For PDP, the Power Equation Changes


saturday’s outcome of the PDP National Convention has altered the subsisting power alculus within the party, writes Olawale Olaleye

A week to the elective national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had given an indication of a stiff contest, triggered by a seemingly fluid scenario. With several gunning for the party’s chairmanship, the interests were no doubt multi-dimensional and the actors, unusually rigid. It was going to be the survival of the fittest, especially when the place of money seemed to have been initially relegated, considerably. The goal was clear!

Unfortunately, those were mere assumptions, not supported by any reliable facts and figures. It took just 24 hours of high-power networking, alleged deployment of huge funds and an insane political horse-trading to unsettle some of the earlier extrapolations, which today, paved the way for the new power equation in the former ruling party.

It is, therefore, no longer news that the new chairman of the PDP, after a hotly contested election, is a former deputy national chairman and immediate past acting national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, from Rivers State.

Evidently a protégé of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Secondus rose from the position of obscurity in the earlier calculations of the chairmanship race to emerge the man to beat. His governor, Wike, had taken his candidacy upon himself, rallied his colleagues, other key regions and the stakeholders in the party to give Secondus the edge that eventually led him to victory.
From first securing the endorsement of Rivers State PDP to the South-south region and South-east before finally penetrating the northern caucuses, Secondus rose stoutly to become the man to beat, thus altering whatever subsisting equation that was in the lead up to the exercise. If anything, the initial thinking was that the new chairman of the PDP would come from South-west. But Wike’s power of networking and consensus-building put a stop to the South-west’s quest.

However, in what appears like history might be repeating itself in the emerging political calculus of the nation, another man from Rivers State, Wike, might be the cynosure of attention in the 2019 elections as the balance of power seems to weigh heavily in his favour, effectively counting more from yesterday’s convention.

This appears synonymous to the role the immediate past governor of the state, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, played in the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. While it may be true that the correct account of the Buhari presidency might have been adulterated by vested interests, there is no contradicting the role of Amaechi in the emergence of Buhari, starting from his victory at the party’s convention as its standard bearer to the general election.

It may not be completely out of place to situate some selfish projections in the resolve of Amaechi to have Buhari push out former President Goodluck Jonathan, who incidentally is from his part of the country, what was more pronounced was the narrative that the nation was almost grounded by corruption, insecurity and general lack of capacity as well as the will power to make hard choices, all of which were believed to have defined the era before the coming of Buhari.

As if a dramatic turn of fate, practically all the issues that converged to chase Jonathan out of office are still very much alive and there is gradual surge from within the PDP to seize power back from APC, a movement of like-minds about to be led by another Rivers man and a sitting governor, Wike.

What is however not certain in the case of Wike is for what purpose he has elected to lead the movement? Is he in this to negotiate and secure his place in the emerging equation, because unlike Amaechi, he is a first time governor, who badly seeks re-election in 2019? But could it be that he is in this to ‘change the change’ as the new slogan that is subtly pervading the polity?

Whichever way, one thing is certain: the power lever in the PDP has been significantly altered and all the subsisting equations are subject to the kind of change that only suits the ‘aims and objectives’ of those behind the ‘legit coup’ that has just seen the PDP emerge from an elective convention.

  • Chijioke Nwankwo

    Its really a surprise development. I don’t know how they intend to handle the presidential pairing to at least scratch buhari’s popularity, bearing in mind that osibanjo is no longer the politically naive pastor we saw in the build up to 2015 election. Yes, PDP might go for any of these combinations; Atiku/Fayose, Atiku/Ekweremadu or Atiku/Umahi. Unfortunately, the first combination will not work because hardly would anybody beat buhari in the north today, recession or no recession. So Atiku will have his hands full fighting buhari in the north. Whereas, Fayose might be popular in Ekiti state thanks to his stomach infrastructure policy, but that popularity is yet to be tested in the entire south west. It is however instructive to note that the other south Western States are ruled by APC governors. Moreover, Osibanjo’s performance as the acting President has swayed his popularity in virtually every part of the country not to talk of the entire south west. Hence, its a no go area for the PDP.
    The second and third options might look attractive especially Umahi’s factor because of his swelling political popularity especially in the south east. The major traffic in either of them is the sentiment that an Igbo man will be closer to Aso rock in 2023 should they surpot Buhari in 2019. Surpoting Atiku is like giving the north another 8years should he win. And that is a long time which I doubt if they have. And what if Atiku fails, they would have further compounded their problems with buhari and all his entire support base in the north hence, their hope of ruling this country would become a mirage. Its really a very tall order to unseat buhari in 2019. And if not for the amount of resources that will be expanded on the project, I would have boldly say there is no harm in trial.

    • Moses Tayo Adeyemi

      Nice 1


      I share your sentiments.

    • Ondian

      Correct….but only if Wike & Co are haven Atiku in their mind.

    • Don Gratias

      My dear, you are engaging in pseudo political permutations without the issues bothering Nigerians today, namely that more people have been killed in the last 30 months of the Buhari presidency by herdsmen, Boko haram and security agents, that over 3 million Nigerians have lost their jobs under Buhari, that we are so fractured and divided along tribal and religious lines today thanks to Buharis extreme nepotism and bigotry than any other time in our recent history, that some of the most outrageous and scandalous cases of corruption and impunity are going on today right under Buhari at the seat of power and he does nothing.

      3 years ago, would you have believed in your wildest imagination that a 25 billion dollars NNPC contracts could sail through without the approval of the presiding board under Buhari? That is over 9 trillion naira.

      Would you have believed even in your dreams that a pension thief and fugitive under the watch of Interpol could be secretly brought back, double promoted, paid 22 million and provided with police and DSS security?

      Mrs Grace Oyagbola who facilitated the 500 million naira bribe to Abbah Kyari has been sacked by Mtn, but Abba Kyari goes around free as Buhari chief of staff right in the Vila.
      Today thousands of our country men and women mostly young people are being killed on the high sea and sold into slavery as they run from Nigeria because of joblessness and hopelessness not to mention the increasing level of suffering induced suicide.

      Buhari has ran two budgets of over 13 trillions for 2016 and 2017, can you point out one landmark impact of those budgets?
      Look at the show of shame going on in many APC states in the name of governance, look at Imo, and Kogi and Osun and Zamfara.
      Look at how APC gang of liars and criminals denied the restructuring that is in their manifesto. Now they are setting up committees to define what is restructuring.
      These are the issues that would shape 2019. So think again as as celebrate Buhari the most clueless leader to preside over the affairs of Nigerian.

      • abodes_124

        Indeed it will be interesting to see if APC will be able to say that they have understood the meaning of restructuring come 2019.

      • Ify Onabu

        Totally agree. The political permutations which will decide the outcome of 2019 elections will border on what Buhari did, or did not do, whilst he had the opportunity to preside over the affairs of Nigeria. Now, many Nigerians realise it was a huge mistake to have voted into power a gang of propagandists and liars. It is now on record that, under this man, thousands of young Nigerian men and women chose to ‘sell’ themselves into slavery!