“I think that Robert E. Lee, as a traitor and betrayer of his solemn oath before God and the Constitution, was a much greater terrorist than Osama Bin Ladin” says Erik Loomis and l add the seven Governors and former Vice President Atiku who walked out of PDP Special Convention are worse traitors and betrayals of their solemn oath before God and the Constitution than Boko Haram insurgence in Nigeria. Because Allegiances and oaths and vows sort of mean a lot to somebody like me have experience all of these myself from friends, ministers, organizational leaders and groups. “People warned me not to help him because of his antecedents of being a serial traitor…” Have you heard this before?
On a day it marked the 15th anniversary of its creation, the political behemoth Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been factionalized. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, six Northern governors and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday announced the formation of a splinter group from the main PDP. The Northern state governors involved are those of Niger, Babangida Aliyu; Sokoto, Aliyu Wammako; Jigawa, Sule Lamido; Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankawanso; Adamawa, Muritala Nyako, and Kwara, Abdulfatai Ahmed. The formation of the splinter group was hinged on the emergence of a ‘Unity List’ at the special national convention of PDP held in Abuja, which allegedly left out the names of some supporters of the seven governors from contesting.
When reading the story of Judas, betrayal, we never really dwell on how Jesus must have agonized and been deeply hurt by what Judas did. Maybe it is because we sense in the accounts that since Jesus had the gift of discernment and already knew the betrayal was imminent, had warned Judas that he was aware of it and eventually urged him to do it quickly, that the impact of the betrayal on his heart would be less severe, if felt at all. That may be the case but the more l think about it, the more convinced l am that betrayal in any form, whether foretold or not, is deeply hurtful.
Recent developments in PDP Special Convention in Nigeria drove home that point to me as political shenanigans raged these past few months. I have watched in utter amazement as erstwhile loyal allies have turned completely on each other, daggers drawn and descended upon their colleagues and friends with a viciousness that beggars belief. I saw on national television, men who had sworn loyalty yesterday, slept in trenches together and eaten from the same bowl of soup; stand to thrash their bosom friends, now bitter enemies in the jostle for positioning and power. I heard men who yesterday were given thanks and glorifying God for using one man to bless and elevate them, turn around to curse and destroy him. In all l wondered what can drive us so blind that betrayal to those we call friends is so easily attained with no loss of conscience.
Because it is Satan’s nature to betray, man’s fallen nature had to imbibe this trait and Jesus needed to show us in flesh that betrayal is and will always be a part of life. We carry God’s nature to love and so our hearts are vulnerable to hurt but God’s nature is also to forgive and we must forgive those who betray us. Jesus was deeply hurt by his betrayal yet forgave Judas but like Judas, Haman and Ahithophel, unless they forgive themselves, repent and retrace their steps, the seven rebel Governors and co traveler, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, their end is always a painful one.
When you look at those at the forefront of factionalization you will notice that all of them have one thing in common, betrayal. It is common knowledge that none of them have objected to what they call marginalization and exclusion of their “interests” in the power game and betrayal they themselves have been accused of in their constituencies before now. Since when did they become advocate of internal democracy and respect for rule of law and democratic ethics? How Gov. Amaechi did became first Legislator/Speaker and Governor of Rivers State? Who removed democratically elected Chairman and Councillors in Rivers State? Who used police against his opponents?
Does Governor Amaechi have respect for constituted authority? If he believes in rule of law, that brought him to power without election, he should obey court order and respect the leadership of his party in Rivers State? What has Alhaji Abubakar Atiku to offer to Nigerians again? Betrayal when he cannot have his ambition “interest” sustain he jump the ship spearhead split so he can join his associates in PDM. The other six rebel Governors have the same political antecedents and history of revolting against their parties when their interest is not sustained. They left the poverty and Boko Haram insurgence ravaging their States on solidarity to Governor Amaechi the chief traitor. With democracy being threatened in Taraba State by cabal holding the government down, they have not spoke or advice the ailing Governor Suntai to resign and go and treat himself medically. All they claimed has been going on in PDP did it happened now? Where they not part of the institution?
This piece has become imperative in view of recent development in the Nigeria political firmament; and in support of what well meaning Nigerians and Elders have counseled in PDP to put this incident that happened at the Special Convention of PDP behind and get reconciled. However, the worst of criticism should go to those carpet-crossers who will sell their birth-rights for pots of porridge. It is unfortunate, it is a betrayal of trust and lack of principle for these people to abandon the party on which platform they came to office. According to one observer, the poaching “portends gloom for our democratic development because one would expect that partisan politics and politicking are based on ideology and integrity. What appears to me to be the most dangerous scenario is that the Constitution is flouted.” Icheoku asks, but does Nigerian politics run on any known ideology except for sectional and tribal sentiments which bring like-minded greedy individuals together to pillage the country? Moreso none of these Nigerian politicians have any integrity whatsoever, and could care less for their names being soiled!
I see the PDP finally putting its house in order before the next elections and doing a lot of trade-offs with other party governors to support Jonathan in exchange for their re-election. I see the party consolidating on its achievements and proving once and for all that it can indeed win elections in a free and fair contest and thus claim legitimate victory. Thanks to Jonathan whose goodwill and commitment to electoral integrity, coupled with the ongoing reconciliation and restructuring of PDP structures nationwide. This goodwill is a huge political asset for Jonathan and the PDP more than anything else that should place the party on a sound public footing in the forthcoming general elections. I, therefore, see the party making a clean sweep of the South/South, South/East, and North/Central totally and completely with no dust left for other parties.
I see it substantially clearing out South/West and North/East, with a respectable showing in the North/West to complete its routing of the other political parties at the poll. With Nigerians totally sick and tired of these thoroughly discredited individuals who are still embarrassing and aggravating them with their declarations to run for the office of president, PDP cannot but do a thorough makeover by wearing a new look. In other words, PDP must reinvent itself by shedding its old, worn out garment. At this critical juncture, it could only do so not only by instituting internal reforms, but more importantly, by maintaining a respectable distance between itself and its old school hold overs and fielding totally unblemished, untainted and visionary candidates who commands general acceptability across the land and, I might add, the international community as well.
Dr. Lewis Akpogena