FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, July 2, 2024
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Vienna, Austria
RIVERS STATE CRISIS: EXPEL WIKE, FCT MINISTER FROM PDP NOW

The internal squabbles and power tussle in PDP because of Nigeria’s 2027 presidential election and who controls once the biggest political party in the history of Africa has boxed the party into a struggling state of suffocation and Armageddon.

While APC as a ruling party has continued to carry out its role of trying to suffocate PDP to a total submission, PDP on its own has failed woefully as a major opposition party.

There are many different groups and forces within the party trying to firmly dictate what happens, and some of them are very vicious. However, two groups led by Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike are the most powerful amongst them. But one thing they have in common is that they are all scheming for their selfish interests.

For Wike, he has not hidden his interest to be the president of Nigeria especially after becoming the governor of Rivers State. His nursed desire of actually becoming president was propelled after his first ministerial appointment as education minister. All that have followed his political growth can testify that after that appointment he has tenaciously pursued his presidential vision calculatedly with all power and tools he could influence. The tenacity he attaches or his exhibition in pursuit of this dream drives down the impression of one who gives no fig, and this attitude appears to have been what led to his clash with Rotimi Amaechi (former Rivers State Governor), his predecessor. Amaechi who never knew that Wike had conceived the idea of occupying the same position he was scheming for in Aso Rock has in recent times confessed publicly in many occasions his regrets of having recommended him to be made a minister. Therefore, statistically, their political war of who controls Rivers State seemed anchored fundamentally on their selfish interests. It appeared like they wanted to have a very strong political and financial base basically to dictate things in their envisaged presidential election campaigns to their personal advantages. This interest was the genesis of their political enmity that led to the political militarization of Rivers State at that time. A similar scenario is again playing out between the current governor Similaye Fubara and Wike. The only difference for now is that Fubara has not shown any interest to occupy the number one position in Aso Rock like Wike.

Actions and unfolding events over the years seem to have continued to portray Wike as someone who is very desperate with his presidential ambition. He seems ready for any political adventure and can step on any toe as long as in his calculation it will bring him close to his desired destination of occupying the number one position in Aso Rock. That could be why it appears he wants to control every important political structure in Rivers State regardless of other stakeholders stand in the state, particularly Governor Fubara. The role he played in supporting President Tinubu of APC against his own party candidate Atiku Abubakar of PDP during the last presidential election was a huge betrayal and anti-party that called for a drastic punishment.

Wike succeeded in winning the political war against Amaechi in 2015 and taking total political control of Rivers State after the 2019 elections, he then critically considered the next thing that could be a hinderance to his presidential ambition in 2023. In his calculation, presumably, since PDP’s constitution does not allow the northern or southern part to produce the chairman of the party and at the same time the presidential candidate, the continuous stay of Prince Uche Secondus from south-south like himself as the national chairman of the party would be the obstacle or the biggest hinderance to his presidential aspiration. In his well thought out plan he smartly led the campaign of “Secondus must go” hiding under equity, and switched all his energy and resources in making sure that a northerner becomes the national chairman. The game was to pave way solely for the south to produce the presidential candidate, and he had believedconvincingly that he would be the one to emerge.

Having succeeded in influencing so much in installing a northerner as PDP’s chairman, Wike started the advocacy of the presidential candidate to be zoned to the south as stipulated by PDP’s constitution. As expected, it was obliged without any uproar. For the sake of equity, unity and inclusiveness some PDP stakeholders reasonably thought it wise that the zoning of the party’s ticket to the south should be exclusively reserved for the south-east. They argued that since the south-west and south-south had all produced presidents, it would be fair enough to also support the people of the south-east to produce a president. Wike who wielded enormous influence in PDP at that time refused the noble idea, because he wanted to be president. Consequently, party members from the north jettisoned zoning, and the party’s presidential candidate was then thrown open. This scheming and other political shameful dealings that allegedly took place in the party forced people like Peter Obi out of PDP.

During the presidential primary of PDP in Abuja Nwike was taught the political lessons of his life as he failed to the combined punches of political alliances and experiences’ of Atiku Abubakar. His later actions showed that he was disappointed and bitter from the outcome of the results, because he worked assiduously against the interest of his own party and Atiku Abubakar in favour of APC and Tinubu. In a normal working society and in a political party he ought to have been expelled or heavily sanctioned for such a grievous deed. But PDP is what it is, like Nigeria, many of them are the same in character. Some of them came from APC and may be planning to leave PDP and that is why they are silent in the face of the obvious spat, arrogance and insults from Wike.

Wike is presently fighting the governor of Rivers State who was elected under the platform of PDP. He is currently serving as a minister under APC, but it seems he is using the position against the interest of his acclaimed own party, yet members of PDP keep mute in a better described attitude of self-hatred and despair. After destroying the party he is likely going to dump PDP for another party like his loyalist in the State Assembly have been alleged to have done. So, his ambition is paramount and nothing else matters to him.

Wike wants to be the “Jagaban” of Rivers State politics and will not back down until he gets to his destination unless he is forcefully stopped by being knocked down politically. Remember, in his quest to actualize his presidential ambition, Amaechi and Secondus have all fallen victims. But the earlier Wike realizes that Fubara is a sitting governor and as such the landlord of Rivers State, the better for him. But Fubara mustseriously activate those powers he has as a landlord now or he goes down in history as an impeached governor. His moves to probe Wike’s administration is one of those commendable landlord’s moves, and his swearing in of the Caretaker Committee Chairmen of the local governments was a well targeted uppercut of a landlord. PDP must follow the same steps now, by expelling, suspending, or at least forcingWike to retreat his dangerous steps against Fubara and the interests of PDP.

Will Fubara suffer the same fate like Amaechi and Secondus in the hands of Wike? Will Wike be successful in his alleged indirect influence of impeaching Fubara? Or will Fubara succeed in finding Wike culpable of misappropriation of Rivers fund as he probes his administration? I see Amaechi coming back to PDP and giving Fubara the supports he needs, because all seems not well with him and Tinubu in APC. Time will unveil. But one thing is certain in this political war, as 2027 draws near, the reality of PDP members’ silence will forcefully confront them and regrettably compel them to face the injurious consequences of their unceasing lukewarm attitudes to Wike’s actions. Anyone who thinks that Wike as the FCT Minister under this administration will work against the interest of Tinubu or APC in favor of PDP or any PDP candidate is a political toddler – a neophyte. Expel him from PDP now before he does more damages.

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