Nyesom Wike and the Tragedy of a One-Sided Argument
By Fred Dimabo Davies
It is heart warming to note the shift in reasoning by Mr. Nyesom Wike, who in a recent interview on Channels TV aired on Saturday November 1 and Sunday November 2, 2014, acknowledged the existence of Zoning in the PDP. In the said interview, Mr. Wike shifted ground from his previous position, which has been re-echoed by the Rivers State Chapter of the PDP, hijacked by him, to the effect that Zoning doesn't exist in the PDP.
According to Mr. Wike in his recent interview, zoning only applies when the Party is in power, which is the reason, in his thinking, that the 2015 Gubernatorial contest in Rivers State should be thrown open until power is gained before zoning of political and elective offices within PDP can become effective.
This thinking is not only illogical; it falls on its face on several fronts. When juxtaposed with the crude and exclusive brand of politics within the State chapter of the Party, which shuts out other Aspirants and their supporters from Party activities and promotes the interests of one man alone, Mr. Nyesom Wike, it is plain hypocrisy for the same individual to advocate for a right to run while effectively denying others the right to participate in electoral activities within the Party.
Mr. Wike's current position that zoning is only applied when the PDP is in power fails the test of sound reasoning because as at the time the PDP was formed, and zoning enshrined in the Constitution of the Party, it had not won any election. If, we are to discountenance this fact and even go by Mr. Wike's current position, it would mean that an individual of a particular ethnic group, in this case, the Ikwerre ethnic nationality, can come to power through the PDP, exit the Party for political reasons, while sponsoring or colluding with another individual from the same ethnic group within the PDP to run for office, since the Party had lost power. The ramification of this thinking is better imagined than experienced and it is only deeply treacherous minds that can conceive and promote it.
In the said interview, Mr. Wike also claimed he was the most suitable and best person to fly the Party's flag to defeat the APC in Rivers State. Again, this is not true, if it was so, why then is there a desperate effort by Mr. Wike and his cronies, to deny others the right to participate in Party? The best and most suitable person to fly the Party's flag can only be the outcome of open and transparent electoral processes within the Party. Electoral processes that have largely undermined both the Party's constitution especially on a subject as zoning and restricted participants the right to participate in such processes within the Party, cannot logically result in producing the best candidate for the Party.
Currently, 16 Governorship Aspirants (and that's the overwhelming majority) are crying foul over the handling of the affairs of the Party in the State. Their grievances include: hijack of the PDP in the State by an ethnic based organisation; administration of the PDP to the exclusion of certain members who are not members of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI); non-registration of new Party members and revalidation of membership of old members who are opposed to the interests of a group in the State PDP; illegal and unconstitutional removal of Ward, Local Government and State Party officers elected at the congress of 2012; the Party's position on zoning and rotation of elective offices, refusal of the State Chapter of the Party to issue Delegates Nomination Forms to members other than those of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI); refusal to receive / collect Nomination Forms obtained from the national Secretariat by some aspirants; Chairman and Members of Congress Panel being loyalists, personal staff and associates of Mr Nyesom Wike, while as Minister of State for Education. Unfortunately, these issues are yet to be denied, given the weight of evidence that support them, which invariably cast a dark shadow over the avowed credibility and competence of Mr Wike.
It is also very important to say that the debate on the next Governor of Rivers State, is not necessary about defeating the All Progressives Congress, as Mr Wike alludes to, but about presenting the most competent person to neutralise the angst and charged political climate in Rivers, stabilise the polity and focus on the wellbeing of Rivers people. With such a person, the PDP is bound to succeed at the poll. The reality in Rivers State is that Rivers people are fed-up with politics of bitterness, perpetual conflicts and violence by key political actors. The implication, therefore, is that the education, pedigree, performance records, credibility, overall history of the aspirants will be the basis for arriving at such a critical life-impacting decision by Rivers people and evidence shows that a quarrelsome and garrulous character is not even qualified to be the least of those to be considered. The bar has definitely been raised beyond the reach of pedestrian standards of measurement. Rivers State is not in need of a fighter, but a leader to show direction and inspire productivity among our people.
The argument that Mr. Wike fought to liberate PDP from the stranglehold of his kinsman and ally, Governor Amaechi is not founded on sustainable logic. The PDP was never in shackles. Wike using Obuah as Chairman and Walter as Secretary, took over the leadership of the PDP and the Governor and some of his supporters pulled out. Wike, as Chief of Staff, was instrumental to the constitution of the same Exco he dislodged. Now it is obvious he did all these for his selfish governorship ambition. An act that totally compromises the State Exco of the PDP.
If one is to give him credit for 'fighting' an illusive battle, does it not make sense according to biblical injunction that 'to whom much is given, much is expected', for one who was appointed Minister in the Federal Government to defend the interest of his principal? Should that be the basis for the reward of Governorship of Rivers State? If one may ask, what is the outcome of the fight? Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was not impeached, he is still the Governor of Rivers State. Rotimi still controls the State resources. Chibuike has the House of the Assembly in his shadow. Amaechi has crippled the judiciary and is still antagonistic towards the President and the ruling PDP. Yet, they brag about a fight that was no more than a war of words, without any tangible outcome.
The war of liberation in Rivers State was fought by Ijaw sons and daughters. Neither Wike nor his political associates participated in the fight against military dictatorship and for democracy in Nigeria. Many like him, have never confronted guns and bullets or even been detained while fighting for justice. So the assessment and allusion of a liberation war does not hold any truth. If the war in issue is the Amaechi vs Wike fight, then it does not qualify as a war, talk less of liberation. Only an ethnic bigot would not accept that Wike and his gang in GDI lost in the conflict with Amaechi.
To this end, it is not profitable to continue to dwell in delusion and deception, reeling out weak and unbalanced argument to promote treachery that undermines social harmony in Rivers State. Mr. Wike's recent acceptance of the existence of zoning in PDP should be followed through with good reason and responsible action. Zoning exists irrespective of the Party's fortune in a State, since it is not stated as a condition in the Party's condition. The desperation by Mr. Wike to clinch power and violate the PDP's constitution is unfortunate, which if allowed to thrive by the hierarchy of the PDP, may spell doom for its fortune in Rivers State. Rivers people are watching and noting how other aspirants of the Party are being undermined by Mr. Wike's cronies in the State Chapter of the PDP. To forestall a possible break down of law and order in the State, it is advisable that the authorities step in and address the concerns raised by stakeholders of the Party.
Fred Dimabo Davies Esq. writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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