Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State
The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) grip on the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones of Nigeria may come to an end in 2023 if the current impasse with Governor Nyesom Wike and his group is not resolved amicably.
Recall that the PDP has not lost the presidential election in the zones since the return of democracy in 1999.
In the 2015 and 2019, general elections, despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress (PDP) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, won the election, the party (APC) did not score winning votes in both South-East and South-South States, as PDP won in all the 11 states of the regions, which is an indication of the party’s invisibility in both regions.
But observers say that the unity that made PDP invisible in Rivers State may been broken. Although Wike has continued to say that he is not leaving the party, his activities and body language show otherwise. Some of his loyalists who tried to break away and have started having clandestine meetings with Atiku in Abuja, have moved him to draw a battle line with them, calling them traitors.
Wike has also replaced the party’s leaders in the Local Government Areas.
There is sharp division between Wike and those loyal to Atiku. Some PDP elders are no longer with Wike. Consequently, the chances of PDP dominating the polls in Rivers State is in doubt, if true reconciliation is not made before the elections.
Some Rivers PDP leaders that have left Wike are Lee Meaba, Celestine Omeha, Austin Opara, Chiyene Igwe and Abie Sekibo.
Speaking with BusinessDay on the PDP crisis and 2023, Emeku Uche, a political analyst and social commentator, observed that intrigues, uncertainty, intimidation subtlety, arm-twisting, cunning, presenting the mode of weakness to spring a surprise, lies and going for the jugular of opponents, so as to get their tickets are certain in politics.
According to him, “You don’t discount a heavy war chest in the form of funds and I mean raw cash. Nyesom Wike has all these, but unfortunately, his political bricksmanship is not deft enough or rather he is not that kind of politician that knows how to deploy these resources cunningly for effective results.”
He further said that Wike was creating a big crack in PDP, if not for any reason, to show the party how relevant he is and that they can really not do without him and he wants to do the damage right from inside for maximum impact.
“Unfortunately for Wike, he will create a formidable enemy for himself and this will be in the future,” Uche said.
“Since Wike is likely to remain in the party, he will succeed in turning himself to a tsetse fly perching on the scrotum. Here, killing the fly will result in monumental injury and allowing it will mean loss of blood through sucks,” he said.
He observed that “expelling Wike from the party will drain membership, because those who are sympathetic to him and those who feed from him will stage a workout and it will affect the fortunes of PDP and that is what they would not try at this time that elections are just at the corner.
“If you take a careful scrutiny of recent events in Rivers State one will appreciate this, given that Wike is stylishly reconciling with Chibuike Amechi of the APC and dealing deadly blow on Celestine Omehia of the PDP. Wike is beginning to act like a loose cannon and this could be dangerous for PDP and Atiku is not helping matters.
“Atiku is at a fix now, not really sure that dispensing with the services of the man: Ayu, the PDP chairman, who assisted him to the ticket will be in his best interest. If he, Atiku, should kowtow to Wike, it simply means that he has been rendered impotent, because Wike would be controlling from the remote.
“PDP on her own is trying to avoid serious ‘tsunamic defections that is likely to follow in the event of the crack becoming uncontrollable. The hawks in the form of APC and Labour Party (LP) are hovering around.”
One question we need to ask ourselves is why is Nyesom Wike behaving this way?
Nyesom Wike is presently suffering from post traumatic syndrome (PSTD). He counted so much on his party to deliver the ticket to him, having manipulated them into throwing open the door and not respecting the South-East that has remained loyal to the party since 1999 and this proved his albatross.
He betrayed his brothers from that region, including playing a lot of dirty politics to deny them which would have given the South-East fairness.
According to him, Atiku used Wike’s manipulative politics and upstaged him with his brothers from the North, not reckoning that a powerful horse is in the Sout-East, waiting in the wings and calmly jumping before he was disgraced from their inglorious actions of “monkey come chop banana”, which is shaking the table.
“In a nutshell, PDP is in a fix. Allowing Adolphus Wabara, who was disgraced out of the Senate, as president to become acting chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, was a mistake on its own, especially now that Wike has revealed how the table was shifted, by monumental bribery allegations against Ayu and the panicky ways members are declaring how much they received.
“The party is on the cross right now, but time will tell how they intend to restore confidence in the country, should they be returned to power which I see as a huge task..
“I believe that the solution to the problem to do a serious overhauling of the party, restore confidence and take a critical look at the internal democracy and governance,” he said.
Allowing members opinion to count will do a lot of good to them and de-emphasising money as a determinant of who gets what. Meritocracy should be enthroned. Godfatherism should be killed.
“One should be elected based on the ability to mobilise men and materials. Deployment of materials usefully and effectively and for results and recognising long service, loyalty to the party against an individual.
“Election of men with clear vision of what a political party should, especially in the area of training for effective results as it is done in decent climes,” he further said.
Observers generally believe that what is happening in the PDP is good for the Nigerian polity. PDP should embark on serious reconciliation with agrieved members not paying lips service.
Uche however, noted that some states in the South-South/South-East, would at least give PDP 25 percent votes at the polls.