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Musing on a party primary

By Josef Omorotionmwan

A FEW days to the primary selection process of the PDP, the two main contenders for the presidential slot fought dirty. They danced stark naked in the market place. We do not intend to recapitulate what were said and done, for fear of being caught in the web of that man who was having his bath in the open and in broad daylight, when a naked mad man snatched away his towel.

In the man’s full nakedness, he pursued the mad man. All those who saw the two could not tell the difference between them. They were both taken for mad.

There was a point of departure, though. At the Eagle Square, the contenders were given five minutes each to address the delegates. Mr. AA chose to remain in the gutters. He chose to spend his five minutes, heaping abuses on perceived opponents and in the process, he forgot to mention what he would do for the people if elected. He was quickly scored an F9 by the delegates who, apparently, had made up their minds even before then, anyway. This was, perhaps, another case of spitting into the mouth of a man who was already intent on vomiting.

When his case came up for mention at an appellate level, the F9 was promptly confirmed. The people were quickly reminded that AA even threw courtesy to the winds. Mr. AA was terse and that was not the point at which he would begin to consider any handshakes with anybody, talk less with his principal antagonists.

All the same, there was one thing which nobody could take away from Mr. AA. We are not immediately able to confirm that he started writing his memoir that night. Or, was he just taking notes? Those must be very copious notes, to the extent that he exhausted one full biro and asked for another.

Whatever was able to steal away his usual broad smiles and hide his open teeth must have been very serious and if it provided the needed solace, of course, why not? After all, every situation provides its own joy of victory and the agony of defeat. It must have started melting down on our man.

Enter Azikiwe. This new addendum to the man’s name was very prominent that fateful night. Azikiwe had been properly tutored that his campaigns all along lacked steam and content and that the time allocated to him must be optimally utilized and you bet, it was. At Eagle Square, the man who had been derailed all along by the lifelessness of his opponent’s campaign came alive. In smiling, Azikiwe smiled broadly and in telling Nigerians what he would do for them if elected, he was simply marvelous.

Delegates were easily enveloped in a state of Eldorado and he told them that all they needed to enter into the glorious Promised Land were their votes for that night. After that, it took only the foolhardy to deny Azikiwe the needed votes. At the end of the five minutes, he carried his infectious smiles to the people and shook hands with all the front liners, including the main antagonist. By our estimation, this was what earned him at least a C+.

Apparently, this is the shaky result that Azikiwe is carrying to the class of 2011, where he will meet bright students who are full of original ideas. We only hope the campaigns will henceforth be issue-based, although there is no way the opponents will not occasionally rekindle some of the bruises that Mr. AA already inflicted on him. And now, the push has started. In the same class of 2011, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has just produced a student of consistent A+ rating, Nuhu. Unlike the PDP that has completely destroyed its foundation, the ACN has put its acts together to produce a truly national consensus candidate.

Women o-y-e…. Women on the move…. We wonder how Dame  will be feeling now after all the jazz about ‘women talk to women’, which could not fly that night. Who is really deceiving whom? The women had an opportunity to practise what they have been preaching all along and they blew it.

That Madam came out only with an own vote in a delegates’ list that included many women simply succeeds in reducing the Women Initiatives Programme to naught. The era of do as I say and not as I do has since left these coasts. Dame, your programme also qualifies for an F9.

“I still dey laff o!”  It is amazing that at the end of it all, Uncle Shege still carried himself to Mr. A.A. to give him an “I told you” look and as a consolation, he also offered Mr. AA what the Ibos call “Nto-oo gi”.

In much the same way that a leopard cannot change its skin overnight, Baba and his PDP will continue to carry the spirit of unforgiveness and in this age of new awakening, perhaps starting from 2011, such a bunch has certainly lost its right to the people’s votes.

And if there is any lesson to be learned from the foregoing, it is that greed kills and, in any case, how much moss can a rolling stone really gather?


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