PDP: The Ayu conundrum and the South kindergarten politics
The call by the Southern Nigeria members of the Peoples Democractic Party for the chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to step down as chairman to me is uncalled for. Iyorcha Ayu is democratically elected chairman of the party. He was elected during the last National Convention of the party. Therefore, a call to him to step down due to the fact that the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 presidential election comes from the North is preposterous.
The fact is that the south puts her eggs in one basket and the hen has come home to roost. During the congress where Ayu was elected as the chairman of the party, the position was thrown open for all sections of the country. However, the South failed to put someone forward having his eyes on the presidential candidate of the party due to the zoning principle of the party which favors the South if strictly adhered to. I made a clarion call on the South to accept the chairmanship and not depend on the zoning principle which was a gentleman agreement without legal backup. The article was published by the Daily Trust of October 5, 2021 among others. I advised that a bird at hand worths a thousand in the bush. My advice was jettisoned. The North that is not pragmatic in her approach to politics eventually deleted the South in the presidential primary conducted few months ago. Since then the centre could not hold in the PDP. Both the defeated aspirant, Nyelsom Wike and his cohorts, have been troubling the party.
The fact is that the leadership of the PDP in the South especially most of the state governors are too ambitious, over bearing and dictatorial. Most are not party men. Once they are elected into office, they appropriated governmental and party machineries thereby stifling opposition in the party. Even those who were elected through coalition jettisoned the election arrangement and became the Lord of the Manors. In this wise, elderly and foundation members of the party were sidelined or forced out. To buttress my point, where is Chief Peter Odili of Rivers State, Donald Duke of Cross River State, Obong Victor Attah of Akwa-Ibom State, President Goodluck Jonathan of Bayelsa State. Jim Nwobodo and Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State, Josephine Anenih, Lucky Igbinedion and Tom Ikime from Edo, James Ibori of Delta State, Yekeen Adeojo, Rasheed Ladoja, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Muraina Ajibola and Olopoeniyan of Oyo State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Ebenezer Babatope, Suhaibu Oyedokun, Abiola Ogundokun, Erelu Olusola Obada, Tajudeen Oladipo of Osun State. Segun Mimiko of Ondo State, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State and Bode George of Lagos State in the South PDP. Having been successful in hijacking the party in the South, they wanted to replicate this nationally. Unfortunately, they found northern members a hard nut to crack. This is where the Yoruba proverb that says “Omode to ra aja ti o so oruko re ni ti agba mose, ori agba ko ni jeki aja na dagba” (A child that named his dog elders’ voice must not count, the gods of the elder would stifle the growth of the dog). They were unaware that northern politicians in position of power give deference to the position of their elders when the chips are down. This is what played out during the presidential primary of the PDP where Aminu Tambuwal stepped down for Atiku Abubakar who eventually carried the day. Southern Nigerian politicians need to go back to the drawing board if ever they would match up with their counterparts from the North in political game. Northern politicians know their onion and know what they want in politics. One North slogan being derided in the South as obsolete is still potent in Northern power game/permutation. Respect for elders and traditional rulers that has been jettisoned for self aggrandizement in the South is still sacrosanct in the North. This is where the strength of the North lies. Wike and his co-travelers should give peace a chance in the PDP and begin to restrategise for the future. Fates of Atiku and the PDP as a party are in the hands of God and not man.