PDP Primaries: Mr ‘Fix It’ can’t fix it

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Chairman of the ruling PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih has openly condemned party primaries describing them as evil that have done more damage to cohesion in the PDP. He said President Goodluck Jonathan and the party’s first-term governors will emerge as the sole gubernatorial and presidential candidates in their respective constituencies in the 2015 general elections.

 

This ridiculous proposal was revealed at a meeting with the South-South, South-East governors, federal lawmakers and party leaders in Asaba, the Delta state capital recently. The bait dangled before the governors, especially those serving their terminal terms included the party’s support for another lucrative office and an immunity from post-tenure arrest by the anti-graft police, the EFCC if they co-operate fully with the new scheme.

That did not come as a surprise, especially from a leader of the party, popularly known as Mr. Fix it, reputed for making the impossible possible. Nevertheless, many doubt the workability of that perverted preposition given the fact that the party, over the years, has always been beleaguered by rancor and disunity in its ranks. In addition, its primaries are characterized by protracted internal strife which subsequently affects the management of post-primary elections.

Apart from this wrangling, there is also a disagreement and differences of opinion between some governors of the party and its leadership which need to be urgently determined. The governors, apart from those that exited the party, have so many grievances which remained unresolved, but the party appears to be sweeping them under the carpet. The party leadership too has an axe to grind about the inordinate ambition of some governors to contest the presidential primaries even as there is a grand design to repress and disqualify any of them that could be audacious enough to attempt it. That was why the PDP is living in a morbid fear of fragmentation since that could upset President Jonathan’s apple cart and also pave way for the emergence of a parallel party structure.

The big question now is: could President Jonathan ever run or surface as a sole presidential candidate as has been schemed by Chief Anenih’s Board of Trustees? In any case the issue of President Jonathan’s interest in re-contesting the presidential election is not a secret; it has been a subject of discussion liberally at official and informal circles everywhere in the federation. It is equally well known that President Jonathan’s latent ambition to contest had been rocking the boat of the party with many members rigidly resisting him and others showing staunch support. But President Jonathan is yet to come out of his shell and declare his intention so as to save the party from prolonged feud his continued silence is engendering.

The question of Jonathan’s running for presidency is unnecessarily overheating the polity and polarizing members of his exceedingly stressed and distressed party. In fact, it has become a vexed issue hotly debated between the multitudes that oppose him and his miserable minions. Now that the party’s chief oracle has spoken in a manner that implies consent, President Jonathan may be at liberty to act according to his conscience as the coast has been cleared for him. His antagonists within the PDP and rival political parties will surely be waiting to take advantage of that moment by exploiting his weaknesses.

But President Jonathan has repeatedly said he is not presently preoccupied by that prospect; what was more important to him was the delivery of democracy dividends through the entrenchment of good governance. In his view any step taken towards premeditated disclosure of his intentions to run could be counterproductive by slowing down the tempo of progress and cause chaos and confusion in the management of the affairs of the country. In that case President Jonathan should be told emphatically that his decision to contest or not to run in 2015 will not in any way jeopardize political processes or disrupt governmental activities.

Even now as he has not signified apparent intention to contest there are ample evidences to suggest that the country is being administered haphazardly, without a purpose, and is floating freely without being steered in a specific direction.  Can anyone, therefore, argue that the prevalent apathy among the despondent populace or the pervasive corruption that bedevil the country and the persistent insecurity are not unconnected with Jonathan’s disconcerting delay to declare his interest for a second term tenure? President Jonathan’s contest is a matter that bothers his party alone; for it had been a divisive factor causing rancor and bitterness among its rank and file.  Other parties are not anxious about that, believing that President Jonathan could be a powerhouse to the PDP, but to them he is no more than a burnt-out fuse. They fervently hope he will eventually contest so they could trounce him convincingly.

On the other hand, his resistance to any form of temptation to run for the second term will foretell good omen for the party because doing so will enable it organize credible presidential primaries and subsequent elections that will usher in a democratically elected government acceptable to all.

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