“Turning and turning in the widening gyre, …the centre can no longer hold..” So began a famous W.B Yeats poem from which the most celebrated novel ever written by a Nigerian took its title. Once again, the centre is threatened in Nigeria. The nation’s greatest post-independence political liability, the PDP, is at its old game, taunting and tormenting the victims of its political sadism. Our governors have gone mad again!
The unpleasant tale of how Amaechi and Jonathan became a media enemy to themselves is not hidden to every diligent observer of events in our distressed land. That the two helmsmen are the very enemies of their own political struggles is so evident a truth that to disprove or attempt to conceal it, trivialise it, will only amount to exhibiting the extent to which one is over-awed by psychopathology.
But one will expect a sitting president to handle the silly battle with unfettered care. While invoking the satiric irony embedded in Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People, Jonathan have so decapitated and disappointed the people of Nigeria (Except Asari Dokubo and Edwin Clark) that to reach the conclusion that he is deficient of the very purpose and essence of political power is to do a correct reading of him.
For the past few months now, the media has been awash with the silly yarn of how Amaechi and Jonathan have concocted a no love lost relationship and capped it up with being satisfactorily at daggers drawn. This notwithstanding, I should like to contend here that no matter how the two men of straw bicker and slug it out in the mud, mouthing ear-grating imprecations through their media minders, in every material particularly the two of them are still two different sides of the same coin, being shielded by the same umbrella for now.
The PDP governors suddenly put on the armour of a rebel on the instruction of Jonathan who has made it a hard-point for his stooges in the NGF to get Amaechi out of the way by any means. The plan was to make this happen through an electoral wiping, but Akpabio led PDP Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) insurgency lost to their sheer political shallowness. Out of 35 present governors, Amaechi polled 19, Jang, the late entrant adopted by the PDPGF polled 16. The election was video-taped and no single scuffle was witnessed. Yobe governor was absent. Consequently, Amaechi was declared winner. A day after the election, the PDPGF went to Abuja to pronounce Jang as the winner of the election, claiming that 19 governors, including Yobe governor that was absent on the election day voted Jang. Something worthy of note here is that “adoption” is different from “election”. That 19 governors adopted Jang does not mean they voted him. Really, our governors have gone mad again!
The argument here is not that election result should not be contested. It should be contested in a sensible manner, not the rogue way the PDPGF approached it. It could be contested in court. Or the PDPGF could call for a review of the election in another meeting. PDP could have shown political brilliance if Amaechi has been dismissed from the party before the NGF election for engaging in “anti-party” activities. However, the last option could be a sour pill for the party as there are 8 PDP governors in the camp of Amaechi.
Playing out Amaechi could mean either dismissing him from the party or dismantling the structures of the NGF. It is very clear. What the PDPGF and the presidency want to achieve is to get Amaechi out by force. With the action of the PDPGF declaring Jang, then the NGF structures would be pulled down. While Jang leads Jonathan’s NGF, Amaechi will lead the legitimate NGF. As it is for PDP state executives having parallel leadership, we now have it in NGF. But the presence of the APC governors in the legitimate NGF that will not have the ears of the presidency will make the option of total collapse more sensible. In case this happens, Amaechi and the other 8 PDP governors will have to find other political party options apart from the PDP. This will be a huge loss to PDP. At this point, it is either the party trades Jonathan’s ego and secures the party for now, or protect Jonathan’s ego and pull down the party. This is what I crave for.
The large swathe the PDP is cutting for itself nationally has brought into focus the survival of the smaller parties, regional political dynamics, the future of democracy and Nigeria’s greatness. Sometime last year I suggested we should engage the PDP by linking up with remnants of credible politicians in its ranks to try and reform the party from within. In the alternative, I cried, we should actively undermine it in order to quickly engender its collapse.
What we should never do is to be indifferent to the party or limit our engagements with it to only criticism and a wish that its internal contradictions and the destructive logic of its ideological emptiness will cause it to collapse. But it seemed it suited everybody to leave bad enough alone; and so we left the PDP to boldly decimate the country and the few good things left of our democracy. As the party mortifies, it has unfortunately turned many of us commentators, who would not leave it alone, to sound like megaphones and ideologues of the opposition parties.
While our governors are going mad, let’s see their madness as a sign of things to come in 2015. The lesson from the ongoing FG vs Amaechi civil war is that the PDP will prefer the country to collapse than allowing itself to be kicked out via the ballot box. This collapse will be made a lot easier if the main opposition party does not start grassroots mobilization from now. Let’s move from the pages of newspapers to the streets.
It is me, @Obajeun
Jonah Ayodele Obajeun blogs @www.obajeun.com. Reach him on twitter via @Obajeun