Injustice And Marginalization: Wike Is Complicit.

By Monday Eze

Ezza Ezekuna people of Ebonyi State hold that, "A bird which flew from the ground to the tip of a mound is still on the ground". This seems to capture the conduct of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, over the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential ticket which he lost to former vice-president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar. Since the announcement of governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as PDP vice-presidential candidate by Atiku Abubakar, Wike has been restless and making frantic efforts to either balkanize PDP or dim its prospects in the 2023 general elections.

From complaints of mishandling of the presidential primaries by the chairman of the PDP presidential convention committee, David Mark; through the allegations of betrayal of trust against Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; to pressures to oust the PDP national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, Wike kept entertaining Nigerians. Barr Nyesom Wike who holds the reputation of forcing two previous PDP national chairmen out of office is alleging that Dr. Ayu promised to resign if a Northern Nigerian emerges as PDP presidential candidate. With Atiku Abubakar winning the PDP presidential ticket, Wike insists that the condition precedent upon which Ayu premised his promise to resign had taken place and Ayu, whom he sees as an accomplice in the plot that prevented him (Wike) from winning the PDP presidential ticket must resign. Taking his 'Ayu Must Go' agitation further, Wike adopted a holier-than-thou posture by arguing that allowing Ayu to remain in office will amount to marginalization of the Southern part of Nigeria by PDP.

Apart from hearsay evidence, what the embattled PDP national chairman told Nigerian's in a television interview was that, "If my party asks me to resign, I will resign"! Interestingly, PDP in a recent National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in the heat of Wike's call for Ayu's resignation passed a vote of confidence on Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. By this development, it is Wike with his team, which has continued to reduce by the day, that wants Ayu out. The Peoples Democratic Party should be greater and is indeed greater than Wike and the remnants of his team. Above all, the constitution of the party has shown that the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu from the PDP national chairmanship position will not address the marginalization upon which Wike and his group are hinging their agitation for Ayu's resignation from office. According to the extant constitution of PDP, in the event of Dr. Ayu's resignation as Wike demands, the replacement for Ayu must come from his geopolitical zone and not from any other part of the country. The removal and replacement of Dr. Ayu in the manner proposed by Wike and his group will bring more confusions that will likely embroil the Peoples Democratic Party in litigations and rob it of the cohesion and team spirit needed to win the presidential and other critical elections in 2023. The fact that the party has not healed from the wounds of the legislative congresses, gubernatorial primaries and presidential convention makes the call for Ayu's resignation unwise because such resignation will further fragment PDP.

Wike's fight against marginalization is belated and a mere smokescreen behind which Wike is hiding to avenge his loss of the PDP presidential ticket on the party, Dr. Ayu whom he feels was not neutral in the primaries, and on the party's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. This is true because had Wike wanted to fight marginalization, he should not have contested the PDP presidential primaries. Yes, because the only southern part of Nigeria which has not produced either the president or vice president of Nigeria since the nascent fourth republic is the Southeast. Wike is from the Southsouth from where Dr. Goodluck Jonathan hails from. Dr. Jonathan was vice-president and, later, president of Nigeria between 2007 and 2015! From the Southwest hail Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who served as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007 and Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who has been Nigeria's vice-president since 2015 and still counting! If Wike had been as sincere and upright as he wants the world to believe, if Wike had honestly intended to fight against marginalization and injustice as he claims, he should have rooted for or supported one of the many Igbo men from Southeast Nigeria who contested the PDP presidential primaries or insisted that one of them be picked as vice-presidential candidate by the time he (Wike) was shortlisted to screen for the vice-presidential nomination. The allegation of the PDP presidential campaign spokesperson, Barr Bwala, that Wike frustrated the zoning of the PDP presidential ticket to the Southeast geopolitical zone which Wike has not denied further detracts on Wike's saintly posture. Wike's vigorous and subtle bids at the PDP presidential and vice-presidential tickets respectively in the aforestated circumstances, even though fruitless, rendered him complicit to marginalization. His tardy agitations against marginalization give him out as the proverbial bird who flew from the ground to the tip of the mound: Wike is not different from his party colleagues he is accusing of injustice and marginalization!