Columns

September 17, 2022

Wike can’t labour in vain!

By Emeka Obasi

Fourth Republic politicians are predictable, you know their next move before they think it out simply because love for country is not strong as love for self and band of praise singing supporters.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has been known as a dogged fighter who applied his mouth as a dangerous weapon in the fight for relevance. No one saw his new nuclear war against the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lasting the distance.

The truth is that the PDP is dead. Wike is a lawyer, married to a judge. I would not know when he proceeded to the university for a degree in Morbid Anatomy. The only governor who trained along that line was Ambrose Alli of the old Bendel State.

The only thing that can bring the party out of the funeral home is for the presidential ticket to go to the South. It could be handed over to Ifeanyi Okowa or Anyim Pius Anyim. Wike is also qualified for the ticket. This sounds impossible since INEC has closed shop.

When Iyorchia Ayu emerged as PDP chairman, it was clear that he would favour former Vice President Abubakar Atiku. They had worked together in the Action Congress in 2007.  The former Senate President did not prove anyone wrong.

The way Nigeria is moving, anyone who tries to dismiss the unwritten balance of power code that rotates power between the two divides, can only breed more instability. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan did it and the result is staring all in the face.

Ayu is educated. He has been in and out of government. After the man was impeached as Senate President in the K-legged Third Republic, the Fourth Republic saw him moving from one ministry to the other—Education, Industry, Internal Affairs, Environment—as minister.

Ayu did not believe in the unconstitutional Interim Government of Ernest Shonekan. That cost him the Senate President job. I would not know why Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo kicked him out as minister in 2006.

As an experienced politician and Middle Belter, one had expected senior citizen Ayu to read the hand writing on the wall. His reading glasses suddenly disappeared and everything went blank. All he could remember was no zoning. And Atiku grabbed the opportunity.

They did not reckon with Wike. I think some of them could have dismissed him as an empty drum. The Rivers governor was betrayed even more than Judas Iscariot. The only difference was that there was no Mount Calvary to hang him like the two thieves beside Jesus Christ.

In what turned out to be Northern gang up, Wike’s buddy, Aminu Tambuwal literally drew the dagger, like Brutus. At the end, everything sounded like Night of the Long Knives. Atiku got 371 votes to floor Wike whose 237 votes put him away from presidential contention.

Initially, Wike did not make his usual noise. He humbled himself before Atiku as Tambuwal asked him to turn back after the primaries. There was a pledge to work with whoever was chosen as running mate. PDP went to bed, happy.

Wike is having a good laugh now. He has become a most essential commodity. All the big masquerades are running after Ezebunwo, the boy from Pitakwa. From the Garden City to London, he is the most sought after politician.

Someone whispered to me that when Wike goes to the loo, there is a guard of honour mounted by his new friends to make sure they get his attention.

I can read Wike’s body language even if others cannot. Those who drove Peter Obi from PDP and tried to dribble Wike should listen to that  his song—’ Tinyere ha ogba aghara.’ It is an Igbo tune which talks about planting confusion in the midst of the enemy.

Ayu is 70, Wike is a December Boy in his 50s. The PDP chairman thinks Wike, who has been Local Government Chairman, minister and now a sitting governor does not know his left from right. 

This is where Fela Anikulapo Kuti comes in. The Afrobeat king saw tommorow. He came out with the lyrics, ‘dead body get accident, confusion break bone.’ Yes, PDP is dead and the only man who can resurrect the party is applying confusion as therapy.

Atiku should remember all the support he got from the South-East and South-South in the past. If I were in his shoes, Obi should have been encouraged to stay in the PDP. Atiku missed the grand opp

The Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello knew the power of a king maker and he made good use of it. His Kaduna base was the Mecca of the high and mighty. In the First Republic, the governor of Northern Region was more powerful than Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

In all, Nigerians are watching. Wike has shown that if the first cut is the deepest, the last straw broke the camel’s back. Tambuwal spoke Fulfulde to Atiku, Wike is speaking Igbo to Obi. The confusion is breaking bones. It is also dismantling barriers.

The way PDP is wired at the moment, the country cannot move forward. Those who hijacked the party should make out time to find out why Obasanjo has refused to bring his soul back to the house. They should be bothered that Jonathan has paddled his canoe out of murky watersortunity of becoming a kingmaker.