NWODO'S FINAL FALL
NO chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had a more turbulent time than Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo. None went through the humiliations that resulted in his forced resignation on Wednesday. He was to be sacked.
Each of PDP six chairmen, since inception, had an untidy term. Nwodo's was outstanding for suicidal excursions he frequently made through policies that whittled his influence.
A surprise choice for the position, Nwodo was returning to the party that he vilified throughout the 2007 elections. He was once PDP national secretary and served as Minister. He left following disagreements that cost him his plum positions.
He required a waiver from his State chapter of the party - an amnesty of sorts - to vacate party rules against early re-admission of those who left. Nwodo despised this favour, which was a huge baggage, and set out early to dislocate PDP in Enugu State as a starting point to assert his authority.
The conflicts were too many, particularly when Nwodo dissolved the PDP executive in Enugu State saying it was not elected. He instantly threw himself into a storm since the illegal executive, as he dubbed it, granted his waiver to relevance.
Was his waiver also illegal? Nwodo did not think so. Accusations of his family's political ambitions, riding on his national position, also grew.
The conflicts in Enugu PDP continued to embarrass the party. Probably another incident that made his departure imminent was the planned re-registration of party members. Nwodo alienated key stakeholders. Some thought it was his plan to hijack the party ahead of the primaries. Governors were miffed. Nwodo never missed a chance to berate them, warning them against trying to compromise him.
PDP needed no further grounds to depose a chairman who burdened the party. Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbe, Ahmadu Ali and Vincent Ogbulafor, who preceded him, suffered PDP's rough resolution of internal matters, but none, except Ogbulafor, who Nwodo replaced, was forced to leave.
Further woes await Nwodo. A case of attempting to disrupt PDP's presidential primaries hangs on his neck. 'The National Chairman attempted to forcefully preside over the Convention claiming that the injunction had been lifted when he was fully aware that, that was not the case.
This led to the party being embarrassed and its image dragged into disrepute contrary to Article 21 of the party constitution,' acting national chairman Haliru Mohammed charged at the PDP's Central Working Committee meeting that was about sacking Nwodo before he slipped in his resignation.
Nwodo's resignation letter is full of his achievements, among them, instilling internal democracy in PDP during his eight-month tenure, the briefest for any PDP national chairman. 'I must state that I am ever willing to make meaningful contributions to the progress and success of our party at any level as a proud member of the PDP family,' Nwodo stated.
With Nwodo's forced exit, PDP has proved it can be decisive when its interests are threatened. Nigeria would have improved vastly, if the party applied the similar promptitude to resolving challenges ordinary Nigerians face.