Political power intoxicates. And so, many who have tasted it always play Oliver Twist, asking for more. Given the recognition of a second term by most country’s constitution, hardly has any African President outside the South African Hero, Nelson Mandela willingly relinquished power after serving a lone term.
Back in Nigeria, controversy has continued to trail the circumstances that threw up the presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, more so, when current developments in the polity suggest a possible comeback in 2015 of the President.
Will that be an achievable task? How herculean will that be for President Jonathan should he attempt to contest? Saturday Vanguard’s JOHN BULUS in this special piece analyses the intrigues currently playing out in the polity enroute 2015 general elections.
The silence is so vexing yet suspicious. He may have spoken but he was very tacit and tactical. Not exact. Not explicit. The people expected more especially in the midst of the growing concerns from several quarters. But be that as it may, the taciturnity has continued to elicit unusual apprehension even as current developments around him conspicuously point towards another big dream in 2015. Believe it or not, President Goodluck Jonathan is caught up on the edge of controversy. And as far as 2015 elections are still underway, the controversy rages on.
Indeed, not a few persons had been nerved by the re-emergence of Tony Anenih as the new Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Alas, many had asked what the man forgot at the Authority or what work he had gone back to do that eluded him in his first missionary journey.
Anenih had been the NPA Chairman. In fact, he preceded Bode George who was later imprisoned on accounts of illicit activities while at the Authority. Anenih played a role during his term as the Minister of Works and Housing in the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s era.
His influence in the Obasanjo’s presidency later earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Fix it”. Of the incidences of that time, his rift with the then Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was one incident that came close to revealing what was hidden between the two people.
Though it was seen as a personal rift between the duo, what was however fathomed in the public spheres was that the cause of the face-off bordered on public interest. Until recently, much has not been heard of the man who retired back to his home state politics in Edo except when the self acclaimed political godfather of Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeared in the public to present Charles Airhiavbere, the PDP candidate in the last Edo State gubernatorial election.
But to the chagrin of most Nigerians, President Goodluck Joanthan at the twilight of December 2012 dusted Anenih and reassigned him the portfolio of heading the Board of NPA. At first, the news was like a distorted fiction to many Nigerians when it filtered but it later dawn on Nigerians to be an undisputable reality.
To those who are in the know, Anenih’s appointment, smacking a tirade of controversy, was a strategy. It is a means to an end. And the end is 2015. On the periphery, Anenih is the NPA Board Chairman. But investigations reveal that Anineh is the political machinery rejigged to “fix” President Jonathan in 2015.
Then enters another veritable platform which is the Chairmanship of the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT). Saturday Vanguard’s checks indicated a well calculated but skewed move to enthrone Anenih as the new BoT Chairman. Tuesday, January 8, 2013 was supposed to be the day the new Chairman would have been unveiled but apparently, high-wired intrigues and horse-trading stalled the move after a three hour meeting of PDP stalwarts at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, venue of the event. Those who spoiled for the contest included Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Tony Anenih, Senator Ken Nnamani, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo and Ahmadu Ali.
Others in the race were Chief Emmanuel Iwuayanwu, Chief Don Etiebet, Senator Bode Olayinka, Chief Yekeen Adeojo, Senator Onyeabor Obi, Chief Harry Akande and Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun. Ahmadu Ali, reports said came very close to grabbing the position but for the “politics” allegedly orchestrated by the Senate President, Senator David Mark that edged him out at the eleventh hour.
Mark by his position, is currently the PDP leader in the North Central geo-political zone where Ali also hails from. Had Ali been elected, Mark would have automatically lost his grip of the party as the boss in the region to Ali. But sources said that was one development Mark was not home with and so, sided with the move to formalize the tenure of the BoT Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin who refused to step-down for Ali to five years. By adopting the principle of federal character as accentuated by PDP’s constitution, Ali is now tactically edged out of the race thereby heightening the chances of Chief Tony Anenih to becoming the next BoT Chair.
And to resolve the process, a Committee chaired by Former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana was set up. With the development, analysts believed that Anenih, the widely speculated choice of President Jonathan would have a smooth ride to the position when the election is finally held.
Meanwhile, if Anenih would deliver, he will have many rivers to cross. These rivers include the multi-faceted choices of the various zones clamouring to produce President in 2015. Thus: the North and Ndigbo which have already started the leg work with gusty.