Analysis: Goliathus PDP ambushed by "political predators" by Kelechi Jeff Eme

The signal was clear to fair minded political observers and pundits that the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) was headed in the wrong direction. The government apologists, contractors and relevance drained politicians cashed in on the obvious descent into crisis and milked the system without considering the political future of the President they eulogize beyond apogee.

The root of the crisis engulfing the party is the failure of His Excellency the President to abide by the tenets of the agreement he reached with various stakeholders prior to the 2011 presidential poll. The President probably over estimated the incumbency power at his disposal and underestimated the commitment of his “traducers” to oust him from power in 2015. The Nigerian political elites are specialists in one aspect of politicking: ability to remove a leader when their long term interests and to an extent that of the country is abridged by the incumbent. IBB, Abacha and Obasanjo are examples for students of modern Nigerian politics to make reference to.

I have listened to the logic of some “die hard” supporters of the President that the Nigerian constitution is superior to whatever agreement he reached with PDP stakeholders. The hollowness in this position is so manifest that a primary six pupil can decipher. Stakeholders in a political party as a unit are a subset of the party and the party’s constitution is guided by the laws of the federal republic. Is there any basis to deny the stakeholders their right to insist on agreement the President entered into with them? The bigger question in the President’s renege is the moral aspect. If a leader cannot honour an agreement reached with less than fifty individuals, how can he be trusted to deliver on electoral promises to over 150million Nigerians? 

In reneging on his one term commitment, the President did not consult the “real” stakeholders in the party but relied on the political acumen of political stuntmen with zero intellectual endowment to withstand the superior logic, organization and propaganda in the unveiling onslaught. The Presidency created axis of war against perceived opponents. Intimidation and highhandedness became the order of the day. The governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi became a project that must be destroyed at all cost. They did not consider the usefulness of the war except to teach him a lesson and prepare the ground for misguided surrogates to exercise power in the state.

The Amaechi attack was the lightening rod that is about unraveling the 2015 aspiration of the President. It is even ridiculous that the presidency is reported to be promoting Shamsudeen Usman as a counterforce to Gov. Rabiu Kwakwanso of kano State. Where are their eggheads? It was fatal matching the governor (a political elephant in this context) against the minister (a neophyte of zero political pedigree). The same scenario played out in so many states. In an infantile demonstration of its naive political appreciation, the ever present Jerry Gana and his cohorts schemed to delete the name of former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku from the list of Adamawa delegates. Do these political jobbers know that the man leads a powerful block within the party which could be deployed for a purpose depending on the political interest of the members? To add salt to injury, the names of those believed to be not too loyal to the 2015 ambition of the President were whimsically removed from the list. Such a capricious and bellicose exhibition of impunity cannot be immuned from negative political consequences. That is what is manifesting today.

The greatest danger facing PDP today is the possibility of the party being in opposition while still in Aso Rock. Those who rely so much on the enormous incumbent powers of the president to ride the storm must begin to review their notes. There are examples are stronger incumbents that were thoroughly defeated all over Africa in the recent past. A few examples will suffice and probably could open their eyes that the present route will not deliver a 2015 mandate for the President. Abdul Diouf of Senegal was the second President of the country. He took over from Leopold Senghor who was the first President. When the opposition gathered together in 2000 he was defeated by Wade. The same scenario played out in Ghana when the opposition led by John Kufour coalesced to defeat the party of Jerry John Rawlings when he finished his mandatory two terms as civilian president. In fact Mwai Kibaki of Kenya was part of Arap Moi’s government. He broke away and joined the opposition in stopping project Uhuru Kenyatta ten years ago. Examples are many.

Is the President going to allow “little men” destroy his legacy? My final advice is that he should use the remaining 21 months to put in place a lasting legacy for himself. I only care because the PDP is the ruling party and in charge of our exchequer. Beyond that they could enjoy their naked dancing till “Thy kingdom come.” 

Kelechi Jeff Eme
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