By Joseph Edeh
Impunity and injustice have always been the Achilles’ heel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Those, who left the PDP in the past have always complained that it does not reward loyalty and the developments around the Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu in the last few days have affirmed that narrative.
The PDP has treated Ekweremadu, one of the pillars that held it firm in the days of stormy weather, as if unalloyed loyalty is a political crime and suicide. Commitment and faithfulness have been discouraged, while treachery and unfaithfulness rewarded. What a pity!
I was one of those who lambasted the South East leaders when I didn’t have the substance of their reservations over the nomination of Peter Obi as vice presidential candidate. Now, with more information coming out, it is clear that Obi is not the issue. They only complained about the process. Indeed, that Obi was selected by “outsiders” without the input of the PDP leaders from South-East is an aberration, betrayal of trust, and insult on collective intelligence of PDP stakeholders in the South-East.
Sore and pathetic tales
To confirm that it wasn’t an oversight, those patriots who stood by the party have been thrown out into the cold. This is the sore and pathetic tales of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu at the moment. Those who worked against Atiku Abubakar and some of those who lost the presidential ticket to him as a result of Ekweremadu and South East PDP leaders’ huge support have all ganged up against the Senator. A particular South-South governor, who threatened to deal with the PDP if they dared move the convention from Port Harcourt, have also sworn to decimate Ekweremadu politically for working against his interests in favour of Atiku Abubakar.
True to his threat, the recent constitution of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council without Ekweremadu’s knowledge and input as a ranking member, who labored for the party in the rain is another evidence that the PDP has thrown him out of the house he helped to rebuild, rebrand and reposition, just to please his adversaries, who felt threatened by his rising profile.
Ironically, the silence and failure of Atiku, who is the beneficiary of the support of delegates from South-East during the convention in the unfolding conspiracy against Ekweremadu is not golden but rather suspicious. It is frightening that those, who worked against his candidacy as the PDP flag bearer, and who might actually be programming the Atiku/Obi ticket for electoral disaster, are the ones calling the shots in the presidential campaign, while people like Senator Ekweremadu who stood by him in the dark political tunnel have been left at the mercy of their rivals—who now pretend to be more Atiku than Atiku himself. This smacks of political betrayal that would certainly make many of Atiku’s diehard supporters to think twice.
Conversely, whatever anyone says about Chief Ollusegun Obasanjo, he never leaves his diehard supporters and foot soldiers in the cold. If you stand by him, he will stand by you till the very end.
Ironically, those spearheading the onslaught against Ekweremadu will not be in the Southeast to deliver votes to the PDP during presidential election. The party and Atiku will depend on the “rejected stones. Only a political party and a presidential candidate, who are not serious of winning elections will treat their political generals as unwelcomed guests in a house they invested a lot in building and sustaining, most importantly, in the face of political torments by the ruling party and “Tornado Ali Modu Sheriff”.
Those ungrateful elements, who are calling the shots today were the ones making jest of Senator Ekweremadu for being the then national leader of an opposition party plagued by internal crisis. Yet, Ekweremadu did not deem it fit to jump ship and forsake what looked like the carcass of the party as others did then. Instead, he rallied the support of other stakeholders to rescue the PDP from the brink of death and gave it a fresh of breath air. He chaired the Ekweremadu Committee made sound recommendations at the end of the assignment, giving direction to the party when it was rudderless and subsequently set it on the path of recovery. These strategic steps made the PDP a formidable platform that those who left now saw as a veritable platform to win elections.
Self-serving and disloyal tendencies
Any political party that promotes treacherous, self-serving and disloyal tendencies, is on its rough road to Golgotha, perdition, and self-destruction. A presidential candidate who sacrifices his diehard and pioneer supporters on the altar of political exigencies, surrounds himself with his new found wolves in sheep’s clothing, should better prepare for painful betrayal and backstabbing on the day of reckoning. The same opportunists, who have succeeded in displacing real loyalists on the table of decision-making, will be first to abandon the ship of presidential campaign when the voyage becomes turbulent.
In the face of the unfolding humiliations and conspiracy, Ekweremadu has no option but to weigh all alternatives—he has to place all cards on the table now and activate his political survival instinct. Only a tree will stand seeing a razor-sharp axe dangling around its waist.
The PDP and its presidential candidate have proven to be eternally ungrateful, neither worth slaving for nor dying for.
Edeh wrote from Abuja