by Obinna Akukwe
The people responsible for the break-up of the ruling PDP, including President Jonathan, party Chairman Tukur, Governor Akpabio, Minister Wike and others are already blaming others for the break-up of the party. They earlier made Nigerians believe that Buhari and CPC are the sponsors of Boko Haram until Azazi broke the lid that their actual sponsors are in PDP; The same thing is re-enacting while trying to trade blames over the convention fallout factionalization of the party.
Months before the Azazi revelation I had in a write up ‘PDP Boko Haram and their 2015 succession politics’, stated that ‘This party called the PDP is a bundle of deceit. The name Peoples Deceptive Party actually depicts them. When a criminal is in a locality and visits theft on the unsuspecting locals, the only way to avoid detection is to point in another direction as the search for the criminal ensues. The criminal blames the stranded traveler who lodged in a nearby motel or the stranded trader who slept in the market square or even the mentally deranged who lives near the sewage pit. This is the formula the PDP have used to make Nigerians look the other way while seeking for sponsors of Boko Haram.” The assertion in that write-up is still relevant in the face of recent crisis in the party.
President Jonathan, in an effort to control the PDP, broke the ranks of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), using Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State to form PDP Governors Forum. The new PDP leaders learnt the skill set of internal factionalization from Akpabio. The same president, in an effort to sack Sylva as Governor of Bayelsa State, forced the apparatus of the party to disown a sitting governor. The Sylva tactics was adopted by Bamanga Tukur in the way he sacks elected PDP excos in many states, replacing them with sycophants, this act was one of the grouses of the New PDP.
During the election of PDP NWC, members of the North East Zone, in a congress, adopted Babayo Shehu as their representative for the post of National Chairman, while Tukur was roundly rejected. President Jonathan had to use the power of state coercion to impose Tukur on the zone and the party, forcing Babayo Shehu to withdraw. Therefore, when the South South Zone of PDP adopted Uche Secondus to represent it as Deputy National Chairman, the G-7 group rejected the adoption of Secondus and insisted on the re-election of Sam Jaja for the office, The G-7 act of rejecting the party adopted zonal representative was an act they learnt from the election tactics adopted to select Tukur as national chairman.
Five northern governors paid a solidarity visit to their beleaguered colleague in Rivers state and on their way to Port Harcourt Airport their convoy was waylaid by thugs allegedly acting under instructions of Minister of State for Education, Wike, and pelted stones at them under the protective indifference of Rivers State Police Command. The same art of harassment of senior party officials by thugs was elevated at Eagle Square Venue of the convention when thugs loyal to a PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Tony Nwoye, accosted and rough handled a sitting senator, Andy Uba, and his brother, Chris, even after President Jonathan was already seated.
The stoned northern governors went back to their respective states and resolved to revenge and fight the presidency which they believed masterminded their humiliation in Port Harcourt. They ran to Babangida, Obasanjo and Atiku for consolation and strengthened their loyalty to anti-Tukur forces.
The refusal of the Presidency to recognize that 19 is greater than 16 in the recent Governors Forum elections was elevated by the New PDP when they failed to recognize the legitimate Tukur led leadership.
The same PDP chieftains whose acts of impunity caused the break-up of their party are claiming that 2015 elections is the cause for the factionalization. This is another lie meant to whip up sentiments. The G-7 governors inserted that clause at the beginning of the post-convention reconciliation under the advice of senior party elders, and immediately that clause was rejected; they retraced back to their original intentions.
Their original intention was to ensure that the perennial rigging of PDP presidential primaries through insertion of fake delegates list is not re-enacted in 2015. While they wanted to sponsor a candidate apart from Jonathan, they also wanted to ensure that the winner emerges through transparent processes. These are legitimate demands and I do not think that coalition of forces in PDP can defeat Jonathan in primary election under a transparent process- rather the margin of defeat will be victory will be narrow.. The presidency thinks otherwise and wants to avoid the unpalatable and in the process created the crisis that led to the formation of New PDP.
The level of high handedness, impunity and lawlessness displayed by the Jonathan foot soldiers in the handling of NGF election, formation of PDP Governors Forum, suspension of Amechi, Wammako, Uba, Jaja and substitution of delegate list from Adamawa to exclude Governor Nyako and former Vice President Atiku created the tensions that led to the break-up of PDP.
Jonathan should not be stopped from contesting in 2015 and Lamido, Atiku and their groups should not be disenfranchised out of the primaries- let PDP delegates decide their flag bearers not Anenih, Tukur, Gana and co.. Those responsible for the break-up of PDP including Jonathan, Tukur, Wike and Akpabio should exercise restraint on how they react to or comment over issues concerning the dissidents in order not to elevate it from break-up level to scatter level.