When next political parties contest elections, they should have two drive ways. The first is the conventional, the type coming early 2011. It involves going out there to market your party programmes, canvass support for them, make sure INEC plays level for everyone, ask zonal heads to deliver, splash money even sinfully, get MOPOL to do the bizarre to match our peculiar experience, then await the result; if successful, you rejoice, if the opposite, you go to court and begin the stress-dance until victory is won or lost.
In option A5 – the second drive way – you don’t need much of such rigours but you should participate in the conventional all the same. When the election is come and gone, won and lost, your work begins. The rules: make sure the human dynamics of your party: organization, communication , tolerance span, wide vision, commitment, dispute resolution structures, etc- are active. Identify states that are of interest to you; develop a good relationship with the governor and a salient part of his crew; see if there’s disenchantment between him and his party, watch to see if it is apparent or real, if apparent play softly, if real, on your wooing machines; see also how safe or precarious the incumbent’s position within his party is, if precarious, you have a chance, if the former, pause or stop.
Make offers of an alternative platform in your political space should the need arise; don’t push, don’t insist, just plant and depart, watch but keep improving your party’s attractiveness. Unknown to you, your offer, like a mustered seed grows in the psyche of the governor. You would know this from his newfound boldness in attacking issues within his party because he’s sure of a waiting fall-back or if he’s the taciturn type, he will intensify his outreach clandestinely. Governor Ohakim, of Imo state, elected under the PPA, did it. He became accredited in a PDP dominated legislature. Precarious. While overtly pursuing his green programme, his overtures to the late Yar’ Adua gathered steam behind stage. To the surprise of everyone, Yar’Adua’s first visit as President to the Southeast was Imo.
Now you would wonder why a President of PDP root would choose to visit a PPA governor at the expense of his own governors in Enugu and Eboyin states respectively. Shortly after, hoards of persuaders began pressing Ohakim to cross over, he pretended not to hear but few months later, the kite descended on the chick and Ohakim was gone. So the PDP, without sweat, no INEC, no rigging accusations, no MOPOL, won a governor. The PPA then, instead of looking inwards, felt comfortable with name-calling and self-justification, but its chick was gone and its state too. That’s option A5.
Governor Theodore Orji of Abia state was watching. If you happen to visit Umuahia, you’ll notice a governor under invisible strings, having authority yet not knowing he has, ever watching his utterances and actions never to offend. But who really? This has been the question until Senator Chukwumerije informed us that the PPA is indeed a private estate of the Kalus, a kind of extension of the SLOK outfit. Aha! So there’s a serious rift between Theodore and his party. What should he do? Go over to PDP like Ohakim? No, Onyema Ugochukwu is on ground. Again, precarious and thus ripe for option A5. This time, it’s the hawk with the cock-symbol poised to pick all. APGA is the name and Ojukwu, its beak, not known for some but all or nothing. It picked the governor, the senator, the rep, the speaker and more importantly, the people and wondered why Theodore had remained in the wrong nest so long.
Anyway, he pardoned and welcomed his wayward son. But poor Larry Esin, the PPA Chairman, if he knew what’s going on, he too should be getting ready to APGA. He can never become part of the Kalu estate; his predecessors knew this and fled, so the best is fly, little bird fly.
In all these, any court case, any INEC, any MOPOL, any money splashing? No. That’s option A5. It takes all at little expense. Fear now is, will Theodore Orji perform? This has been the worry. The excuse has been that he has not been free to. Some say he makes monthly mandatory returns to the estate and not much left for development; others accuse him of having a derisive instinct for wealth-grabbing through his family members. But I say that now that he is in the ‘right’ nest, we can expect to see the real man. Option A5, has provided him a lifeline, now he should make good of it.