By Christopher Abu, Benin city
Let’s take a look at the People’s Democratic Party Chairman Chief Iyorchia Ayu for now. No one knows how to address him, whether as “comrade” or “high chief” or “rtd Rev”, Well, he has been a senator and a minister, which means he can be addressed as both “honorable” and “distinguished” or better still all of the above! Wait a minute: was he a governor? Not really; so he cannot be referred to as “his excellency”! Ghosh! What a miss for a man who has been a political equation since the birth of democracy in Nigeria. To be fair to him, he has done well for himself.
He is what in Things Fall Apart was described as “Okonkwo chi”, that is: your little gods are active having broken your palm kernel for you. For the current Chairman of the PDP this is very apt. In case you are not convinced, lets tell you why, from 1992 to 93’ Ayu was in the fouth senate as senate president, though he was later to be impeached for opposing the Interim National government at the time. In 1994 he was with late Sani Abacha as chairman of the defunct political party at the time; in 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as Minister of Education and Youth Development; In 2003 he was appointed Industries minister and later moved to Internal Affairs and Environment.
The Benue born politician who read Sociology in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and lectured in University of Jos Arts and Science Department was a member of the group known as G9, then G18 and later metamorphosed into the PDP after becoming G34. A member of the defunct Daily Times Board, the Gboko politician was to become a critical factor in Nigeria’s general politics. With all his wealth of experience, Nigerians expected him to be objective having befitted more from the society. But sadly, when it was time to pioneer a rebirth of the PDP by ensuring equity and justice prevail, Ayu demurred and instead manipulated the emergence of Atiku Abubakar—a northern candidate—as the PDP flagbearer.
This is to say, another northerner has been given the nod to emerge as the nation’s next president. Now, the PDP under Iyorchia Ayu has a northerner as chairman and a presidential candidate also as northerner! Nobody knows how they will explain this to voters except through rigging machinery. The implication of this senseless move is that the PDP that earlier plunged Nigeria into this turmoil has not learnt any lesson; More tactical approach was expected from a man who has been feeding fat from Nigeria’s weak political. Under normal circumstances Ayu ought to have been enjoying his retirement; but it says more about Nigeria’s leaders who would rather not be found out there as consultants struggling for jobs but as government agents to continue to feed fat.
That’s the problem of leaders like Iyorchia Ayu. They rather behave like the leopard that never changes his colors”. Together with Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor, a man famous for touting “marginalization of his people” by the feudal north, they abandoned common sense and “smuggled” in Atiku Abubakar to satisfy his selfish interest! They even had the boldness to call their efforts the spirit of fairness, equity and justice! They know it is the turn of the south to produce the president but because they have been groomed in a system where corruption thrives, they would rather not uphold the truth.
They cannot survive the tempest that is bound to follow. Without any iota of doubt the years of impunity are over. The PDP has made a dangerous mistake and cannot be a contender to nations highest office. Nigerians know something sinister has played out. And now they have to sort themselves out. They may turn a deaf ear to this: but fewer Nigerians would have anything to do with them come 2023. The All Progressive Congress party (APC) that ought to take the advantage is too far sunk in quagmire. They are by far a bigger menace to the survival of the nation.
They swept to power in a landslide riding on the crest of the popularity of their candidate Muhammadu Buhari, but today, as a result of monumental bungling in every area of governance, the nation is in tatters. The APC government cannot make appointments neither can anyone be sacked. There are no consequences for any offence under this APC administration. Faithful party members are sidelined for minions. The three most powerful institutions in the country namely the CBN, FIRS and Ministry of Finance are headed by mediocres and yet are left to continue in office.
For the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Buhari Administration started with the same set of ministers and were it not for some minor infraction would have ended with them! Incredibly, the machinery of governance has been hijacked by people from a particular tribe—against the tenets of free democracy. Above all, the party leaders behave as though they are bigger than the law regardless of the feelings of the people! Their leadership has exposed themselves as mockery to democracy.
No one should therefore be surprised to see them booted from power in 2023. Nigerians are now more sensitive and must find a way to put an end to this carnage. If Iyorchia Ayu has made the “tactical blunder” to bring in Atiku, the APC also got into hot waters by bringing expired product in Jagaban. It is just a matter of time before the bell tolls. Whatever they do now will amount to nothing. Nigeria cannot tolerate another set of expired leaders after 2023. And so for Iyorchia Ayu and his PDP they must brace up for the impending crisis.