2023: PDP, Wike and Lessons from the Caliphate

2023: PDP, Wike and Lessons from the Caliphate

By Elvis Otsemehuno Ogah

By May 29 next year, a Northerner would have completed two terms of eight years in the State House, Abuja as Nigerian President. For a pluralised country like ours, to enthrone balance and inclusivity, common sense and morality dictate that power should return to the South. This isn’t a legislated arrangement, it is only fair and just.

The expectation was for the South to have a rallying point. That point-man must have certain sterling attributes – Carriage, Charisma, Track Record, Credibility etc. While other southern aspirants can be said to have some of these features, one man can be argued to possess all of them in abundance – and more. His name? Peter Gregory Obi. What was left was for the South to encircle him and push him as their candidate.

But at the corner lurks a flippant, uncharismatic and unrefined southern moneybag. His name? Ezenwo Nyesom Wike. In 2019, Wike opened the tap of Rivers state coffers for his ‘friend’ to prosecute his bid for the Presidency. This his friend who is from the influential caliphate, barely showed enough zeal for the Aso Rock job as he was more fixated on completing a second term as Executive Governor. But Wike was pushing him. To what end? I will tell you. Just so he can become Vice President. Yeah, selfish. I know.

Fast forward to 2022. All was now set for the South to make a genuine case and stake their claim as landlord of Aso Rock Villa. Obi came to visit Wike in his Porthacourt abode, pitched the need for the South to have a common front and pledged his candidacy considering, aside his sellable qualities, that there is a groundswell of opinion that someone of Igbo extraction be given an opportunity to take a shot at the Presidency. Wike disagreed. He had other plans – albeit selfish.

Wike ran to meet his dear friend, yes, the caliphate son. “Last time I worked for you, squandered my Rivers peoples’ common patrimony on you; this time I want your support”. His caliphate friend goes “Haba, kei aboki na ne ai. You have my backing”. He left Sokoto satisfied with a deal that if everything goes to plan, he will be the Presidential flagbearer of his party and his caliphate friend his running mate. But this Porthacourt born rambler was about to be taught some bitter lessons in advanced politicking and elevated treachery, that he will never forget in his life.

Once he left Sokoto, he set off to work. What were his major selling points? Insult, aspersions, berate, demonise and lacerate Peter Obi. Meanwhile, Obi in his campaign was measured, matured, and organised. No vile statements, no hipping of bile at anyone. Just issues. Despite repeated attempts to curry support from Porthacourt, Obi was met with stiff resistance and umbrage. He knew, that the paltry 96 delegates from his southeast region won’t give him the victory. He was aware that he can’t contest the obscenely monetised process of harvesting votes from the southwest and North. He needed his ‘brother’ who told him “go away I’m not Igbo, I’m Ikwere”.

His Portharcourt brother even sponsored a major coup in the Anambra state chapter of the PDP that seized the party structures from his hands, aside going to the state to insult him mercilessly. Obi wasn’t even sure of his own state delegates voting for him. A massive humiliation awaited him in Abuja. So he bowed out of the scene with dignity and took solace in Labour Party.

The stage was set. The venue was the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola Stadium located in the heart of the Nation’s capital. A plan had already been hatched by the astute northern strategists. But Wike was still in his garrulous elements, not knowing what was about to hit him. His pseudo caliphate friend who had given him assurance that they will combine forces to outwit a common enemy who abandoned them for four years for his palatial residence in Dubai, switched his allegiance and poured out his votes to who? Yes… To the same Dubai don – Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – the so called common enemy. That was the joker that tilted and decided the final outcome in Abuja. Wike’s fate was sealed!

He couldn’t believe his eyes. I mean, he bled and made so much enemies for his caliphate friend. They both agreed to retire Atiku who they had both agreed is a party renegade and dissident. Cladded in shame, he wept and left the stadium. He realised that the Hausa/Fulani are more politically united and savvy than their southern counterparts. He wished he had listened to his southern brother. I hope he learns from this bitter experience. In politics, 2 + 2 is not always 4 and politics of identity and religious persuasion reign supreme in our clime.

Concluding Thoughts:

Those who are shading the Igbo are in the wrong. It’s easier to insult the Igbo in our analysis. But in this instance, the entire Southerners are to be blamed. Obi represented hope; Wike snuffed life out of that hope. Obi needed him just like how Atiku needed his Fulani Kinsman. But Wike was too politically naivè and blind to see.

Congratulations, Waziri Adamawa. This is your last bid to govern Nigeria. We are trusting that if you win eventually, you will do a better job at uniting this devastatingly divided country. You will rebirth hope and engender inclusivity, justice and peace in our land. You will bring forth prosperity, create wealth and jobs, and restore joy in the faces of our long-suffering people.

God bless Nigeria.

… Elvis, a first-rate Nigerian Economist and Expert on Corporate Governance, writes from UK…

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  1. No congratulations to him yet. There’s still hope for the southerners to change the state of the country. If APC eventually brings out a northerner to compete with the Dubai Don, then the southerners will have the seat in Aso Rock. But again, we should stop thinking there are just two parties in the country. We should think of the best person who has the country’s best interest and knows the numbers, not people who have played dirty and wear coats made out of corruption.
    I stand for Obi, a man of integrity, young, disciplined and desperate to see the country change and grow. Tinubu will not do anything neither will Osinbajo who has a docile look. Atiku will still care for his brothers! And the country will remain the same. The southerners should unite to this stand, on whatever the outcome from APC primaries.


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