BusinessDay

PDP and Nyesom Wike’s ‘penkelemesi’

 

Adegoke Adelabu is often mentioned in Yorùbá and Nigerian history as the author of that expression: “penkelemesi”, a Yorubanisation of the phrase, “peculiar mess” which Adelabu, known for his deep knowledge of English, had used on an occasion to describe the opposition in the Western Region House of Assembly.

The Governor Nyesom Wike revolt in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seriously threatening the umbrella association.

The reported meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State penultimate Wednesday of Wike and his team, underscored the seriousness of the division in the main opposition party.

The group had insisted that the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu must vacate his seat before they could take part in the campaign for the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubarkar.

At the flag off of the PDP presidential campaign in Abuja Wednesday, the Wike team indeed, stayed away.

The team, included Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and a number of other prominent chieftains of the party.

They made good their threat. At the meeting, they had agreed not to participate in the Atiku’s campaign.
Although they said they were deeply concerned about the division in the PDP despite the party’s age-long internal mechanism designed to guarantee inclusiveness.

Reading their resolution at the meeting, Olabode George, a former deputy National Chairman of the party, said: “We resolve that we are deeply concerned by the division in our party. We are aware that over the years our party has developed conflict resolution mechanisms that guarantee inclusiveness. The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership which is a departure of “Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the National Chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of the Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.

“Consequently, we resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.”

Senator Jonah Jang, a former Plateau State governor, also claimed that Ayu was a bad referee, who assisted one side to score a goal during a football match and later blew the whistle.

He accused Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29 presidential primaries of the party through his conduct.

Jang said: “For a National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to go and embrace Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tanbuwal, calling him the hero of the convention meant that there was a private arrangement that was done with Tambuwal to shortchange other contestants including Governor Wike.

“Here was a referee, who helped one of his sides to score a goal and then blew the whistle. This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians. Therefore, we unequivocally ask that Ayu must step down.”

Jerry Gana, a former Minister of Information, said if the party intended to restructure Nigeria it should have the courage to restructure itself.

Gana said: “You cannot build on a faulty foundation. This call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved but because we believe it is important to ensure a just, fair, principled and constitutional structure for the party. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we should have the courage to restructure our party.”

Governor Wike is seeking a pound of flesh, over what many observers described as ill-treatments by the trio of Atiku, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, and Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the party.

Wike, it is said, is feeling very hurt by the alleged betrayal of Tambuwal, which some political analysts have described as akin to the Brutus’ stab in the Shakespearean story of the murder of Julius Caesar.

On the day that Julius Caesar was brutally murdered by some eminent Roman politicians, he least expected to see his best friend, Brutus, in the midst of the killers. When he was repeatedly stabbed by the merciless men, he located Brutus who was at that period hiding his dangerous sword at his back; Caesar inched forward and rested on Brutus for a possible help, but he received his greatness shock. Brutus dealt to him the most brutal stab of all, forcing the dying Caesar to exclaim, “E tu, Brute.” That was the height of betrayal of trust in human history.

Since the Caesar episode there have been several similar cases.

Many observers say that in politics anything and everything is possible. People backstab; bad-mouth and do all manner of terrible things to one another.

In 2019, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State stuck out his neck for Aminu Tambuwal who aspired to contest the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Wike invested in it so much that it took several meetings of stakeholders to get him and Tambuwal yield ground for Atiku Abubakar.

Wike and Tambuwal remained friends to the point that in January 2021, the Rivers governor donated N500 million to Sokoto to support the rebuilding of the state’s central market, a gesture that attracted scathing criticism from members of the Rivers State Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The Rivers State Chairman of the group, Enefaa Georgewill had said of the donation: “We see it (pledge) as pure act of wickedness for the governor to have ignored a lot of salient and pertinent issues in the state and pledged such huge amount of money to citizens of another state.

“It is more like the proverbial refusal to remove the log in your eyes but instead attempt to remove the speck in somebody else’s eyes.

“We have the case of the Orashi region that has been ravaged by flood. Governor Wike did not make any response and there is no well-coordinated distribution of relief materials to the people.

“We are in a state where pensioners and retirees are complaining that they have not been paid their gratuities since he assumed office as the governor of Rivers State, and he is going to donate N500m to citizens in another state.”

Now, fast-forward to 2022, Wike was irked at Tambuwal’s decision to step down for Atiku at the Presidential primary convention, and also directed his supporters to channel their votes to Atiku. Wike felt betrayed and began to nurse a feeling hard-done-by.

His grouse against Atiku is that although the Wazirin Adamawa, according to him had d from PDP to other parties since 1999, and particularly in the trying days before and shortly after 2015 general election, he Wike has always remained a committed party man.

At the time, the PDP was almost in disarray with serious internal squabbles, when many chieftains back-stepped because since the party was and is no more-in charge at the federal level, funding became difficult. That was when Wike stepped in as a major financier. It was this role that gave him the power to almost single-handedly determine what happened in the party. It was also that control that led to Uche Secondus’ ouster

So, when Atiku showed interest in the party’s presidential ticket, and indeed, picked it, Wike became offended, and wondered why someone who did not sow could reap.

He believes that Atiku’s emergence as the party’s flag bearer is against the law of sowing and reaping. Again, the decision of Atiku to pick Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate without giving him the right of first refusal was a bitter pill to swallow easily.

The Rivers State governors’ grouse against the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, was predicated on the latter’s manifest joy and open celebratory mood at the convention venue, leading to his outburst that Tambuwal was “the hero of the convention.”

A lot has happened in the last few months since the convention that conveys that the PDP is not in a good condition of health.

Meetings and counter meetings had been held to bring the party together to no avail.

For a long time, Wike and his group have avoided all the national meetings of the party. The crisis in the umbrella association deepened Thursday when the report of six members of the National Working Committee of the party returned about N100 million paid into their accounts as bribe, as alleged.

 

“Here was a referee, who helped one of his sides to score a goal and then blew the whistle. This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians. Therefore, we unequivocally ask that Ayu must step down.”

Jerry Gana, a former Minister of Information, said if the party intended to restructure Nigeria it should have the courage to restructure itself.

Gana said: “You cannot build on a faulty foundation. This call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved but because we believe it is important to ensure a just, fair, principled and constitutional structure for the party. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we should have the courage to restructure our party.”

Governor Wike is seeking a pound of flesh, over what many observers described as ill-treatments by the trio of Atiku, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, and Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the party.

Wike, it is said, is feeling very hurt by the alleged betrayal of Tambuwal, which some political analysts have described as akin to the Brutus’ stab in the Shakespearean story of the murder of Julius Caesar.

On the day that Julius Caesar was brutally murdered by some eminent Roman politicians, he least expected to see his best friend, Brutus, in the midst of the killers. When he was repeatedly stabbed by the merciless men, he located Brutus who was at that period hiding his dangerous sword at his back; Caesar inched forward and rested on Brutus for a possible help, but he received his greatness shock. Brutus dealt to him the most brutal stab of all, forcing the dying Caesar to exclaim, “E tu, Brute.” That was the height of betrayal of trust in human history.

Since the Caesar episode there have been several similar cases.

Many observers say that in politics anything and everything is possible. People backstab; bad-mouth and do all manner of terrible things to one another.

In 2019, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State stuck out his neck for Aminu Tambuwal who aspired to contest the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Wike invested in it so much that it took several meetings of stakeholders to get him and Tambuwal yield ground for Atiku Abubakar.

Wike and Tambuwal remained friends to the point that in January 2021, the Rivers governor donated N500 million to Sokoto to support the rebuilding of the state’s central market, a gesture that attracted scathing criticism from members of the Rivers State Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The Rivers State Chairman of the group, Enefaa Georgewill had said of the donation: “We see it (pledge) as pure act of wickedness for the governor to have ignored a lot of salient and pertinent issues in the state and pledged such huge amount of money to citizens of another state.

“It is more like the proverbial refusal to remove the log in your eyes but instead attempt to remove the speck in somebody else’s eyes.

“We have the case of the Orashi region that has been ravaged by flood. Governor Wike did not make any response and there is no well-coordinated distribution of relief materials to the people.

“We are in a state where pensioners and retirees are complaining that they have not been paid their gratuities since he assumed office as the governor of Rivers State, and he is going to donate N500m to citizens in another state.”

Now, fast-forward to 2022, Wike was irked at Tambuwal’s decision to step down for Atiku at the Presidential primary convention, and also directed his supporters to channel their votes to Atiku. Wike felt betrayed and began to nurse a feeling hard-done-by.

His grouse against Atiku is that although the Wazirin Adamawa, according to him had d from PDP to other parties since 1999, and particularly in the trying days before and shortly after 2015 general election, he Wike has always remained a committed party man.

At the time, the PDP was almost in disarray with serious internal squabbles, when many chieftains back-stepped because since the party was and is no more-in charge at the federal level, funding became difficult. That was when Wike stepped in as a major financier. It was this role that gave him the power to almost single-handedly determine what happened in the party. It was also that control that led to Uche Secondus’ ouster.

So, when Atiku showed interest in the party’s presidential ticket, and indeed, picked it, Wike became offended, and wondered why someone who did not sow could reap.

He believes that Atiku’s emergence as the party’s flag bearer is against the law of sowing and reaping. Again, the decision of Atiku to pick Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate without giving him the right of first refusal was a bitter pill to swallow easily.

The Rivers State governors’ grouse against the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, was predicated on the latter’s manifest joy and open celebratory mood at the convention venue, leading to his outburst that Tambuwal was “the hero of the convention.”

A lot has happened in the last few months since the convention that conveys that the PDP is not in a good condition of health.

Meetings and counter meetings had been held to bring the party together to no avail.

For a long time, Wike and his group have avoided all the national meetings of the party. The crisis in the umbrella association deepened Thursday when the report of six members of the National Working Committee of the party returned about N100 million paid into their accounts as bribe, as alleged.

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