2 Sep


By Iniobong John 
ImageIt is common knowledge that any house that is divided against itself cannot stand any external aggression and there is no gainsaying the fact that our party,the PDP,is hotly and sharply divided and balkanized and if urgent steps are not taken by the BOT of the party to address and arrest the lingering crises in the party,we may find ourselves in a bad condition after the 2015 elections.President Goodluck Johnathan must realise that under his leadership the party is drifting and it is incumbent upon him to take all the necessary steps to restore peace,unity and cohesion in the party.He must stoop to conquer.While,as a native of the Niger Delta,this writer is sympathetic to his re-election bid,I do not think he can pursue and actualize the ambition by creating unnecessary fights and enemies within the party.Unfortunately,the president has allowed some people to use him and his powerful office to fight their personal battles.A case in point is the minister of state for education,Chief Nyesom Nwike,who is nursing a governorship ambition in Rivers state.It must be stated that Nwike and the incumbent governor,Rotimi Amaechi are from Ikwere ethnic stock and the governor is of the opinion that the position be ceded to the Ogoni people which have never produced any governor of the state since its creation in 1976.So,Nwike is cashing in on the frosty relationship between Governor Amaechi and President Johnathan to push his ambition and for that reason he sees any reconciliation between Amaechi and Johnathan as a threat to his ambition and as such he will always work to fuel the fire.Mr President must realize that people like Nwike are liabilities to his government and 2015 project.It is only in Nigeria that a serving minister will publicly threaten to make part of the federation ungovernable and nothing is done to call him to order.In other climes,he would have been fired,arrested,investigated for posing threat to public peace.
It can be concluded that the Rivers State crisis is the mother of all other crises rocking the party today.It first snowballed into NGF election where Amaechi won the annointed candidate of the presidency and the national secretariat of the party,David Jang and that led to the balkanization of the forum and till date the logjam has not been resolved because the president and his handlers are afraid may use the forum to work against his 2015 project but unfortunately his preferred candidate David Jang has not been able to neutralize the influence and strenght of Amaechi and his group.The party had faced similar situation in 2002 when some governors elected on the platform of the party backed the former vice president,Atiku Abubakar,to challenge his boss,OBJ,for the party’s presidential ticket at that year’s national convention of the party.OBJ did not return fire for fire but he reached to his deputy and convinced him to support his re-election bid.It was Atiku that later brokered peace between OBJ and the ”rebellious”governors.That was how Obasanjo was able to win a return ticket and still keep the party together.This is the path that president Johnathan should toe if he is interested in reconciling and reuniting the party.Those advising him to be returning fire for fire may not be sincere with him.
The president must rise above partisan considerations and be state-manly in resolving the NGF leadership impasse and accord recognition to the clear winner of that election,after all,he and the party national leadership had set up PDP governors’ forum which he can use to project his ambition.So,I do not see how Amaechi could use the NGF to frustrate the president’s 2015 ambition,except they are telling us that the PDP-GF and its leadership is ineffective.
As I stated earlier,some people are using the president to fight their personal battles.For instance,Barmanga Tukur wants to impose his son as governor of Adamawa state and that is the roots of the PDP crisis in that state and he has succeeded to play the president against the Adamawa state governor,Murtala Nyako and has been scuttling every peace move between the duo because if the president reconciles with the governor,his ambition of making his son governor of the state will suffer because he may not be able to contend with the governor on a level playing field.So,it is high time the president dispensed with such characters and reposition the party for the 2015 elections and the sooner he does that,the better for him and the party.It is crystal clear that since Tukur took over the leadership of the party its fortunes have been dwindling.The party has been moving from from one crisis to another and this shows that he has failed.
The crisis has degenerated to a situation where some governors,national and state legislators elected on the platform of the party and other leaders and elders of the party would stage a walk-out on the president at the party national convention and went and formed a parallel national leadership for the party and I am afraid if the urgent steps are not taken to arrest the situation,the dominance of the party in the national assembly may be seriously threatened.
There is no doubt that Tukur and his team mismanaged the convention by not allowing the statutory delegates from Adamawa state to vote and disqualifying the immediate past national deputy chairman of the party,Dr Sam Jaja from recontesting the office simply because he is linked to Amaechi and not allowing some governors to make input in filling the offices zoned to their states and that triggered the walk-out by the aggrieved governors.
The president must act ex cathera to rescue the party from extinction.The aggrieved governors and their states are too strategic to be risked or gambled with.Already the opposition APC has eleven governors and if the PDP loses eight or more of its governors,we will become a minority party.The party cannot afford to be fighting,distracting itself and losing members while the opposition is strategising,consolidating and winning members.
The madness by a factional leadership of the party in Rivers state mus be addressed and arrested.This writer is not against party members being subjected to discipline but that must be done in accordance with the provisions of the party constitution.
The president must realize that the more he is waging battles with his real and imaginary enemies in the party,the more the party is drifting.He must change his approach from coercion to persuasion.

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