Demola Rewaju: PDP and the internal family problems

by Demola Rewaju

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Atiku would be a crown prince in PDP by now if he hadn’t contested against Yar’Adua on the ACN platform, or a crown prince in APC if he hadn’t decamped from ACN after the death of Yar’Adua. No matter what happens, family sticks together and shouldn’t be abandoned.

In continuing the central theme of this blog this week, I would like to extend the discussion beyond the realm of natural family and bloodlines to an almost impossible terrain – politics. In doing this, I hope to draw lessons for those who do not so much fancy political talk but can adapt lessons to be used in life.

When a former chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party described the troubles besetting the party as a family affair, many analysts went up in arms against the suggestion, insisting impliedly that they had a right to discuss the affairs of the party which touts itself as Africa’s biggest. In the reaction that followed, the lesson was lost – that political parties are sometimes as sacred as natural bloodlines. It is a sign of our yet nascent democracy that politicians find it so easy to cross-carpet between parties and as simple as the move is, many of our people (even analysts) glibly accept the change of party and proclaim it as a change of ideology. The governors of Oyo and Ogun decamped from party to party before ending up in the defunct ACN where they were automatically accepted as ‘progressives’ but Mimiko despite showing democratic socialism leanings is not a progressive because he is not a member of their party. One can only assume that Lai Mohammed’s call for the rebel governors of PDP to decamp to APC will be followed by a similar rechristening.

In America, one can more easily find instances of people who change their biological family name than those who change party affiliation. So strong are the ties of political families that some Republicans will not have anything whatsoever to do with Democrats (including marriage) and much pride is take from the fact that generations of a particular family belonged to this or that party decades ago.

An older friend of mine who is an APC supporter discussed politics with me one day despite knowing my strong connections with PDP and he told me quite frankly that our generation still has a lot to learn in playing politics. He said that we do not yet understand what party loyalty means to such an extent where recognition would come and rewards would follow to a point where one would be able to influence policy and create change within the system. I agreed with him then and more so now.

Political parties are a more serious matter than family. One has no influence on which family he belongs to but one can voluntarily choose to belong to a party. To decamp afterwards is a signal to the world that one is consistently inconsistent or consistent only in inconsistency.

At the head of renegade politicians in Nigeria stands Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president of the federation. I wrote an article about how he could regain political influence in 2015 [CLICK HERE TO READ IT] but I obviously never counted on his innate ability to play the spoiler. These days, he leads a gang of seven governors – all in their second term and with little to lose except a potential senate seat – to form what they and large sections of an ignorant media have dubbed ‘the new-PDP’.

I have had much reason to criticise the president in the past but never have I been able to shake a certain feeling that this man is much like Haile Selassie as Robert Greene described him. In his book ‘THE 48 LAWS OF POWER’, Greene quoted some other books about the kind of person Ras Tafari was. He was quiet and unassuming but managed to outlast all other leaders before him who were fierce and strong but rarely managed to hold on to power. I did say about Goodluck Jonathan that he is one politician who has the ability to stir up much talk about himself by just doing little. Remember when Lai Mohammed and his media gang took him to task about the declaration of assets? He was merely the VP to late President Yar’Adua at the time but he was an issue.

His sack of some ministers (mainly from the states of the rebel governors) and meeting with the members of the rebel group earlier this week while declaring through the sometimes irritating but always intriguing Ahmed Gulak that he would not accede to the demands of the rebels shows that this man knows what he is doing. I then read that Mohammed Abacha had decamped to PDP, the authentic PDP we’ve known all along headed by Bamanga Tukur and I knew the rug was being pulled from under Rabiu Kwankwaso’s feet. In the days to come, I expect Kwankwaso to beat a steady retreat from his recalcitrant path. Nyesom Wike is effectively the head of the Rivers PDP machinery and the only worry in the presidency may be Saraki’s Kwara state where the entire structure is controlled by Senator Bukola Saraki.

The lessons of family apply in politics: everyone wants to associate with a good family name (such as Tinubu for instance) even when they clearly are not biological members of the family.

More importantly, family members don’t fight to a point of no return – blood is thicker than water. Atiku would be a crown prince in PDP by now if he hadn’t contested against Yar’Adua on the ACN platform, or a crown prince in APC if he hadn’t decamped from ACN after the death of Yar’Adua. No matter what happens, family sticks together and shouldn’t be abandoned.

As for the other governors in the rebel group, their suspensions will be announced from the ward level to the state level as soon as the Jonathan/Tukur camp takes over the party structure in their respective states. This will all combine to make the proposed October 7th rescheduled peace meeting a negotiation for soft landing by the so-called new-PDP than horsetrading.

The lesson is clear: you don’t fight your family in public neither do you invite outsiders to come and resolve your family issues. What happens in a family stays within the family: as in politics, so as in real life.

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Read this article on Demola’s Blog

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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