New Telegraph

Wike, PDP and Price for Perfidy

A recent piece credited to former Jigawa State governor and one-time foreign affairs minister, Sule Lamido, captured the hopeless state of affairs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the supposed leading opposition political organisation in the land. In it, Lamido raised salient questions that ought to prick the conscience of the leaders and members of the party. Lamido had asked; “Pray do we still have the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP? Or better still, do we have a party called PDP? If we have one of the two, how come their total absence in the saga playing out in the PDP Family in Rivers? Is the docility of the leadership of the PDP so comatose to the extent that President Tinubu of APC, our sworn rival and opponent is now the grand patriarch of PDP?”

These are critical questions that strike at the essence of the PDP and its leadership. Perhaps, more than any other development in contemporary times, the crisis between the Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, has utterly exposed the decay and absence of cohesion in the party. The face-off between Fubara and Wike, his godfather, centred on the control of Rivers politics and by extension, the resources of the state. In the course of the impasse, moves were made by 27 members of the House of Assembly sympathetic to Wike, to impeach the governor, which four lawmakers loyal to him promptly thwarted. The 27 lawmakers further dumped the PDP and crossed over to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Not wanting to be caught napping, Fuba- ra ordered the demolition of the Assembly complex and hastily signed the state’s 2024 appropriation bill into law. Members of the legislature in his camp, also declared the positions of those that had joined the APC, vacant. The pro-Fubara legislators further got a court pronouncement declaring the Speaker in their fold, the authentic presiding officer. The situation remained hazy when Tinubu intervened, summoned the warring parties in Abuja, where some fleeting agreements were entered into. They included withdrawal of all court processes, cessation of impeachment moves against Fubara, recognition of Martins Amaewhule, the Speaker on Wike’s camp and recall of commissioners who re- signed their offices in solidarity with the FCT Minister.

Wike, Fubara and the feuding lawmakers, belong to the PDP. But in all the controversies and the apparent Abuja cosmetic peace accord, PDP was not mentioned. And there was no recourse to it. Maybe, just maybe, that could have been what informed the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP, vowing on Tuesday, that it would take disciplinary actions against Wike and other recalcitrant members of the party. PDP National Chairman, Umar Damagum, who made the disclosure in Abuja, stated that the party would take relevant decisions on the matter at appropriate time. He was not precise on what he meant by appropriate time and when it would be expected.

The national chairman talking that tough, should have sent jitters down the spines of those creating confusion in the party. Without holding brief for him, it was not only Wike that betrayed PDP at a crucial time. Following the emergence of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candi- date of the PDP, last year, Wike and other governors on the platform of the party – Seyi Makinde of Oyo, former governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), constituted themselves into the so-called Group of Five (G5) Governors who worked at cross purposes with the party.

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