By Benji Aluu Snr
“How are the mighty fallen. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon”. This quotation is found in the Bible: 2 Sam 1: 20. The expression is a biblical injunction depicting surprises that what is not expected and never expected has happened. Analytically, it was a statement of surprise, shock and unbelievable which ought not to be made public because of its ability to attract shame.
The situation is akin to the devastating state of affairs in the once ‘Almighty’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party, which held sway in the country between 1999 and 2015, had boasted it would cling to national power in Nigeria sine die. But by the dream was shattered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) victory in the 2015 general elections.
Arising from that shock, the PDP commenced the process of picking her pieces together and has actually, in what could be likened as a rebound, woken up such that its members who had hitherto left the party began to return to its fold.
But the recent turn of events in the party is not only worrisome but could spell doom for the once beloved eagle of the Nigerian political space.
How did the party get to this mess? Who is this Jonah in Ark that has troubled the Wadata Plaza? When is the end in sight and where is the multi-door court so that all the persons involved will face the arbitrators and mediators?
But, going by the picture on ground, the end of this brouhaha rocking the umbrella party may not come so soon borrowing a popular saying that who the gods want to kill they first make mad.
The uncompromising status of the dramatis personae in this imbroglio has rather than provide a soft landing space constructed a weak bridge over a sea where the party will eventually sink.
A brief X-ray of the genesis of the “war of the Titans” could be traced to political agreements, disagreements and counter-agreements before and after the presidential primary of the party that produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the presidential flag bearer.
Atiku, from the northern part of the country, had defeated other aspirants including the strong man of the PDP and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and, instead of choosing the latter as his running mate, the Adamawa born politician and business magnate opted for the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his Vice.
The party became fragmented with Wike leading some governors and other leaders of the party to call for the resignation of the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, who is also from the northern part of the country. The Wike camp sees no reason the National Chairman and presidential candidate of the party should come from the same area of the country.
The group claims that there was an agreement that if the presidential candidate emerges from the North, the National Chairman of the party will step down for a southern candidate but all that has turned to stories that Ayu and his supporters are now quoting the party’s constitution to hold on to the position.
In an attempt to pacify the Wike camp, the PDP presidential candidate, leading the pro-Ayu camp, pressurized the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman of party, Alhaji Wakilu Jibrin, also from the North, to resign and, in his stead, a former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, from the South, was elevated from being the Secretary to the position of BOT Chairman. But this option failed to sooth the frayed nerves.
The Wike camp remains adamant that Ayu must go as the position of the BOT is only advisory and almost dormant.
The group subsequently withdrew from the Atiku Presidential Campaign Council.
Meanwhile, a source within the Wike camp is blaming Wabara for accepting the position of the BOT Chairman of the party, saying the action is against Wike and his people.
The source alleged that the former Senate President is not supporting his state governor, Dr. Okezie lkpeazu, who is a core member of the Wike camp.
He traced the political feud between Wabara and Ikpeazu to Abia where Ikpeazu is opposed to the ‘anointed’ PDP governorship candidate of the governor.
Wabara had insisted that the governorship seat moves to Abia North while lkpeazu wants to instal his kinsman, Prof Uche Ikonne, from Isialangwa North in Abia Central.
The former Senate President was said to have deliberately distanced himself from all activities of the PDP in Abia and is alleged to also be against the other PDP candidates in the state but instead has been holding meetings in support of opposition candidates.
He was said to have lambasted one of the PDP candidates recently during the party’s local government area stakeholders meeting which held at his village, Ohambele Ndoki, in Ukwa East LGA. He reportedly accused the PDP candidate of buying the party’s delegates against the wish of his people and zoning.
With the Wike chaos hovering over the PDP, Wabara was expected by many members, as a respected leader, to have made a public statement in support of the Rivers governor and open declaration of support for his party and their candidates in Abia.
Arising from the forgoing, it is clear that the PDP is a house divided against itself at the local, state and national levels.
Leaders of the party must, as a matter of urgency, re-strategize and put their house in order as the PDP faces a Herculean electoral task in few months time or be ready to welcome a catastrophic defeat come 2023.