Jonathan: A prognosis and endorsement
By Hamisu Abubakar
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief (Dr) Tony Anenih, has been called a political tactician-in-chief. He has been called the Oracle of Uromi. He also has been called Nigeria political Nostradamus. What is self-evident is that, in the firmament of the country politics for more than three decades now, Anenih is a man of exceptional importance and reputation. More to the point of this article, the recent adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan as the PDP candidate for the February 14, 2015 presidential election by the party National Executive Committee proves once again that Anenih possesses unmatched capacity for political prognosis and strategy.
Anenih it was who, in early 2013, first suggested that the party should grant Jonathan automatic ticket to seek re-election in 2015. At a PDP family dinner held in Abuja on the night of Thursday, May 30, 2013, he reiterated the idea and the suggestion garnered national attention. During the event, the BoT Chairman explained how experience had shown that squabbling for tickets at primaries invariably led to internal crises in the party before the main elections. Consequently, he advocated the automatic ticket option in order to avoid unnecessary and prolonged crises within the party.
At the time, a number of party members supported Anenih proposal. However, there were also a few who did not agree with the BoT Chairman idea. Fast-forward two years and four months to September 2015 and Anenih suggestion took on a life of its own. First, PDP members of the House of Representatives endorsed Jonathan to fly the party flag in 2015. Second, the PDP governors followed suit. The party BoT also toed the same line and then the National Executive Committee crowned it all, thereby indicating that the entire party had seen and accepted the wisdom in Anenih proposal.
To further buttress his unrivalled grasp of the intricacies of the nation politics, while others were dilly-dallying and unable to take a stand on whether Jonathan will run for re-election in 2015, Anenih was also the first to take a categorical stand. Speaking at a gathering of party members during a tour of the South-South zone by the PDP chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu™azu, Anenih said, I want the national chairman to go home with a word from the father that come 2015, Jonathan will run for presidency for the second term.
Clearly, Anenih confidence in Jonathan intention to run goes beyond what may be regarded as a political filial relationship, being that he referred to himself as Jonathan political father. It is anchored in the reality that, as the sitting BoT Chairman and a founding member of the PDP, he is very conversant with the inner workings, challenges, and the many successes of the party.
It is worth recalling here that, to mark the 2015 Democracy Day, Anenih issued a statement in which he not only laid out some of Jonathan achievements; he also listed the major accomplishments of the PDP since the country return to democratic rule in 1999.
In that statement, Anenih was quoted as saying: Let me express how grateful we, in the Peoples Democratic Party, are to our fellow compatriots that they have entrusted our great party with steering the ship of state since our nation return to democracy in 1999. It has been a great privilege and a momentous undertaking. And though”as with all human endeavours”we have had differences with our fellow citizens on the other side of the political divide, our on-going democratic journey is proof that the PDP continues to faithfully discharge its foremost duty to our country, which is sustaining a stable, functional State.
Anenih also said: Indeed, in its 15 years at the helm of affairs of our great nation, the PDP has created an atmosphere that allows total freedom of expression, dissent and the greatest level of inclusive political participation ever recorded in our country. A case in point is that never before has Nigeria seen the high number of women in senior elective and appointive positions as obtains today under the PDP leadership.
Additionally, Anenih further remarked: Moreover, it is to the credit of the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led PDP government that this ambience of democratic freedom has encouraged the most combative opposition rhetoric ever experienced in Nigeria history. President Jonathan has also demonstrated respect for the rule of law by his non-interference in judicial, legislative and electoral matters.
In view of the fact that as Chairman of PDP BoT, Anenih has firsthand knowledge of these achievements and many others; he can say with full conviction that Jonathan will seek re-election in 2015. And just as it has been proved that he had incomparable political foresight when way back in 2013 he began canvassing for Jonathan to be granted automatic ticket in 2015, it is safe to say that in the coming months, his certainty in Jonathan re-election bid and ultimate success will be proved right.
Abubakar contributed this piece from Kaduna via [email protected]
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