ome people see the events that took place at PDP's convention on August 31st as a watershed in Nigeria politics; others have already gone to their mosques and churches for thanksgiving in celebration of the impending demise of the PDP. Yet there are those who gloat at the possibilities of APC taking over power by 2015. As for me, I honestly wish that the internal battle within the PDP is a battle of ideologies, or policy disagreements on issues that might benefit the average Nigerian. Sadly, all these fights going on are all about power, relevance, control of the national cake, and ultimately whichever side wins, we the people of Nigeria will get screwed as always.
This war that culminated in the disaster at the recent PDP convention did not start yesterday. It has been brewing for nearly one year; hatched in Jigawa and elsewhere in the North, blessed in Ota farm, and commissioned in Port Harcourt. Some Northern governors who tried and failed to stop Jonathan from contesting in 2011 re-emerged soon after that election to formulate a combination of strategies designed to frustrate any attempt by Jonathan to run again in 2015. Not surprisingly they found an ally in Obasanjo and Amaechi. Obasanjo promptly resigned as the PDP board of trustee chairman, wishing to install his man Ali to help do all the dirty tricks for him.
For six months Jonathan tried unsuccessfully to install his choice of Anenih as the BOT chairman, until he struck surgically to remove all Obasanjo's loyalists on the board, and only after that was able to install Anenih. Anenih was on old hand that was brought in for the singular reason of fixing Obasanjo and his plans, as well as all other things that needed fixing. His first job was to dismantle the all too powerful Nigeria Governors' Forum. Amaechi, who had been linked with Obasanjo's plans to support a Lamido/Amaechi ticket in 2015 was the head driver in the forum. They held secret meetings with majority of PDP governors wishing to unseat Amaechi, but in the end fail shot in votes. Then 16 became greater than 19 as we now know it today.
According to Anenih's playbook, it is no longer necessary to unseat Amaechi as the chairman of NGF. Once this all-powerful body is divided, then so will their power and influence be, and as a consequence the administration is satisfied to have a parallel NGF alongside the majority group. Once the game plan of Aso Rock became visible to this handful of northern PDP governors, alongside Amaechi, they headed to Ota farm to harmonize a strategy to fight back. Their goal was to break away from the PDP and form a competing political party, rather like the APC now have. But Obasanjo rejected that idea since he knew that it would be an impossible task to beat the PDP on a nationwide election without a well-entrenched and nationally stretched out political structures like the PDP.
Obasanjo disagreed on them leaving the party, and insisted that they should fight from within, believing that Jonathan is a soft hand that can be broken with sufficient pressure. Well, one thing about Jonathan is that he continues to learn on the job. Surely he came in as a weakling but he had steadily learned how to stamp down his authority when necessity occurs. I don't want to claim that Jonathan reads my articles or takes advice from me since I don't even know anybody that works in Aso Rock let alone visiting there myself. But after nearly six months of impasse I posted an article in January this year titled (President Jonathan...The Weakest Link) in which I warned about the dangers of playing it soft with Obasanjo on the issue of the BOT chairman. I advised that Jonathan should clamp down hard and install his choice of candidate or forget about 2015 and start packing his bags to return to Yenagua. Well, the very next week, he did just that and purged all Obasanjo's allies and installed Anenih as chairman of the BOT.
In the same fashion, these 6 northern governors, plus Atiku and Amaechi are now testing the waters on Obasanjo's orders. But it seems that Jonathan's advisers are now taking cues from Obasanjo's own playbook. Obasanjo has this habit of coming closest to you just before he strikes. A couple of days before he had Chuba Okadigbo removed as the Senate President, he went to Chuba's house opening ceremony and danced blues (whole tight or wholesale depending on when you grew up) at the very moment his men were in another room in the same house perfecting Chuba's removal to take place a few days later. During the BOT chairmanship battle Obasanjo suddenly showed up for worship with the president at Aso Rock chapel. But the president's aids smelled a rat and advised the president to act immediately and Jonathan moved into action the very next day. Now we have seen them together in church just a few days ago and once again Jonathan has acted, using the IGP to ransack and seal off the parallel new PDP executive board office in Maitama.
The bottom line is that we are seeing power play taking place before our very own noses. But there is one thing I have learnt about how power operates in Nigeria; the man or group with the deepest pocket always wins. Why is this possible? Well, it is quite simple; Nigeria has the best politicians and the best judiciary money can buy. It is that simple. Please don't preach me morality or what about the people, or what is good for the people. The truth is that many in this country have been preaching this gospel or trying to call to the conscience of our politicians for many years. Evidence shows that they have all fallen on deaf ears and would continue to do so until something drastic happens, and I honestly don't know what it would take. Please don't tell me military coup, we have had that several times before and it did not solve the problem.
Here is my take on the current PDP saga. At the end of the day, the main PDP body will survive against our collective wishes and expectations. Out of these seven governors, perhaps only two may retain power or succeed in appointing a successor in their state come 2015. 90% of those legislatures that joined the new PDP will not retain their seats in 2015. If they needed to compete against PDP, they should have formed a new political party. Obasanjo didn't want them to do so because he knew that once they left the PDP they are finished. After all Atiku once ran for president under AC and what did he get? The truth is that there is enough money in Aso Rock to buy majority of politicians in the north against these handful of governors, and in Nigeria it is a politics of greed and not of conviction, and yes, the judges, all the way to our supreme court can be paid to uphold anything.
Until we recognize these facts, people should stop losing sleep over this ongoing war of roses within the PDP. I have seen friends attacking each other on facebook over this PDP fallacy as if these characters in the PDP are sharing the money with them. We all seem to be suffering from selective amnesia in Nigeria, as if we did not see the same bickering over zoning before until Aso Rock opened the dollar vault and suddenly all these alhajis started singing kumba ya. Here is my advice to those of you who are losing your head over this; don't bother yourself, this is a family squabble, they will take care of themselves and when they start sharing the money, you certainly won't be invited.