran Maku and some sympathizers of the president had once declared that he is the most insulted president in the history of Nigeria. If such statements are made to gather sympathy for the president, I don’t think it would work out in the event of so many unforced errors made by the present administration.
Jonathan is expected to make the necessary atonement, and the demands of the seven PDP governors with other members of interests are; removal of Tukur as party Chairman, return the state party structures back to Governors Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers state and Murtala Nyako Adamawa State and drop the 2015 presidential ambition.
With these demands, especially the third, it is glaring that the crisis is not close to being resolved irrespective of diplomatic statements from presidential sources.
Funny enough, the two invincible warriors fighting each other are not in the front line. Deep insight into the crisis will reveal a GEJ vs OBJ interest as being responsible for the whole crisis rocking the party. Historically, President Jonathan does not have a record of the charisma needed to match that of former president Obasanjo. Obasanjo had defeated most of his political foes by every means necessary. He is known for the “do or die” type of politics. President Jonathan cannot boast of a rosy relationship between him and the former president, therefore enlisting his service to bring a solution to the crisis within the party will not be enough to rob the ego of the former president. The hand writing has been on the wall for a long time when former president Obasanjo resigned as chairman of the BOT of the party. Most of his loyalist became subject of attack within the party machinery. The battle line was drawn with Obasanjo throwing some punches of criticism at the Jonathan led administration and refusing to attend some party activities.
He was absent at the divisive special convention due to what was referred to as “Cold”. The same cold that didn’t deter him from attending a Sunday service with the president the following day. Some of the governors are known loyalist of former president Obasanjo and the demands are too heavy a burden for Jonathan to bear.
If the crisis continues like this, I solemnly assure, that I dread for President Goodluck Jonathan, when the time comes that he makes reckoning, and realize that there is no longer anything that can be done to solve the crisis. May he never find himself, supporters of the Bamanga Tukur faction and the G-7 faction, in such a position of total collapse. It is perhaps honorable to eschew personal interests than to plunge Nigeria into an unnecessary turmoil. Asari Dokubo and some pardoned ex-militants are blowing hot in support of a tribe’s man – such does not assure victory.
As the president of the nation, the crux is upon you, therefore, It is folly and cowardice, to cherish such mediocre political support of hopes like these, to give way to evil counsels, to refuse to do anything that should be done positively in resolving what could crystallize into a national crisis, to listen to the advocates of the enemy’s cause, and to feel relaxed that you dwell in so great a rock or Otuoke that, whatever happens, you will not suffer its consequences.
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