As soon as NAFDAC approved the prescribed incompatible APC medication for the political migraine, perpetrated by PDP, claiming to be the largest political party in Africa, the political map is changing; PDP has gone berserk, confused, as to the direction of the storm which will extricate the assembled materials in the PDP House of Commons. In the process of PDP reaction to the structure, under construction by the APC, it has gone hysterical by destroying its structure under the disguise of house cleaning through surgical operations of suspending and expelling. In the process of surgical operation on gallbladder stones, the functioning kidney removed by PDP design, leaving the patient with the ailing kidney that could not sustain life.
PDP has been displaying its pitiable approach to the challenges facing the party recently, as reported in the Nigerian print, electronics, and social Media. The suspension and expulsion fever, has taken over the good judgement of the PDP National Working Committee, unfortunately, dislocating its structures. The fever created by APC would continue to hunt PDP; and PDP is not even smart enough to find clever ways of adjusting, and rising up to the challenge.
PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was almost gone before the PDP Chief Architect, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, came to his rescue. The allegations levelled against Tukur stemmed from his flagrant violation of the party’s constitution, questionable party membership, to his abdication of constitutional duties and responsibilities, which qualified him for removal. The group piloting the onslaught is not new in the PDP struggles.
The party initially suspended Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako, for their engagement in anti-party activities. Leadership of PDP on Monday, April 29, 2013, suspended the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who is the chair of the controversial Nigeria Governors Forum. The Sokoto State Governor was suspended and about facing expulsion from the party when the ‘hands of Saul and voice of Jacob’ saved him.
In Yobe, the same news caught our attention as Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and other members were suspended.
The PDP will possibly suspend another set of its members, who have constituted themselves as internal opposition. The party is becoming very suspicious of some governors in the name of instilling party loyalty and discipline.
Some suspected members pencilled down to go could be Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed (Kwara) for his loyalty to Senator Bukola Saraki whose loyalty to the Jonathan presidency is seriously in doubt.; and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) cosy relationship with his predecessors, Chief James Ibori. Governors Wamakko, Governor Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Governor Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Governor Saidu Usman Dakingari (Kebbi), and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); are under the microscope for their opposition to the Jonathan 2015 ambition. Adamawa State Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, is a target because of the running battle he has had with the party’s national chair for some time now.
Could the list be part of the projected 14 PDP Governors on the brink of rolling over to APC? Is that a mere propaganda or the reality that PDP is failing to accept?
The simple allegation against the suspension of the PDP members across board is superficially anti-party activities. If that is the yardstick used by the PDP in its suspension fever, what does it has to say to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a PDP member, making some inciting statements that the country is ready for a revolution; with his “open romance with the APC” as its possible candidate for the 2015 President? That is enough to expel him from the party if not the hypocritical approach to the workings within the PDP.
Because of endemic corruption in the country, coupled with the general estrangement of the people with the ruling elite, Tambuwal thinks that the country is ripe for a revolution despite his hold on the incubator of corruption, the National Assembly. As the Speaker of the House of Representatives, what has he done or what is he doing to prevent the corrupting appetite of an average Nigerian politician? Faruk’s case is still hanging; and non-disclosure of their salaries, and allowances, murky to the public.
PDP’s tornado has landed in Rivers State whereby five members of the House worked on a script to impeach the governor through the Speaker. As mentioned, the axe of suspension fell on the Amaechi’s 27 loyalists in the Rivers State House of Assembly when Amaechi was been rumored as the Vice Presidential candidate for the 2015 elections under Sule Lamido, Jigawa State Governor. That stratagem could scuttle Jonathan chances in the 2015 Presidential elections. Implementing the script, it was chaotic, when on July 9, 2013; five members of the RSHOA ‘impeached’ the Speaker while Amaechi had to personally rescue those loyal to him.
In each location where PDP tornado touched down, with the suspension and expulsion of members, each of the cases has its unique reasons. However, the hay fever within the party is the APC expansionist program, while PDP is in disarray as to how to handle it. It is like the Nigerian medical personnel inability to find solution for malaria.
The storm blowing from the North, found its way to the South West, especially in Ogun State, where the former Governor, Gbenga Daniel, doggedly caged within the PDP, suspended, or expelled from the party. Daniel’s allegation was anti-party activities, for defecting with his loyalists to the Peoples Party of Nigeria prior to the 2011 elections, and for his alleged romance with the Labour Party in the state.
The PDP is seriously in trouble, courtesy of APC. Is the Nigeria ruling PDP a curse in the country with untold hardships and woes, since democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999? Possibly it is time for a strong, virile, committed, principled political party return to the central government.
Most Nigerians have wished to see a mega party to displace PDP, at least, at the centre, which is creating the hysterical atmosphere within the party, maliciously kicking both good and bad members out of the party, disregarding their contributions in building the party within their constituencies, especially in the South-West region. Ironically, Ogun State PDP created the orifice, choreographically staged, for ACN entrance into the corridor of governance without hassle.
There is no amount of Jonathan’s appeal that could help him in the South-West, this time around, the way the PDP is going with the business of suspension and expulsion. In addition, the architects of the PDP successes in the past have been disengaged, rubbished, rejected, publicly humiliated, and unappreciated.
Using the Lagos-Ibadan Express, as a launching pad for the PDP in the South-West, has already met its waterloo. Over 50 per cent of the economic transaction in the country is done between Lagos-Ogun axes through the 35 years old road. PDP has inherited in the South West the witches, demons and wizards that took over the goodies on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
At the time Jonathan was supposed to make a ‘fatherly’ intervention with the public humiliation of the serving governor under his administration, he turned deaf ears to the PDP challenges in Ogun State. After election, he ignored where he was supposed to mend fences for winning the South-West. Unfortunately, Amosun’s recruitment from ANPP to ACN was a pointer to the political vacuum created by the PDP for easy access by the ACN.
Jonathan might be boorishly naive about PDP status in the South-West Region politics. PDP, as a matter of fact, is in the auspice facility in the South-West. It is speedily disappearing as quickly as it came into the region. Regardless, SW Zone is going to be an uphill task is the region, out of reach for the PDP in the 2015 elections.
Once beaten, twice shy! The Obasanjo 2003 ensnare that dislodged the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in the region is a political bitter lesson for the very sophisticated South-West politics; which was believed to have been championed by the immediate-past Ogun State governor, who PDP decided to expel from the party he helped built in the region, to the amazement of the AD. Stylishly, Daniel never stated that he was out of the AD or Afenifere Group, UPN, SDP, or even Labour Party, which he combed together for the PDP in 2013. Daniel is smart enough to still keep his base.
Otunba Daniel /Rotimi Amaechi Nothing would be wrong or demoralizing for Daniel to return to his roots, without much appreciation from PDP, as the party knows no better way of appreciating those who helped it; just as Rotimi Amaechi is seriously finding out the prize for honestly supporting Goodluck Jonathan poll successes in 2011 elections. His case has gone beyond party loyalty.
As posed by some of our readers; by what parameters did they measure Daniel’s involvement with other political parties and by which barometer did they gauge the risks of these involvements to PDP? How would it amount to anti-party activity if Daniel, by his association with other parties, converts their members to PDP for instance, as he did in 2003? If Daniel leaves PDP, how does it strengthen the party? Moreover, he will be leaving with 12 other chieftains suspended with him; where does that leave PDP? Who should be prosecuted for the anti-party crime of weakening the party?
Osun State, as earlier mentioned in some of my pieces, is a no-go area, as Aregbesola has quietly and crudely, like a good farmer, established a very strong hold of the state. In Oyo State, there cannot be a sure way for PDP, as the leaders in the state are not in concert with the rhythmic, as played by the political gadget in the state. PDP in Ekiti is daisy. It has been an unpredictable scenario in Ekiti politics, as no one is sure, where it actually belongs. PDP is recruiting old, discarded, burly members, displaced by Baba Iyabo, towards 2015.
UPN, which has been a good source of a unifying instrument for true Awoists, is coming up and to be displaced by the Accord Party that is eyeing Oyo State. What about the SDP of the latter day saints; that is on the rise?
Mimiko is ensuring the sustainability of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State. LP could not be a lone ranger in the South West politics, tailoring his programmes along Awo’s line. There is the need for it to spread its dragnet to get at least one more state to its side in the region in 2015.
Ogun State, with the silenced Awo loyalists, seems to be an easy target for the LP, ready to rock the state. Meanwhile the incumbent governor in might walk into the Lion’s Den with his politically motivated malicious programmes. Instead, for the administration to build on the blueprint of the enabling environment for investment and business growth, developed by the immediate-past administration, he started on the footpath of vengeance.
The shadowy bigger figures that manipulate the strings are the problem of PDP. These are people for whom personal aggrandizement is far more important than the common good of the party and indeed, the nation as a whole. An average Nigerian politician is after what he could get to expand his empire. These megalomaniacs will lead to the fall of PDP in 2015 unless they examine their conscience and change their ways, which could be too late.
As Ogun State PDP executive deliberated, no one was surprised about the outcome, as there is no love lost between Daniel and the trio member of the PDP, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jubril Martins-Kuye and party financier, Buruji Kashamu, popularly known as Omo Ilu.
On a serious note, he could be under USA Drone, very soon he could be with ‘Uncle Sam’ he thought he is hiding away from, as the world has become a global village.
Since Baba Iyabo has decided to take the interpretation of an elder statesman approach to mean putting his gear anywhere in the 2015 elections, the last obstacle on Kashamu’s way for the full control of the state is the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who is chicly and quietly minding his business.
The un-biased judges chorused the expulsion of Daniel from PDP, as his continuing stay in the PDP is a threat to their positions, especially the PDP financier, who rode into Ogun politics on Daniel’s horseback. As he gained the inside circle of PDP, he felt it is time for him to take the mantle of PDP leadership in the state. For Kashamu to take full control of the PDP in the state, Daniel has to be rid of from the party completely.
Ogun State, with the former Governor Daniel, might be similar to the suspension of the Gombe State governor; Alhaji Bala Tinka’s offence is a mischief in party affairs and execution of self agenda. He is one of the founding members of the PDP in the state. Coincidentally, he has not been finding it easy in the hands of the elders’ forum of the party, who all seem to be working tirelessly to ensure that he is out of the party, as done to Daniel in Ogun State.
There might be other political parties eyeing Ogun State; the Accord Party, the Unity Party of Nigeria, the Social Democratic Party, and the Labour Party as well. PDP might have sold out its chances in retaking the state with its available raw materials. It is becoming a laughing stock if the educated elites, or could we say the educated illiterates, in the state, continue to relinquish Ogun politics to the woodpeckers, despite their huge human resources advantage in the state.
Ogun State is the first among equals in Nigeria as in Politics, Education, Business, Medical, Entertainment, Arts, Culture, or Literature. Definitely, with the current trend in the state, the uneducated smart, stark, illiterates, whose goals are to amass wealth, would continue to dictate the direction of Ogun politics. Efforts to get the elites to the mainstream of politics in the past, to fill in the gap that the PDP created through the ‘Enemies Within’ as the path to 2011, has failed.
Kwara State is politically inclined to the North, most especially the Middle Belt, which is geographically and historically part of the South West. The colonial partitioning accepted by most Kwarans, as the players in the Kwara politics are not too sure where to be, most Kwarans are not too comfortable with their current situations. ACN attempted to dislodge the PDP in 2011; it met a strong blockade with the stronghold of Kwara politics. His son has been quietly taking political notes from the grassroots to ensure that PDP holds on to the state in 2015. However, where is he with Jonathan? Time may not be on PDP side as another party could aggressively dislodge PDP in the state.
APC is capitalizing on PDP weaknesses, especially in the South West. In reference to a report, PDP could lose to APC in 2015 at least, half of votes in the North-East and another half in the North-Central, meaning about 11.5 per cent, while the North-West and the South-West both controlled 46.3 per cent of the national voting population. The North-West has about 26.9 per cent of the votes, meaning about 19 million votes, while the North East has about 15.8 per cent of the votes which is about 11.6 million votes. The South-West has 19.4 per cent of the national voting population which in real terms translate to about 14.4 million voters.
PDP is losing the South West and the strategic location of Ogun State, as the centre of economic hub, to the socio-economic location, not only to the South West, but to the entire country, making it attractive to another bridegroom. The LP penetrating Ogun State will be an easy target for Mimiko, as PDP has decided to expel the agent of PDP stronghold in the state.
PDP is in a confused state, courtesy of the prescribed APC for the Nigerian nascent democracy migraine. The Institute of Party Loyalty is eroding the democracy ground in Nigeria, with another set stage in Rivers State.
•Ajayi is a Professor of Policy, Management and Conflict Resolution, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State (331)