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Monday, 29 July 2013

Jonathan, Tukur and the PDP house

Jonathan, Tukur and the PDP house

 by: Bolade Omonijo

To Karl Meier, the house has fallen. In his celebrated work, the German contended that Nigeria exists only in name, but, to all intent and purpose, it had long ceased to exist as a state. In other words, it is a failed state. This is contentious. I do not subscribe to Meier’s view. I believe Nigeria does not fall in the category of Somalia. A lot is wrong; very few Nigerians see themselves first as Nigerians before being Yoruba or Igbo. Many Northerners would readily associate more with Nigeriens and Chadians that they would their countrymen and women.
But, there is hope. I believe that Nigeria will survive the current turbulence. The state will not fail, despite the activities of vampires and dealers who have seized the edifice.
In the past few weeks, the actions and inactions of leaders of the ruling national party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has given the impression that the country is at a precipice. People expected to show the direction have abandoned the way and headed for the forest. It is bemusing that, a party concerned about internal crisis chose to employ the services of a partisan to reconcile warring factions. Seriake Dickson, imposed as governor of Bayelsa State by President Goodluck Jonathan, is made chairman of a panel to resolve a crisis threatening the peace of the party.
The arrowheads of the charge in the Niger Delta are Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio and Dickson. They are men who have apparently sworn to defend whatever they perceive to be the President’s interest. When Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi is perceived an enemy, Dickson and Akpabio are instructed to provoke crisis in his territory. They are the men charged with ensuring that only loyalists of the President are in the Central Working Committee. How then could any strategist deem Dickson fit to pretending to mediate a crisis?
Another body, charged with the duty of organizing a convention meant to fill the yawning gaps in the party’s leadership is headed by Professor Jerry Gana. Gana who has been a constant factor in every regime and administration, sees nothing wrong with the powers that be. In recent times, he has led some Northerners on a tour to drum support for the President. On his committee is another Any Government in Power (AGIP), former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu. Saddling these men with these all important tasks is like appointing Patience Jonathan to probe Amaechi. This is obvious to all and is an indication that Alhaji Bamanga Tukur lacks what it takes to play any major role in the country.
When he was ostensibly elected national chairman of the dominant political party in the country, the choice was criticized by the patriotic media on the ground that he was too old for the assignment. This was more so because, at 76, he was deemed too old to be swimming in troubled waters. His supporters dismissed the disparagement, arguing that an elder was needed at such a time. He was presented as a man of experience, one who had managed the Nigerian Ports Authority, was a governor in the Second Republic and had served as President of the Africa Roundtable for years.
However, the manner of his emergence gave cause for concern. He was rejected at the zonal level and lacks a base in his Adamawa home front. Yet, he was imposed on the party by the President who knew the use to which he could put the septuagenarian. Under Tukur’s watch, the PDP has continued to sink. It has no control of governors elected on its platform, its image has been soiled perhaps beyond redemption and every member is on its own.
If the possible consequence of this ineptitude were limited to a controlled implosion of the ruling party, there would be little cause for concern. But, as the largest party in the country today, one that controls 23 states and has support in at least two others, a conflagration of the PDP could consume the country, especially in the drive towards 2015.
On the one hand, an implosion of the PDP would serve the country well as it would weaken its vice grip on the country; on the other, an implosion when the country is in the hands of men desperate to retain power at all cost could bring to pass the Americans’ prediction that Nigeria could join the growing list of failed states very soon.
Meier contends that the house has fallen. He looked at the various sectors- social, economic, political- and concluded that the country lacks the factors needed to pull it back from the precipice. It behooves us all to prove Meier wrong by ensuring that only capable leaders run affairs of the country and the political parties.
TheNation

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