-By Austen Akhagbeme:
It is becoming glaring by the day that an albatross is hanging on the neck of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, albeit momentarily.
The post-primary election crisis is hovering around one man – Governor Wike of River state. Ever since he lost the presidential primaries of his beloved party and the subsequent vice-presidential nomination slot, his deafening silence has truly unsettled the power game and the players within the PDP such that every bloc has come to accept the urgent need to pacify “the beautiful bride” than to allow her to rock the boat.
Mending fences with Wike is so important to the party that a high power delegation is being constituted by the PDP board of trustees to visit with him. Yet, the man has not said anything. Wike has suddenly become even more dangerous in silence than when he’s not.
During an earlier bout with Governor Obaseki of Edo state prior to the primary election, Wike had unwittingly categorize the PDP in an unwholesome hierarchy of landlords and tenants. As at today, one cannot but agree with him giving the enormity of the collective attention being given to Wike’s temporary absence in the party’s scheme of things.
His loyalists within the party are asking for the replacement of the party chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu as a negotiating tool to right the wrong of one region producing the chairmanship and the Presidential candidate of the party against the party’s initial arrangement. To them, this will help to win their principal back to the fold.
But how does this truly help Nwike politically? There are those who also muted the idea of an outright replacement of Dr Okowa with Governor Nwike. How can two wrong make a right? Numerically speaking, it is on record that Dr Okowa brought in more votes (five hundred thousand plus as against Wike’s four hundred thousand plus) for the PDP in the last presidential election than Nyesom Wike.
But his avowed commitment to the party coupled with an ever formidable financial war chest makes him the joker in PDP’s pack of cards. And this is his unique selling point at any given time.
But because Governor Wike is a good party man who has paid his dues and knows the rules of the game, he must listen to the voice of reason and consider the unintended consequences of jumping ship, peradventure he’s tempted to do so. This “landlord” must forgive and learn to stay with his “tenants” in peace.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online