PDP And Logic Of The Alligator By Abba Mahmood
The alligator is a funny reptile and one of the most illogical animals. For instance, when there is cloud formation for rain, it runs into any nearby pond, stream, lake or river to hide from the rain. Can you beat that? That is why any time anyone does anything that is so illogical, so incomprehensible and so inexplicable, the Fulani say that the person is practising the logic of the alligator. What is happening in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now really qualifies as the logic of the alligator.
President Jonathan’s home region is the south-south. In the south-south, the most electorally strategic state is Rivers. Rivers is also one of the most economically strategic states in Nigeria, being one of the highest oil-producing states, and oil is the main export product of the country. Some oil wells alleged to be belonging to Rivers were relocated to neighbouring Bayelsa State. Rivers went to court to contest that. Bayelsa has only eight local government areas as most of the state is water; Rivers has four times the total votes of Bayelsa. Rivers is the most populous state in the Niger Delta region. Instead of being a foremost one, Rivers governor Amaechi has been practically humiliated and pushed out of the PDP with a crucial election approaching – the typical logic of the alligator.
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has 11 governors. Now that seven PDP governors have formed a formidable faction of the ruling party, it means 18 governors — half of the total state governors in the country — are directly or indirectly not with the mainstream of the ruling party or not with the government-recognised party leadership. But, by implication, since Kano, Lagos and Rivers, the states with the highest votes, are part of these governors who have opted out to form the faction, almost 70 per cent of the Nigerian voters are potentially or actually not happy with the government of the day. How did a sitting government commit such a strategic blunder? A practical logic of the alligator.
When you have a “family” dispute, elders settle it before it snowballs into a huge conflict. These breakaway governors went round to consult with some elders even before the controversial convention at the end of last month. Instead of the party leadership to call and listen to them and address their grievances, the so-called “acting NWC” castigated them. If there was any conspiracy made by these “rebels”, it was planned in broad daylight with ample notice. But the party leadership was too drunk with power to see these indicators. Clearly, it is the logic of the alligator.
The PDP Board of Trustees is supposed to be an advisory body. But Chief Anenih, its chairman perhaps against his wish, is now actively involved in the running of the party, like a co-chairman or even a super chairman to the party. Bamanga Tukur, who has been behaving like a school prefect, has turned out to be the most divisive chairman in the history of the PDP. Both men are in their 80s; they are not even strong enough to go round their big compounds let alone help to run and manage a huge party like the PDP. Obviously, it is the logic of the alligator.
While a committee of elders consisting of distinguished elders of the country and past leaders of the party was set up to look into the crisis with a view to resolving them amicably, Bamanga Tukur came out with a belligerent statement declaring those who had the guts to defer with him as “rebels” and even threatening to declare their seats vacant, as if he has the power to do so. As it turned out, Kawu Baraje, the chairman of the other faction, has brought to public notice that Tukur is not even a bona fide member of the PDP! So how did he become the chairman of the party in the first place? Hmm! The logic of the alligator indeed.
The governor of the most strategic PDP state, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, has been feeling alienated. The federal government left him in the cold as he is not consulted for any federal appointments from his state. As a consolation, he espoused his kwankwasiyya philosophy in Kano, started far-reaching and genuine transformation of Kano and popularised the red cap, perhaps giving red light to those opposed to him in Abuja. No one cared to listen to him and give him a sense of belonging in the party until it is almost getting too late now. This is a good example of the logic of the alligator.
Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State is one of the most experienced politicians in the country today. He is also one of the founding fathers and not latter day sons of the PDP, being an original member of both the G9 and G34 that gave birth to the PDP. His performance in Jigawa since he became governor, by common consent, is simply amazing. This great disciple of Aminu Kano populist politics was left in the cold by the PDP he toiled to bring to this level. Now they are seeing his worth when it is almost too late. It is another case of the logic of the alligator.
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa reached the highest anyone can reach in his military career before retiring into lucrative farming and politics. In 2011, despite the fact that Atiku, President Jonathan’s main challenger, is from his state, he made sure Adamawa State delegates voted for Jonathan in the party’s presidential primaries and the state electorate went further and voted for Jonathan in the presidential election that year. His reward has turned out to be the imposition of Tukur who keeps undermining him by creating and recognising a faction opposed to Nyako in that state. What do you expect an admiral to do other than to navigate the turbulent political waters? It is the logic of the alligator.
It is a tactical mistake and indeed a strategic blunder to frustrate these patriots who have had great experiences in public service at various levels and who actually mean well. Amaechi was a most successful speaker in his state, has been the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and is the governor of Rivers whose tenure has seen the end of militancy there. Kwankwaso was the Third Republic deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and defence minister in this dispensation. Lamido was national secretary of the SDP, the main party in the Third Republic, and was foreign minister in Obasanjo’s first term. Nyako was naval chief, an admiral and deputy chief of defence staff.
Governor Mu’azu of Niger had distinguished public service career, was briefly an elected federal legislator and rose to federal permanent secretary before getting elected as governor. All these people have served the nation creditably in the past, are serving the nation now in their various positions and will continue to serve the nation in the future. How can a party do away with these quality leaders? Perhaps, that party is practising the logic of the alligator!
Any time sycophants are brought to positions of responsibility, the government undermines itself. These people are not being fair to the president and have indeed failed the nation. The fact that there was an embarrassing walkout from a ruling party’s convention while the nation’s president was seated and seemed not to have any prior knowledge tells a lot about the quality of those entrusted by the president to help him. They have failed him and the nation and should be shown the way out. Unless, of course, they want to continue with the logic of the alligator. God save Nigeria.
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