4th March, 2013
By Joe Igbokwe
Do you know why Chief Tony Anenih was brought in a BoT Chairman of PDP? Do you know why some state police commissioners are being redeployed? Do you know why President Goodluck Jonathan wants his own man as the Chairman of the Governor’s forum? Do you know why there is panic in PDP’s family right now?
My dearest readers please take notice that it is all about 2015. The leadership of PDP is scared stiff about the historic and dramatic emergence of the All Progressives Congress in Nigeria ’s political space. They are afraid that things are likely to go wrong for a party that says that it will rule Nigeria for 60 years. To the PDP leadership, the signs are obvious, clear and certain that things may never be the same again. To few wise guys in PDP the political barometer is showing dangerous signs for the so-called biggest party in Africa. Indeed, these are troubled times for the ruling party.
Elders and hangers on in the party have been having sleepless nights about the impending catastrophe. They are no longer comfortable with the deft and calculated moves by the progenitors of APC to pull the rug from their feet. Their first reaction was to look for the former retired police officer, Chief Tony Anenih, Nigeria’s “Mr Fix It” to come on board. He was the presidential election fixer in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Fixing of elections is another name for rigging elections. But this time PDP is on the wrong side of history.
In his Edo State last year the man who fixed the presidential elections in 8 years could not find the spanners and the screw drivers to stop Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s bulldozers and caterpillars. Now tell me what this 80-year old man will do for PDP in 2015? Oh God, these guys do not know when the train left the station.
Another funny trick of these men of the past was to tell the president to appoint loyal police officers as commissioners to strategic states that will deploy officers as foot soldiers to install their own man as the president by all means. Whether this will help PDP is a story for another day. But we have seen it before and I do not think APC will be sleeping in 2015.
Another card in the hands of PDP’s players is how to get their own man as the Chairman of Nigeria ’s Governors’ Forum. The present Chairman, Governor Amechi of Rivers state is showing signs that he cannot be manipulated and hence the need to sack him. Three times they have made the move, and three times they have failed. Now, if they cannot get the Chairman of Governors’ forum nobody can stop them from getting their own person as Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum. Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state has filled the vacuum, but we wait and see.
Right from the time APC founders showed signs of seriousness to make the merger a reality, Nigerians have shown tremendous support and are praying for the deed to be done. Eminent scholars and well-meaning Nigerians have been wishing APC well and have been suggesting how to cross the ‘Ts’ and dot the ‘Is’ to make it a reality. They have challenged the founders to rise above ethnic preoccupation and primordial sentiments to help move Nigeria forward. To them APC leaders must see this as a call to duty and they must not fail.
This unprecedented support and encouragement should be the soothing balm APC leaders need to drive this movement. May our leaders never fail to seize the moment. Enemies of the merger have been saying that Nigerians should wait until the sharing of offices begins. They told Nigerians to wait until it is time to pick the presidential candidate of APC. Now these doubting Thomases must be proved wrong. Patriotism, intelligence, maturity and spirit of give and take should be the driving force. The truth is that if we play into the hands of the enemies, we may never have this opportunity again for a long time. Successful people see problems as opportunities but little minds see opportunities as problems. The ball is in the court of APC founders. Please seize the moment and make history for yourself and your families. History will forgive you for taking wrong decisions but the same history will not forgive you if you take no decisions at all.
The ruling party may resort to blackmail and intimidation just to limit the capacity of APC. Their contractors and hangers-on may try to use their ill gotten wealth to try to forestall to the growth of APC. Security Agencies may be deployed to harass APC members. Leaders of APC must be strong, resolute and must not be cowed. This is our chance to get PDP out of power. No risk no gain. No pain no gain.
• Igbokwe, Publicity Secretary, ACN wrote from Lagos.