Ralph Egbu: PDP crisis – Tukur is not the problem

by Ralph Egbu


Atiku Abubakar was totally wrong to have led a walk-out at all and at a time the president and the vice president were already seated. In the first place walk-outs in politics have no meaning. If you show presence and fail to stop the event and walk-out, it means you participated. 

The disagreement in the Peoples Democratic Party is beginning to go beyond the elbow and that means I can see a fight coming through on the political stage. What I thought was the normal razzmatazz over proper alignment to corner as usual our common patrimony is assuming a different but frightening dimension; and from what I can perceive, if not well handled can lead to the introduction of unorthodox tactics that could become detrimental to our well being. I hope I am proved wrong on this score. The agitators are digging deep. They pretend they are wronged and are amendable to dialogue but their actions show clearly that their motive is well established and for them there is no going back. They have gathered men, men who are not ordinary men, but persons with huge means and connections. They have gone ahead to rent office complex and during the week announced officers, mind you without widespread open consultations, same point they hold against the main PDP leadership.

Going this extent is a clear indication that the motive has never had anything to do with righting wrongs in their parent party but they have set out ab initio to create a target and to proffer a tool for reaching the target which in this case is to form a new party. But before completing the process what they rightly perceive as the main obstacle, the equally conservative PDP must be destroyed. That is why “the rebels” insist they are going nowhere, when in fact everything confirms that their legs are out and explains the choice of New PDP, as interim name instead of going out-rightly for the party of their choice. There is nothing wrong in a democracy when a group smell marginalization and feel their sense of value would be enhanced if they change positions. But it is bad and similar to acts of witchcraft when you must first destroy another in order to situate your own.

In the larger national sense it is a great disservice to the nation to want to put the people to pain before anyone or group can govern them. I did rather wish that those making current push go straight to form a new party or join an existing one if it has become such that they can no longer co-habit in PDP and especially if they are very certain of the political cloud they claim and display on television after each of their return from Abuja the federal capital; this for me is how to play politics of development, where we don’t have to simulate a tense or unduly charged atmosphere in which citizens would have to carry their hearts in their mouths. For me it is even interesting for once to test the real popularity of some of our office holders outside the cover of deep state apparatus with the often automatic but equally undue state security abeyance and electoral officials’ pliancy that always go with it.

One diversionary but dangerous thing I have observed coming again from the confrontation in PDP is the old style of masking motives by pleading public good; it is exactly for this reason that I decided to make this intervention. I have been a deep player in the Nigerian political system both as a long time political correspondent and political technocrat to know that our politicians would always parade public good when the overall riding factor is self interest. The current PDP faceoff is successfully being made to look like a struggle for democratic improvements. I have heard some say it is a clash between “progressives” and “reactionaries” in PDP. Others say it is about internal democracy and wrongs in PDP. The national chairman of PDP, Dr. Bamangar Tukur is now being made to symbolize all there is to the struggles, for I have said last week that this is no crisis but fierce struggle over who gets the coveted price the presidency. Unfortunately the media is once again falling for it in place of telling the people in very clear terms what the struggle is all about.

From what I can see and decode, because you have to get more than we are been told to under what is going on; Bamangar Tukur is not the reason for what is happening in PDP. The truth is that the genesis of what is happening has its seed in the Yar Adua predicament. Staying too long out of power was never a calculation in the minds of those who wield power in the north. So the death of Yar Adua barely two years into his presidency threw up scenarios the inner caucus of the north is yet to come to terms with. This fear played out in the manner President Jonathan was tackled before he succeeded Yar Adua. That resentment never dissolved and if anything has continued to trail the Jonathan Presidency. The sign of what was to befall PDP close to the 2015, came full circle with the disturbing outburst of Governor Babangida Aliyu, of Niger State when he defiled protocol to virtually lampoon President Jonathan for not showing any sign to keep to a purported agreement over tenure-ship. He was clear when he hinted of dire consequences if nobody gave heed to his observation. The rest is history. If those who precipitate this trouble talk about internal democracy, I believe the point to start is to offer Nigerians apology for the collateral damage they had assisted to cause in the past from which they benefited. Many of them talking about internal democracy where there when PDP chairmen were been changed in the manner women change wrappers, and at that time, internal democracy and party wrongs had different meaning. Those who desire to come to justice must come with equity. This is not condoning bad ways except that things can be better handled.

Atiku Abubakar was totally wrong to have led a walk-out at all and at a time the president and the vice president were already seated. In the first place walk-outs in politics have no meaning. If you show presence and fail to stop the event and walk-out, it means you participated. To do so when a president is seated means to demean the president and dishonour the nation. Many have abused the president and called him names, setting moral codes which we don’t apply to ourselves. It is hypocrisy that has added to complicate matters here. I just hope the combatants would restrict their efforts to explaining their positions and wait to ask for votes and not to set the stage where our cherished unity would come under threat. That is where I stand.


Read this article in the Sun Newspapers


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