A swan lets out one last croaky cry and wild kick before giving up the ghost. That is the bird’s one last gasp of air and futile attempt to clutch to life. Governor Nyeson Wike and his G5 Governors now cut such a tragic sight. They are either going or returning from London, wasting their States’ resources seeking attention while the larger PDP family train has since moved on though leaving the door wide open in case these prodigals want to return home.
They are wailing like children seeking maternal attention in such a shrill tone that is now irritating to those that were once admirers. They do not seem to realise they have lost public sympathy. They appear to have taken the suicidal turn than beat a retreat, intent on ending their otherwise illustrious political careers.
They are now like a bull in a china shop, determined to take the party and its chances in the 2023 polls down with them. It is either their way or the highway! Meanwhile, four of the five G5 governors are on the ballot for 2023, three going to the senate while one (Seyin Makinde) seeks reelection as Oyo state governor.
Sometimes one wonders…suppose the PDP writes INEC to pull out of the election for the seats they seek in the 2023 election under the PDP platform. After all, going by the Electoral Act, it is the political party that stands for election, not individual candidates and there is no provision for independent candidates. What would be the fate of these four governors even if they win?
Cleverly, these men have presented themselves as voices of the South. They cried about the marginalization of the South to gain public sympathy. They called attention to the North holding onto the positions of the PDP presidential flagbearer and national chairman. They somehow managed to convince many Nigerians that they have nothing to do with the forces that created the scenario they protest; whereas the committee on the zoning of the PDP party offices was chaired by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, one of the G5 governors. The Ugwuanyi committee recommended that the PDP national chairman position be zoned to the North and should not be paired with the PDP presidential ticket.
What was Governor Ugwuanyi thinking when he set the stage for the PDP presidential ticket to be left free to the whole country while guaranteeing the party chairmanship to the North? Was that how best to protect the interest of the South as G5 governors now claim? Was that not the beginning of the South losing the PDP ticket and party chairmanship?
Another opportunity offered itself to cure the damage done to the aspiration of producing a President of South Nigeria extraction by the Ugwuanyi committee. That was offered by the Governor Samuel Ortom committee, which was mandated to recommend which divide of the country should produce the PDP presidential flagbearer. Ortom, another G5 governor, led his committee to recommend that the PDP presidential ticket be thrown open to the whole country
It is instructive that all the 17 representatives of the 17 southern states, including South-east representatives, all voted that the PDP presidential ticket be thrown open to the whole country. All without exception unanimously voted to allow all parts of the country to contest. Was Ortom thinking of the interest of the South then?
There was also another opportunity that was presented before the Ortom committee. Atiku Abubakar offered to step down from the race if PDP zoning to the South meant zoning to the South-East as the only zone yet to produce a President or Vice from Southern Nigeria in the current dispensation. What did Wike and his G5 governors do about that offer by Atiku? Fact is: the G5 governors all worked very hard to ensure that the PDP ticket was thrown open to the whole country, while unwittingly ignoring to their peril the numerical strength of the North in the PDP presidential primary.
So, out of the G5 governors, three were pivotal in ensuring that the PDP presidential ticket was thrown open to the whole country.
One keeps hearing that Senator Iyorchia Ayu has refused to step down to enable the South to produce the chairman of the party. This is an afterthought and the claim of a sinking lot. Ayu stepping down will only become necessary and practicable when Atiku wins as president. Doing so before then will have dangerous consequences. One, another clique may start a fresh agitation if Ayu resigns and PDP may not have the time to deal with it. Two, Ayu going may require a fresh mini-convention, and the luxury of time is what PDP does not have with the presidential election just weeks away. Wike and co know it.
Why then are Wike and his gang so determined on pulling down the house they helped to build? A madman set his house ablaze and said to himself while the fire raged, ‘everywhere is bright now’. But the brightness soon gave way to ethereal darkness.
One can only see Harakiri and Seppuku (both Japanese words describing different types of suicide) in what Wike and the G5 governors are doing. Harakiri refers to the action of cutting open the stomach in a suicide bid; while Seppuku represents the ritual and the traditional procedure of cutting the stomach for suicide unassisted.
Fundamentally, Harakiri and Seppuku are both suicides and in the political sense and the context of G5 governors’ actions, is self-destruct of one’s political career. There is no virtue in any form of suicide, political or not. Politics is not a moral game but a game of cold, concentric circles of conspiracies in which one set of conspirators is bound to emerge the winner.
Wike and co know that rather than fight for the PDP ticket to be zoned to the South, they instead conspired to deny the South the ticket, believing they would get it if thrown open. They lost and must accept the responsibility for their miscalculations and learn to plot better next time.
Many may not know but Wike and his group also fought for the PDP vice presidential ticket and again lost. What this means is that if Wike was chosen as PDP vice presidential flagbearer, there would not be any talk about G5 governors fighting for the South of Nigeria. The inconvenient truth remains: the group is not fighting for South Nigeria. Wike and co are fighting the fight for themselves.
They have to realise that there is time for everything: a time to fight, and a time to retreat and live to fight another day. Fighting to the death is neither courage nor wisdom. Wike was also quoted as saying that whoever the G5 governors supported would win the presidential election. This may not likely be the truth. For there are always realignments in politics, which can enable the PDP further weather the shock of their exit in case they eventually decide to pitch their tent with any other presidential candidate other than Atiku.
But there is absolutely no reason for the camp to do so as doing so would amount to political suicide. The earlier they return home the better. No wise man cuts off his nose to spite his face. But who will tell Wike and the gang this?
· Dr Law Mefor, a forensic/social psychologist, is a fellow of The Abuja School of Social and Political Thought and can be reached via 09130335723 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @DrLawMefor.