By Clem Aguiyi
There is obvious disquiet in PDP following the outcome of the PDP presidential primary election and the nomination of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the party. There are a lot of angry birds and their grievances need to be managed with tact.
The foes are coming for them and luring them with promises they never intend to keep. Knowing their aim, what is PDP doing to stop the predatory foes from swallowing the party?
Every seasoned politician understands that the game of politics is a game you either win or fail. When you win, you have a moral duty to be magnanimous in victory by reaching out to the losers and seek their cooperation. Make necessary concessions and do all it takes to forge a united front . Whereby you fall on the other side as a loser, it is equally your responsibility to lick your wounds, support the winner and move the party forward.
But why are those that lost in the PDP primary hyperventilating about their loss? Why are they so angry in a contest which they knew from the onset that there will be one clear winner? Being disgruntled and reckless to the extent of wanting to destroy the Party you helped build and sustain is not how to be a good party man. Those who tow this path of scattering their own party have always lived to regret their disappointing action.
But in Nigeria where Party politics is played without ideological leaning, whimsical gerrymandering by some reckless quants is not shaming enough. The character of a good politician is not about being a disgruntled looser but keeping the Party strong and united to achieve its core objective of winning elections and establishing a government. PDP has all it takes to win 2023 presidential election but political gerrymandering is her bane and the reason why people see all the Parties as the same, and the reason why fringe political parties are posing threats.
Since after the PDP primary election, I have seen and heard a lot, and also the utterances of Governor Ortom who migrated from APC to PDP about the choice of Atiku’s Vice Presidential candidate. I was personally surprised by Ortom’s hyperventilation because as a two term governor he knows it is the prerogative of the winner to actually choose his vice, and many things comes into play.
Essentially, the choice of VP can be likened to a man making the choice of a wife. You look for character compatibility not a boxing partner above every other factor. That Atiku chose Ifeanyi Okowa does not mean he does not respect the person or contributions of Nyesom Wike as a strong pillar of the Party. I do not think anyone has underestimates Wike’s contributions to the Party which from hindsight wasn’t selfless or out of love and charity for party but to earn him sense of entitlement to the throne . He did all a man can do except considering the God factor . It’s God that anoints kings .
Wike lost to God’s factor and not because he is not loved or wanted by the people. I personally admire his courage and industry. He is my man and I respect him.
That Atiku was presented with three names by the advisory committee left him with a discretion which he exercised. The noticeable crack in PDP as a result, is not motivating Party enthusiasts. A house divided against itself does not stand. 2023 is PDP’s election to win . If they do not quickly patch their cracks, they will lose to APC and that will be the end of the Party. The current crisis in the party is a challenge to the Party’s presidential candidate. His ability to unite the party is a test case of his would be ability to unite the country.
I urge those who are aggrieved to well understand that the foe that must be defeated is APC which has ruined the country and not PDP.
Our major problem today is lack of unity. The people no longer trust the system. Nigeria’s number one obstacle in this regard is APC. Once the party gets out of the way, we will begin our journey of social, political and economic recovery.
The leader of the APC government , President Buhari is the problem, not because he is Fulani or Moslem, but because he is a bad leader. His leadership character is catastrophic. He is grossly incompetent and has no clue about anything. I do not think any of our past leaders compares to him when it comes to incompetency and being divisive. He is the one standing in our way of being our brothers and sister’s keeper. Despite the difference in our tongue, religion and tribe, we must unite to chase the APC away.
I have personally reviewed all the major candidates in this upcoming election and the only one that seems prepared to lead and with the character to unite, secure the country, and build it back to prosperity is Atiku Abubakar.
His personal life and accomplishments transcend religion and ethnicity. He is one leader whose mother, father, wives, children touch all sections of this country. I have no doubt in my mind that as a leader he will be able to recover our social cohesion and restore back people’s trust and confidence in the country. So far, he is the major candidate that is not phoney about his choice of Vice-Presidential candidate.
In choosing Ifeanyi Okowa out of the three potential nominees presented to him by the party, his choice was deliberate. He was partly influenced to choose him as a running mate because he is Igbo. Atiku understands that the Igbo need to be in the same room with other Nigerians to build unity. It is now left for us as a people to rebuild our bridges and recognize the Igbo nation as one. We must realize that we cannot fly far with one wing.
I have also heard people argue about the major political parties and which of them will win 2023 presidential election. I acknowledge that it is still too early in the day to reach a definite conclusion on how the election will unfold. I also acknowledge that this election will be the first election since 1999 where a fringe party will pose a threat to the two major parties. I concede that NNPP and Labor Party will make impact in this election but I do not see them causing major upsets.
This election is PDPs election to win for the reason that APC in the past seven years took Nigerians to hell. Virtually everyone is tired and fed up with the incompetent leadership of the party. I am reluctant to endorse NNPP and Labor Party because these are parties that had not been tried and tested before. I cannot also reasonably compare them with either PDP or APC and therefore cannot entrust our fragile federation in their hands.
However, I am much more comfortably disposed to compare PDP with APC. I can distinguish which era is better. As an adult, I lived through PDP leadership from 1999 to 2015. I saw the efforts made by the party to build a strong economy and maintain social cohesion. Like most governments they solved some problems and created some problems too. PDP was not perfect and of course one of the weakest oppositions party.
But compared to APC administration, the PDP years were better and can be described as Nigeria’s golden era. APC is to say the least, evil. They had no agenda other than to ruin, plunder and destroy and have successfully ruined the country. They ruin anything they touch. If PDP is successful in 2023 as I wish they will, I pray they should be able to restore us back to 2015 and improve on their records.
The Presidential candidate of PDP has repeatedly harped on social cohesion, security, productive economy, quality education and devolving more powers to the State. He needs to amplify these issues. He also will need a team that will not just embody his leadership skill, but talents which will reflect our diversity.
He will need a team made up of people with common sense economy, men that are frugal and prudent in the management of resources, people with courage to confront the cabals and bandits pinning the country down. He will need men that are forthright and frank. He will need a team that is innovative not the same recycled old hands. That’s the unity government I expect post Buhari where every good hand irrespective of party, religion, tribe and tongue will be on deck to salvage the country.