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Rivers: PDP G-7 Uprising And Jonathan’s Decent Into Banality By Ifeanyi Izeze

September 16, 2013

President’s feigning of ignorance or rather innocence in the unfortunate political drama in Rivers State are deflated by the everyday  multiplying evidence of his finger prints all over the crime scene in Port Harcourt. And as rightly said by a concerned Nigerian, “Chibuike Amaechi has become President Goodluck Jonathan’s personal one-point agenda.”

President’s feigning of ignorance or rather innocence in the unfortunate political drama in Rivers State are deflated by the everyday  multiplying evidence of his finger prints all over the crime scene in Port Harcourt. And as rightly said by a concerned Nigerian, “Chibuike Amaechi has become President Goodluck Jonathan’s personal one-point agenda.”

From what transpired at last Tuesday’s reconciliation meeting between peace brokers (some elder statesmen) and stakeholders in the PDP crisis, particularly the G7 governors, it was clear the President has definite plans to isolate the Rivers State governor with a view to making him the scapegoat of the crisis that resulted in the extraction of the “modern day” from the “olden -days” faction of the ruling party.

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And in a move that added a new dimension to the political crisis in the PDP, the police on the night of Thursday September 12 denied Governor Rotimi Amaechi entrance to the Government House through an alternate route to the compound just less than one kilometer from where he was coming from.
The tragedy of the unfortunate happenings in the PDP especially against Amaechi is that today it is a police officer in Port Harcourt disregarding the orders of the chief security officer of the state. Tomorrow it will be another police officer in another state. The day the Inspector General of Police refuses to carry out the orders of the president, is he going to be blamed by anyone? This is why the meddling of the police in the PDP crisis especially in Rivers state should be condemned by everybody that means well for our democracy-politicians and non-politicians alike. It was unimaginable that the Rivers state deputy commissioner of police himself (as caught on camera) would personally be the one pulling down Nigerian and PDP flags and the poles hoisting them. Haba officer! What was the need for that after all the new secretariat was successfully inaugurated and opened to the press with a briefing even without the so called “eagle-eyed” Rivers state police being aware of the event?

Is the state governor no longer the chief security officer of that state with the highest authority on security matters within the territory? From the Statutes of this land, who is above the governor in security matters in his state? For a state governor to be overruled by policemen acting on “orders from above” was an outright absurdity and must be treated so. How long can we continue to undermine the Nigerian constitution and encourage impunity? Why should the police allow themselves to be used as tools of oppression in a democracy? The Nigerian Police ought to learn to differentiate between a regime and government/state.

Without mincing words, the drama of the old versus the new PDP and the incidents involving the use of force to assert authenticity clearly shows how shallow politicians and security agents in this country are in their reasoning.

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Do we still need any one to prove the President and his men are grossly incompetent? Even in their handling of the crisis in their ruling party, and the mode of their attacks on Amaechi in Rivers state, there is no further convincing that the entire bunch is incompetence personified.

Does it occur to Bamaanga Tukur, President Jonathan and their men in the old PDP that they risk shifting public opinion and sympathy to Amaechi and the others when they continue these very unnecessary motor park tactics? Walahi, the disposition of the president and his approach to solving the rebellion of some PDP governors is making the G7 governors particularly Amaechi look very good in the eyes and minds of the ordinary citizens of Rivers state even the entire country.

Amaechi might have been wrong on some of his actions and decisions but he is being made by the same people fighting him to always come out with ease cleaner and stronger after every assault because he has shown more tact and intelligence in managing his own side of the case. This is because everything thrown at him has been left to block heads who in their desperate attempt to impress “oga and madam at the top” often act without considering the consequences of their actions against the governor.

As rightly said by a concerned Nigerian, “If the president and Bamanga Tukur believe there is only one authentic PDP, why do they have to ‘fight’ and use force to prove this? It is not as if a party secretariat is a supermarket where people walk in daily to shop and so people who intend to enter the authentic PDP will be confused and enter the wrong PDP. So, what is the point of going to the extreme to show which PDP is authentic and who is in charge? Are these people not demonstrating that they do not understand that the PDP as a party is different from government?”

Jonathan, at the Tuesday September 10 reconciliation meeting, was said to have urged the aggrieved governors to present their terms for reconciliation after he had briefed them on the need to close ranks ahead of the 2015 general elections. As disclosed, the aggrieved governors requested that he should recognise Governor Nyako’s faction in Adamawa as the authentic PDP in that state; stop sponsoring hijacks of party machineries in the states controlled by the G7 governors; lift the PDP’s suspension on the Rivers governor, and recognise Amaechi’s leadership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), and also sack of the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur.

He agreed to return the party machineries in Adamawa to the governor and refrain from sponsoring his loyalists to take over party chapters in the states belonging to other aggrieved governors, especially in Kano where an attempt was made to neutralize Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso’s grip on the party. On the demand concerning Tukur’s leadership of the party, the president requested to consult with other party stakeholders before he would make his position known.

However, the President and his team merely glossed over the requests on Amaechi without a single committal on any of the issues that has to do with the Rivers state governor and craftily tied the successful resolution of the crisis in Rivers state PDP on Amaechi’s withdrawal of the cases he instituted in the court. Also, the president and his team insisted that as a condition for truce in the NGF, Amaechi should step down as chairman.

The question is: why is the President’s body language different on Rivers state and Amaechi? The G7 governors had already accused the president of coming to the reconciliation table with a mindset to resolving all the issues except those that concern Amaechi particularly the issue of the NGF chairmanship and the crisis in Rivers state PDP.

President Jonathan’s non-committal and non-categorical stand on the crisis in the Rivers state PDP and the NGF heavily weigh in favour of the alleged attempt by the president and his men to isolate Amaechi to deal with him. We watch to see how far this can go!

IFEANYI IZEZE is an Abuja-based Consultant and can be reached on: [email protected]; 234-8033043009)


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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