By Denrele Animasaun
“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”– John Steinbeck
Couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article titled; Jet, ladies and all things tasteless(12.05.13) which mentioned Rotimi Ameachi and the trouble between him and GEJ. So, fast forward two weeks, it does not look as if the fight is abating anytime soon.
On the contrary, it seems that the fight has been nudged up another level,to isolate, intimidate and humiliate Governor Rotimi Ameachi. The assault is reaching a crescendo of an enormous magnitude that only can be imagined taking place in the dark, shady and mucky dealings of the political occult.
This audacious gerrymandering and devil-may-care attitude by the so called movers and shakers of the PDP is been played out in full view of the Nigerian public. I am sure that the heavies and bullies think that they are untouchable .They must feel so confident that the power they have mustered to coerce and usurp an incumbent governor is fair game.
So, the Governors’ Forum returned Ameachi as the chair of the body to the displeasure of the mischief makers. Amaechi, the incumbent chairman of the Governor’s Forum, won with 19 votes to 16, despite the fact that one governor was absent. The governors voted and elected him and Amaechi remains in post as the chair of the forum.
Mr Jang, also a member and Governor in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), disputed the outcome and has since declared himself the chair of the forum. Some say he could not have gone ahead without the blessings of the president, who it was understood is very determined to bring Ameachi down a peg or two.
The king (GEJ) has also made himself the kingmaker. He has vehemently refused, and is rabidly adamant, that everyone should play by the rules, except the selected few know what the rules are. In fact, I do think they make up the rules as they go along after all, it is their party and they can jolly well do anything they want to it.
This may be party politicking going on but it has serious implication to our democratic rights as citizens. Nigerians have much to be concerned if at the party level, they can flout the rules of a political party. Then imagine what the ruling party could do when they act like this on a national level, it is quite worrying.
So when they suspended Ameachi from the PDP, they offered no rational reason other than, he had abused the party’s constitution. The National Working Committee (NWC) had arbitrarily assumed the powers of the NEC and suspended Amaechi without preliminary hearings, or an opportunity of knowing the allegations made against him. It was revealed that there had been a plot all along to remove the governor as the chairman of the NGF, and that it was conceived by three governors from the North-West and North-Central.
So, here rolls on another Jonah, the man from Plateau State as he declared himself the chair. He is a pretender to the throne but he is busy flaunting about the place.
Supporters of Ameachi inside and outside the party have described this as a breach of the constitution of the party and that the party has denied the governor a fair hearing.
There are rumblings within the party, quite mutinous rumblings and there is fear of implosion if the captain of this farcical vessel does not change direction.
The mood of some of the governors who voted for Ameachi are quite certain that he was indeed the majority choice and no one else other than Ameachi, can declare himself the victor . Governor Fashola, is not having any of it so he had filed a suit at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in his capacity as a member of the forum. He has asked the court to declare that Jang is not competent to be called the elected chairman of the NGF.
In the writ of summons filed by a former Lagos Attorney General, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and former West African Bar Association President, Femi Falana (SAN), Fashola maintained that 35 governors participated in the election that returned Amaechi as the NGF chairman.
This infighting is a distraction happening daily in the ordinary lives of a Nigerian household. What use is it to the man on the street that there is a split in the PDP and that Rotimi has been suspended from the party? Not a lot unless it can quench their thirsts, fill their bellies, make them feel secure at home or on the roads or put clothes on their backs, it means nothing. Nothing at all. So what do we make of it? That it is all about power and money and not about the people they serve.
To think the election is still two years away but they are already carving the national cake and positions. They have no shame and they are desperate and would stoop so low to get a second term in Government. When is it going to be different? When should we expect a change for the better?
Are we going to have more of the same? Is that what we really want for ourselves and our children? The politicians have promised us a better Nigeria and they have failed woefully. They say, a country deserves the government it gets. But we definitely deserve much better than some of the current crop.
To the PDP I remember, a quote from late Chinua Achebe: “We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own”. And he said the Igbo, always practical that they put it concretely in their proverb: Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: meaning: “He who will holds another down on the ground must stay on the ground to keep him down.” The Yoruba do have many equivatent proverbs.
If only they heed the sagacious maxim and concentrate on themselves and not try to disrupt others. Well, it seems the PDP stalwarts are neck deep in mire and the nation watches with bemusement how they are going to dig themselves out of this without losing face.
There is a pronounced silence from the president’s camp but then we don’t expect much from him as he, the king now wants to be the kingmaker. Ameachi does not need to do anything but watch the political muscle flexing. Sometimes the best thing one can do is to watch the aggressor sooner or later, he is bound to fall on his own sword. I guess their egos have been bruised and this will ultimately be their undoing.