By Charles Chukwuedo

What a day it was on May 28,2022, when PDP held its special convention and presidential primaries. I congratulate PDP for a well organised convention. Kudos!. If only the party did same when they were in government. Politics apart, it’s important to give credit to whom it is  due. PDP sold Nigeria well to the world with a well organised and  transparent convention. It’s vital that we recognise and commend good things. No one will blow our own trumpet better than ourselves. Some are quick to amplify negative developments about Nigeria. It’s only fair that we amplify  positive developments as well.

Governor Nyesom Wike lost to Atiku in the field. A number of factors were  responsible for Atiku’s victory. For starters ,Atiku like Rotimi Amaechi and Bola Tinubu, like or hate these men, they have one thing going for them: they have goodwill in abundance. Goodwill matters in Nigeria’s politics. Atiku has contributed to human development over the years. He continues to harvest the seeds he sowed. To my mind, Atiku’s war chest going into this presidential primaries was not as healthy as it was during the  2019 PDP presidential primaries. Despite his lean  resources, beneficiaries of Atiku’s goodwill rallied round him. They supported him and  pumped in resources this time around.

Talking about resources, the presidential aspirant that could match Atiku was  Governor Wike. He had too much money to play with. But the too much money was  his undoing. Money is like a spirit. Respect a man who has money in abundance and still manages to keep a cool head. Over the years, I have seen the inability to handle and to manage excessive money destroy people. I have seen folks who become  ghosts of their former selves  when they were ‘swimming’ in money. They were  no longer the humble chaps that one  used to know. Humility is key in everything we do. A man who is not humble will run into difficulties. This is captured in the book of Proverbs; 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom”. Governor Wike is in the good books of APC attack dogs because he spews blarney.He appeals to those who practice gutter style politics. To many of the  political elite  he’s considered a political liability. Wike managed to hoodwink political neophytes and they fell prey to his antics. He gained momentum with this class of electorate. He was liked by these lot.

No doubts,Wike is  one man  to be  reckoned  with in PDP because of his financial muscle— chief financier of PDP. Wike also capitalised on his popularity and  threw himself into the presidential race.

Wike was a serious contender,but as the  presidential convention drew nearer he lost momentum. His popularity base sank Wike allowed fame and money to take over him. He could not manage his new status anchored on fame and money. Humility is not in Wike’s lexicon;he spoke to his political cohorts without qualms.He also  bullied  party leaders and  presented himself as a emperor of sorts .Some people even questioned the state of  his mental health.  When Wike was going round consulting, he hardly showed tacit,tolerance and wisdom; humility was not part of him.

For someone who wants something, a favour from delegates, the choice of language, manner of approach and  appeal for their votes must be guided.

Wike during  his consultation round  the country did not appeal to delegates,rather  he  was ordering them  to give him the PDP ticket. Wike must do rethink and learn to manage people and  be humble. You set yourself up for failure when you’re not humble. In fact ,politics and humility go together.

Tambuwal’s factor also played out in Wike’s defeat at the presidential primaries. Tambuwal the governor of Sokoto State last minute’s step down for Atiku changed the outcome of contest in favour of Atiku. Atiku won Wike by 134 votes. When I extrapolated the likely winner, Tambuwal was not a top contender. I envisaged he would get about 80 votes or there about. Tambuwal’s factor was a huge factor in Atiku’s victory. There are two legs to what I refer to as the Tambuwal’s ‘coup’ of May28,2022. The first leg of it is that; the well orchestrated ‘coup’ goes to show that political outcomes will be tested by political democratic processes and not via sentiments. How many people  still remember the South South communique issued by

Nigerian Southern governors in Lagos.? For those who may have forgotten, let me help you recall the issue. The Southern governors resolved in one of their meetings that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the South. Some of us did not support that  position, we saw governors’ position  as an undemocratic. We knew that the idea will not fly. Some of the governors who put pen on  paper to sign that communique were visible during the primaries working against the same position they earlier took. I do not have any quarrels  with the  Southern governors, but the point I make  here is:  allow democratic political process play itself out, like what happened during  the PDP primaries.

It is dangerous for our democracy when political pressure groups or civil society groups want to determine what happens in a political party. It’s wrong and such goes against democratic ideals. In the  same way, it is completely wrong for  the  so called socio-political groups to issue threats that, power must go to a particular region. People can say anything they like,but what often plays out in the field is a different ball game.

What really matters is following democratic process in the choosing of the nation’s political leaders.

The second leg of the ‘coup’ is this:some of us from the South must come down from what l call ‘pseudo high horse mentality’. We look down on our  Northern brothers  as illiterates, yet  the same so-called illiterates continue to teach us political lessons. The Tambuwal ‘coup’ demonstrated that the North will always unite when it matters the most. This is their style of politics. I give them kudos for that.

Haven  said that, it is also  my considered opinion that the move made by Dr. Bukola Saraki and  the Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, when they hurriedly put up the Niger State consensus endorsement scheme, came to hunt Saraki and Bala on the convention was a  decision obviously in favour of Atiku. Tambuwal was originally part of the scheme to attend the Niger State consensus presidential aspirant endorsement move. He pulled out at the last minute. Atiku was locked out of the process. Tambuwal was not happy with what Saraki and Bala Mohammed did, so he  decided to take his own pound of flesh during the primaries. Nigerian politicians don’t forgive easily. Tambuwal calculated that the contest was between Atiku and Wike.He was smart, weighed the options,  swallowed  his pride  rightfully and  pitched tent with his brother.(Atiku)

At the end of of the primaries, Atiku and the North had their day.

Meanwhile,social platform keyboard warriors who play their noisy  politics in their bedrooms  should learn from what happened during the PDP’s primaries. Politics is not played on sentimental basis,nor  is it not played on a mantra like “it is our turn”. You have to strategise how to  get power. Political reality has now hit Wike. It is a  lesson for all, that money alone will not make one  cross the line.

Rivers state is known to be blessed with sophisticated men and is also a state

 known to be endowed with former sophisticated governors. For instance ,when you to   Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi speak, the manner in which he carries himself, everything about him is presidential. He is, undoubtedly,a true face of Rivers State and an  ambassador of the state.

 But Wike is a different man who believes that his bullying style is the best. I can’t preach it enough,leaders must value relationships, respect people, be humble at all times. Despite Wike’s deep pocket, he failed to clinch the PDP’s presidential ticket. And all those he was ordering around, disrespected, believing that he had the presidential  ticket in his bag, how will he now  face them.? Politics and humility are inseperable.

•Chukwuedo,a lawyer ,can be reached


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