Columns

April 19, 2024

Na wa for PDP! By Donu Kogbara

Na wa for PDP! By Donu Kogbara

So much water has passed under so many bridges since the Peoples, Democratic Party, PDP, held its last National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in September 2022.

The party’s presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, and its most high-profile member, the ex Rivers Governor and current FCT Minister Nyesom Wike, have gone their separate ways.

And though the latter remains a member of PDP, he has made no secret of his support for the PDP’s nemesis: President Bola Tinubu, who heads the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Yesterday, the first NEC meeting since 2022 was finally convened and the PDP was supposed to use this meeting as an opportunity to settle a huge messy quarrel about its leadership that has been brewing for over a year and spilled onto the pages of newspapers.

In a nutshell, since Iyorchia Ayu, the last substantive chairman of the PDP was suspended, Iliya Damagum, the Acting National Chairman, has run the show; and his main supporter is Wike.

But Damagum comes from the “wrong” zone (North-East), according to those who say that zoning should be respected and that Ayu’s truncated term should be completed by Gabriel Suswam, a former Benue governor who is from the same North-Central zone as Ayu.

Atiku was known to be supporting Suswam, as were several highly vocal party members who gave interviews to the press. And it was widely assumed that yesterday’s NEC meeting would lead to a fiery showdown between the Wike and Atiku factions.

But guess what?

I have just been reliably informed by a senior NEC member (who wishes to remain anonymous) that: “On Wednesday night, we received a surprise call telling us that the PDP Governors Forum had decided to back Wike’s insistence that Damagum should not be challenged.”

As a result of this diktat, the party leadership issue was not raised AT ALL during meetings held yesterday morning and afternoon. Not even by Atiku or Suswam.

So Damagum will continue to be Acting Chairman and continue to lead a compliant National Working Committee; and Wike will continue to ignore colleagues who believe in internal democracy and zoning.

Suswam might be wondering why a Governors  Forum to which he once belonged is not backing his interest in the chairmanship.

I, meanwhile, cannot understand why so many big men in PDP are so lily-livered and so reluctant to disobey or expel Wike, who also is a de facto member of the APC! Some onlookers even suspect him of keeping one foot in the PDP ONLY so he can destroy it for Tinubu.

What a bunch of emasculated cowards most PDP grandees are!

At this rate, all traces of an opposition in Nigeria will have disappeared by the end of this year.

Naira abuse

I think that those who like Bobrisky, hate Bobrisky or are indifferent to Bobrisky should at least agree on one thing: He has been singled out in a very unfair and dishonest way.

This flashy young cross-dressing effeminate man – real name,  Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye – was sentenced to six months imprisonment last week, allegedly for breaking the law on “naira abuse” or spraying.

Let’s face it: This spraying custom that originated in Yorubaland then spread like wildfire across Nigeria is hardly a major infraction.

Spraying is a victimless crime.

And I don’t even understand why it is a crime, given that throwing your own money at entertainers and fellow revellers in social settings is a completely harmless activity. And, frankly, who cares if people merrily trample on the money while they are dancing?

Since when did sullying an inanimate object that belongs to you and people who are gladly partying with you in this way become “disrespectful” or a sin or a problem to humanity? Nobody is forced to join in when friends, relatives and admirers decide to spray.

Meanwhile, other guests at the same event Bobrisky attended also sprayed each other but were not arrested. And let’s not forget that the Governor of Niger State was recently seen offloading tons of cash on his hungry subjects when he was in a generous mood.

Also please note that it was a first-time offence to which Bobrisky obligingly pleaded guilty, thereby sparing the court countless hours of time-wasting arguments.

And yet instead of being offered the option of a fine, which is available for such minor offences, Bobrisky was hastily processed through the penal system in record time – three weeks from arrest to incarceration! – and tossed into Ikoyi Prison, alongside hardened and dangerous criminals like armed robbers, rapists and murderers.

Long story short: I think we can safely say that he is not being punished for spraying. The authorities should come clean and admit that they are just having a go at him for being a transvestite!

And, by the way, I actually think that spraying should be encouraged because it is one of the ways in which Nigerians from different parts of the country joyfully embrace each others’ customs and become more alike.

Finally, as far as I am concerned, the only REAL abuses of the naira are theft and bribery…offences that are much more outrageous than spraying and much more likely to be committed by the very same top people who insist that spraying should be outlawed.

DONU’S WORLD

I have a new YouTube channel. It’s called DONU’S WORLD.

https://youtube.com/@donukogbara?si=bBm_IPdFZ_wUyKYq

Check it out every Friday to watch me talking about my life and issues that interest me. And please “like”, subscribe and share!

Today, I’ll be showcasing the traditional Nigerian fabrics that are on display in Nike’s art gallery in Abuja. I also briefly talk about the fact that Nigeria, despite being an artificial contraption created by British colonialists – and despite ethnic and regional tensions – is gradually becoming a more blended multicultural society.

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