The PDP National Convention, 2017 came and went with its publicity stunt, commentaries, hue and cry. Prince Uche Secondus, as the National Chairman, and other members in the “Unity List” emerged victorious.
In the build-up to the Congress, a lot of commentaries and permutations were rife in the social and other media. Paradoxically, the APC apologists took the center stage in making sarcastic and uncomplimentary comments and remarks about the Convention.
It is laughable that they have kept quiet in the face of their Party’s failure to successfully organise a simple National Convention since assuming power in 2015, but have seen something to write about the PDP Convention. I will advise them to deal with the internal squabbles in their Party and allow PDP to be.
As I said earlier, Prince Uche Secondus, a former Deputy National Chairman, has emerged as the new National Chairman of the PDP. He defeated all the other aspirants who contested for the coveted position with him.
To be able to win the election, Secondus received the strong backing of the eleven (11) Governors elected on the platform of the PDP as they all stood in solidarity with him throughout the exercise.
Out of these eleven (11) Governors, two clearly (2) stood out: Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. These two actively mobilised support openly for Secondus.
Wike and Fayose have been heavily attacked and criticised within and outside the Party as having hijacked and pocketed the Party to their advantage; and for the roles they both played in the emergence of Secondus as the National Chairman of the Party.
I hereby volunteer to be their Advocate in the court of public opinion even at the risk of being the Devil’s Advocate.
When PDP lost the general elections, especially at the central level, to APC in 2015, a lot of the PDP bigwigs abandoned the Party and took cover fearing arrest and prosecution. They felt that the more the associated themselves with the PDP, the more they exposed themselves; and hence the risk of being arrested and prosecuted. They became timid, cold and frightened. Some brazenly said they had finished with politics.
At that time, PDP was like a virus that nobody wanted to be infested with. The Party went blank and almost dead. Those that were outspoken were arrested and leveled with corruption allegations against them. The Party had no voice to speak. Everybody in the Party was afraid. The Party simply went on radio silence.
Wike and Fayose refused to be cowed down. They became the loudest voice and strongest supporters of the Party. They dared where all the other bigwigs in the Party feared. They attacked and criticised every unpopular decisions and policies of the APC-led Government.
The took up the fallen Party, nurtured it through hurdles, thick and thin and brought it to its present state of reckoning. Even when the made the political blunder of bringing Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Party Chairman, they took it upon themselves to ensure that he was shown the way out. They stood with Ahmed Makarfi throughout the period of the legal battles from the High Courts, to the Court of Appeal, and up to the Supreme Court.
In those trying times of the Party, a lot of the bigwigs were nowhere close to identify themselves in the struggle. Some stood with Ali Modu Sheriff to scuttle the recovery process of the Party. Some even floated a new political party in the event that the Party never recovered from its quagmire.
Politics is a game with express and implied rules. Political scheming and brinkmanship are the implied parts of the rules of engagement. It is also a game of wits where the smarter politician carries the day. Wike and Fayose understand this game very well.
Wike and Fayose have invested their time and other resources into the Party when the bigwigs were not ready to do so for fear of being arrested. Therefore, it is a fair political game for them to reap and enjoy the benefits of their investments.
It would be politically foolish of Wike and Fasoye to fold their hands and watch those that abandoned the Party in times of its need to shamelessly resurface and attempt to hijack the Party from them.
They have to consolidate all the struggles and efforts that they had put into the Party by ensuring that they make a statement at the Convention. And, they sure did with the emergence of Secondus and his team of “Unity List”.
Let those bigwigs that abandoned the Party when it needed them most know thus: political game favours the vigilant and not the indolent.
I wish the newly elected National Executive Committee of the PDP the best of all in its pursuit to regain and give power to the people.
To Wike and Fayose: my thumbs up!
Written by James Kanyip, a lawyer and social commentator