New Telegraph

PDP’s never ending war

A s the nation counts down to 2023 general elections, there seems to be no end in sight to the combustible brawl within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This fight started soon after Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who had invested heavily in the party including handpicking the National Chairmen of the party up to the current PDP Chairman, lost last year’s primary election he thought he would win. After the loss, I had hoped that Wike and his team would help the party gain stability, then fight for the election, win the general election and then divide the spoils of office.

Rather than unite, the G5, led by the angry Rivers governor is tearing the party apart and doing everything to ensure its losses in 2023 just to get at Atiku. I will tell Seyi Makinde (Oyo State governor), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) that their states are at risk and they are likely to be the biggest losers unless they retrace their steps. Wike whom they are following may likely make some kings in Rivers and that will be it. Someone told me that Wike is fighting for the South.

I don’t believe Wike is fighting for the South. He is fighting for Wike and Wike only. Ortom, who doubles as his second brain, revealed this much in a media chat where he said that the leadership of PDP is unfair to Wike. He didn’t say the leadership of PDP is unfair to the South. But, it was the same Ortom that chaired the PDP Presidential Committee on Zoning. The composition of the committee was handpicked by Wike.

It was the Ortom Committee that voted to throw the presidential ticket open rather than zone the ticket to the South East. Atiku challenged PDP’s Southern Governors that were under Wike’s spell to zone the ticket to South East in the interest of justice, equity and fairness, but they balked. Governor Bala Mohammed, who was also an aspirant made a similar challenge, but neither Wike nor his Man Fridays did the needful.

They thought they had the PDP Presidential ticket under wraps but were disappointed after Atiku trounced them to become the Party’s flag bearer. As far as Wike is concerned, Atiku stole his pile and he will never forgive him. Ayu’s crime was superintending a free, fair and credible presidential primary election. His being fair and firm made Wike angry. He didn’t make him the National Chairman for him to be impartial. He was to be an asset.

He cannot get over the loss of his haughty and pompous grip on the party and its leadership. Sometime in March 2022, while masking his well nursed presidential ambition, he told the press that he will support zoning the presidential ticket to the North if that will guarantee the party winning the presidential election. Now that the party has a candidate from the North that is poised to win, Wike is angry and cannot be consoled. I don’t expect politicians to keep 100% to their words because they don’t. The silent part is still part of the song, they say. Wike is on a mission to destroy PDP because according to him Atiku, Bukola Saraki and Aminu Tambuwal humiliated former President Goodluck Jonathan out of office in 2015. Is Wike fighting a proxy war for Jonathan against Atiku? Is he leading the battle of the South against the North?

We all know the circumstances under which Atiku left PDP. He was literally forced out of PDP in the ugliest manner by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. No one is forcing Wike out of his party. Everyone is begging him to stay but he and his group voluntarily chose to pull out of the campaign. If the party moves on without them, it isn’t the party that ditched them, instead they ditched the party. Wike is so angry that when he sat down for a media chat with Channels Television he ended up saying a lot of horrible things about Atiku, the Party and Prof Iyorchia Ayu. Without any proof he claimed Ayu is corrupt, that PDP is deceitful and Atiku dishonest.

He went further to assert that the PDP Presidential Primary election was manipulated and claimed that he was offered a senatorial ticket by a presidential candidate which he declined. When the media attributed the deal to Tinubu, Wike quickly declared the statement as untrue. I never knew, he liked the media to stick to facts.

I also agree on this and that political leaders should be held accountable. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Ayu making the sacrifice to resign if that will bring back peace within the fold of the party but not on the order of Wike. Governor Wike and his handbags can leave the party if they want and join forces with the Labour Party, APC or APGA all of which parade Southern candidates. That’s the honourable thing to do.

Wike felt he was cute in his dark sunshades worn inside a room when he called out Ayu as corrupt and himself a proud saint. Let’s assume the National Chairman is corrupt because he took money as he claimed, can Wike swear that he didn’t induce the party leadership and delegates with money? That too is corruption. Politics 101 taught that the fastest way to quit active politics is to be screaming, punching and kicking at the same time. This is exactly what Wike is doing. Deep down in his heart, he knows he has no future in politics.

He knows he is tarnished and will soon fade away. But, rather than go quietly, he wishes to be remembered as the man that finally killed PDP. What a befitting epitaph? If God wants PDP to be destroyed, nothing can save it from implosion, but let me remind ‘General Wike’ that he is relevant today because he is governor. When he leaves power in May, the relevance he commands will fade away. If he understood politics, he should know that in this game, you don’t allow yourself to get too angry with your opponent to the extent of destroying both your opponent and yourself. There is no profit in scorched earth politics other than mutual destruction.

In politics, forgiveness is important and it takes a lot of energy to remain unforgiving than to forgive. Wike’s recent media chat exposed him as a man lacking in these fine principles. Looking back, I consider Atiku a very lucky man. It is God that delivered him from Wike. Imagine for a moment if he made the mistake of choosing him as his running mate? That would have been an unmitigated disaster. It is also God that delivered Nigeria as a nation from a Hitler in Wike by making it possible that he lost both the presidential

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