BY DR UMAR ARDO, Ph.D
Lately, Gov. Nyeson Wike of Rivers State has been much on the news, but all for the wrong reasons. Either he is lambasting the north or some political figure, or threatening the political party that made him everything he is in life today – the PDP! I read him warning that if he leaves PDP, the party will suffer, but sheepishly ignoring the fact that he did not make PDP; rather PDP made him. So it goes without saying that PDP will suffer very little if Wike leaves. In fact, most PDP members of good standing would be wondering what would Wike be without the PDP. For all l know many party members will heave a deep sigh of relief on his exit.
Since Wike became governor of Rivers State, he has taken it as a personal mission to direct the affairs of the PDP the way he sees fit. Along with his governor co-traveler on a perilous political road, Wike imposed on the party the leadership of Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif as national chairman in 2016 against all wise counsel. When the adventure hit the wall, he then, again against all good advice, imposed on the party a National Caretaker Committee, thus ensuing one of the hottest, protracted, debilitating and most divisive legal battles in the history of the party, ending in a contentious Supreme Court judgment and mass defections.
These unwise acts of Wike almost cost the PDP it’s very existence and were the underlying cause of its defeats in the 2019 presidential election. Then came more destabilizing acts from Gov. Wike. Buoyed by mega money in the Rivers State treasury under his control, he schemed an unreasonable goal of installing the party leadership and then later it’s presidential candidate. He put the party leadership alright but failed to get his candidate emerge as presidential candidate. That visibly infuriated him and increased his sense of frustration. And when he subsequently also failed in his attempts to impose his gubernatorial candidates in Bayelsa and Edo states, his lid flipped. He failed to see the tall order of his ambition believing instead that the party has betrayed him.
But nobody has betrayed Wike; Nigeria just happens to be larger and more politically sophisticated than he thought. Then he started throwing invectives against those he thought were responsible for his failures – the party, the North and the party national leadership! This present threat of leaving the party is nothing but the continuation of his frustration in failing to attain his obviously over blotted ambition. Well, Governor Wike should know that if he leaves nothing much would adversely happen to the PDP. He should be reminded that in the past governors, Vice Presidents, Senators, etc. left the party and PDP remained strong for them to go round and return. Some of us who have been in this party from the beginning and have sacrificed everything for the sake of the party feel pained when people get into authority by chance and start using the privilege positions to insist on determining the fate of the party.
As democrats, we would want Gov. Wike to remain in the party and play by the rules. But we would rather him go and leave the party in peace than remain in it but insist on loading it on all of us. Everybody is needed in the PDP, but nobody is also indispensable to the party. While every party member is currently earnestly working towards stabilizing the party through the consolidation of its leadership, all acts of threats and destabilization to the party should be viewed for what they really are – anti-party acts, and should be treated as such. It is time party supremacy was asserted to instill sanity and discipline among all members no matter how highly placed.
Dr. Umar Ardo is a PDP Stakeholder in Adamawa State