Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Leave the southern aspirants alone, and blame the party’s leadership; they sold out because of greed

Leave the southern aspirants alone, and blame the party's leadership; they sold out because of greed

By Ijenga Daniel

Politics is indeed a fascinating game. This accounts for the difference in novels whenever there is discontentment. On the other hand, the human person is crafted in a manner that the guilty ones naturally seek out a sacrificial lamb to blame while carrying a peek of probity. No matter how tactical one might be in the game of duplicity there is always a lacuna that helps to tell the whole story.

The PDP gubernatorial primary has come and gone but the blotch left will take forever to heal. Some are still counting their tolls while others have moved on. On the other hand, others have sought alternatives. Strange as the scenario might be, the status quo cannot be altered, but the outcome when called to the psyche reveals a contrast between expectations and reality.

Retrospectively, the 2015 election that saw the emergence of the incumbent governor, Sir Ben Ayade was shrouded in the heated debate of the turn of the north, the Calabar/Ogoja Accord, and other intrigues. The leaders of the party reasoned together and agreed on power rotation thus backing an existing document. The follow-up document made available captures succinctly the position of the political leaders agreeing to this decision. The then sitting Governor and leader of the party HE Senator Liyel Imoke had to jettison the infamous three wise men agreement, not minding his long standing relationship with Gershom Bassey, simply because it was the right thing to do, and power had to go to the Northern Senatorial District.The hallmark of this,  climaxed in the emergence of governor Ben Ayade from the Northern Senatorial District, and no aspirant from the south and central contested the primary against the north.

Fast forward to 2022 ahead of 2023. The party decided to zone the position of state party chairman to the north. The problem of the governor and the national assembly roared its head, hence, amidst the impediment against Barr. Venatius Ikem who was a returnee to the party but because the party wanted someone who will fight Ayade, the sacred position of the unity of the party, the harmony and team spirit that existed was jettisoned. Hon. Paul Adah and even Barr. Attah Ochinke made way for Barr. Venatius Ikem. We are well aware of the various emissaries he sent to beg the party leadership to emerge as the state chairman.

As soon as Vena became chairman, he abandoned zoning. He justified his position by referring to the Nigerian constitution. So many positions were also advanced, such as zoning by substitution, elimination, and all that.

Despite all the things that were playing out, the leadership of the party at the State kept mute. No statement was made, no rebuttal, not even a meeting to drum the position of the party to him because the party was wing-clipped by the Port Harcourt money bag that was flowing into their pockets. Even the purported Abuja meeting with Wike did little or nothing to the already tense atmosphere in the state.

When Mr. Donald Duke tested the waters by infamously stating that he fought for his ticket, there was no zoning, and the ferocious attacks he received ended on pages of social media. The leaders in the south did not see the reason to address the issue with the party, hence, the party led by Barr. Vena was riding on this observed loophole to cement the Cross River State Chapter of the PDP as a vassal of PDP Rivers.

As though the insult on the south was not enough, names such as: "cowards, intellectually lazy" etc, some people still sold out and today are blaming the aspirants.

To even harp the argument on competence further questioned the credentials of the southern aspirants, yet these are the same leaders paying peanuts to naysayers to propagate falsehood against the aspirants. Any aspirant from the south who came out to contest the election was qualified to stand the election. The leaders were supposed to put their house in order like they normally do, but they were rather pursuing Port Harcourt money, their appendages or acolytes followed suit and betrayed their brothers and sisters.

Sen. Gershom Bassey, Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Sir Arthur Jarvis, Barr. Okpo Ene, were they or are they not qualified to vie for the office of the governor? Let's call a spade a spade. Our leaders were not interested in the back to south agenda. Their agenda was money, if not, their ability to push for the governorship to return to the south would have been demonstrated again just as they did for the north, how else could we have said, "the party is supreme". Let the sleeping dog lie.