• Home
  • |
  • About Us
  • |
  • Contact Us
  • |
  • Login
  • |

The Supreme Court judgement last Wednesday that authenticated Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi as the national chairman of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, has certainly thrown up some interesting scenarios. Before the judgement that sacked Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, many PDP hawks in Anambra, ever on the lookout for new opportunities, had flocked to Sheriff. This was after many others had dumped PDP immediately after it lost out in the last presidential election.  
Interestingly, the majority of those who left PDP to explore new grounds in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC; and those that snuggled up to Sheriff when the going looked good, are those regarded as the rabble rousers that had brought PDP a bad name in Anambra State.
Indeed, those people had contrived to pin PDP to the ground as though the party had become cursed. In every election they would start a fight which lasted beyond that election, with the party losing out. They would then lie low and await another election when a fight would invariably break out all over again.
This had led to the party being a laughing stock to the extent that anyone contesting election on the party's platform is looked upon as crazy.
Even the fight as to who becomes the party's national chairman was seen as a further manifestation of that madness. It was therefore not much of a surprise when only two candidates chose the party's platform for the November guber election in Anambra State. They are Mr Oseloka Obaze and Dr Alex Obiogbolu.
Many must have regarded them as jokers by virtue of sticking to a ''drowned'' party and worse still, for belonging to a faction seen by many as already dead.
It didn't matter that Sheriff was believed to be an APC surrogate hell bent on destroying what was left of the once mighty PDP, whose calculations of ruling for 60 years ended up for only 16 years.
Thus when Sheriff won at the appellate court, many thought it was foolish for the Makarfi camp to have gone on challenging the judgement, being that Sheriff seemingly enjoyed the tacit backing of the APC-led federal government. Those who left the party or crossed over to the Makarfi camp became the wise ones.
But then a game changing moment came last Wednesday when the country's apex court ruled in favour of Makarfi and sent Sheriff probably scurrying back to his supposed paymasters, APC.
But down here in Anambra State, that judgement has caught some folks out in the cold. Will they now take the next step and join the APC like others before them? Will they bury their pride and re-join Makarfi? Or will they quietly go home and take some rest before deciding on their next move?
As they ponder on the step to take, the coast is now seemingly clear for the two now confirmed ''wise'' men in PDP: Obaze and Obiogbolu. These are men with respectable pedigrees who many see as the ones that can give the party the much needed new face.
Obiogbolu may have been around during the era of the madness in PDP but he was always seen as the different one. A medical doctor, he brought an intellectual bent to the party with his ''Oganiri Anambra'' philosophy. Soft spoken, humble and unassuming, he is seen as a regular guy who makes friends, keeps them and is true to them.
He cut his political teeth in the Chinwoke Mbadinuju era as the chairman of Local Government Services Commission. This is not the first time he will be giving the governorship seat a shot, having tried at least twice before and failed. He is however not giving up, probably believing that now that the ''bad'' boys have gone, sanity will prevail. He is from Onitsha in Anambra North.
Obiogbolu has company in the fight for the sole ticket of his party in Mr Oseloka Obaze.
Obaze was the immediate past secretary to the Anambra State Government. He served under the immediate past governor, Peter Obi, and then under the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, before throwing in the towel for personal reasons.
Also from Anambra North, Ogbaru precisely, he worked in the United Nations for decades. He was asked to come down by Obi to add value to his government. He reluctantly did, coming down five months after receiving his appointment letter. He was made the SSG.
Known as an unassuming but no-nonsense man, Obaze, like Obiogbolu, is bringing an intellectual bent to PDP. He contested the last governorship election but was disqualified before the APGA primaries along with others in controversial circumstances, despite being tipped as the anointed one.
He however remained in APGA and helped to enthrone the incumbent governor, Obiano, as the successor to Obi.
His high intellectual rating is seen in his role as a resource person these days, as well as his incisive newspaper articles. He has been making waves on the air waves too.           
He has promised to spend only one term in office if elected, a promise many will no doubt be seeing as strange, and especially when some governors barely managed to deliver their promises after two tenures.
But Obaze is cock sure that for years will be enough for him to deliver as long as the focus is there.
Obaze and Obiogbolu are the only men standing in Anambra PDP and they will be relishing their luck at the twist of things in PDP. Indeed, as long as things remain this way in the party, we will for the first time be seeing a free, transparent primaries in PDP.
But pundits believe that such free, transparent primaries will be determined by how soon they are held. It is very clear that should PDP not choose this golden chance to go into action and hold its primaries, they can expect the mad people, or some of them, to return with a vengeance once they fail to get nomination in other parties.
Lacking any ideological base, Nigerian politicians are always quick to abandon ship and look for their next meal ticket once their parties run into troubled waters or when they fail to realize their ambitions in one.
Thus the need for Anambra PDP to move fast and conduct its primaries cannot be overemphasised. This is no doubt the first time the party is having new, believable faces that can turn its battered fortunes.
But how did PDP come to this point? A point where the party was demonised and despised? It is quite a journey.
Long before now, the party was peopled by those we refer to as cash and carry politicians. Their word was law. Although many of them were not very educated, they controlled the educated ones and fed fat from them. They called the shots and determined who occupied any position. Those they put into various positions were told how much they would be remitting to them. They thus became robots in the hands of their godfathers.
At elections, they thwarted the wishes of the masses and put in their cronies such that winners became losers and losers, winners. Their actions jeopardized the futures of young, aspiring politicians. Merit was thrown overboard for quackery. The people groaned but no one listened.
But in nature, nothing ever remains the same, good or bad. And so things began to happen. They put in a man called Chris Ngige. He lost but ''won''. He was very unpopular at first but when he began to fight his godfathers and started showing that ''there was money in government'', the tide began to change. He managed to hold off the forays of those he referred to as sharks and barracudas. He became popular. However, it lasted for close to three years when he was toppled by the man who actually beat him in that election.
Enter Peter Obi, an APGA man. He started from where Ngige stopped, even improving on that. He kept all the wolves at bay and subsequent elections generally reflected the voting pattern.
While Obi reigned, the PDP began to shake and quake. Fights broke out all over, culminating in the party's fall at the centre. A new super power emerged in the form of APC. All the PDP sharks and barracudas jumped ship and joined the new power brokers, leaving their former house empty, or near empty. That house is today occupied by only two people: Obaze and Obiogbolu; two people untainted by the sins of their former members, and two people holding a new hope for the party.
How things change quickly in politics!
Next week, we take a peep into the Progressive People's Alliance, PPA.

Leave a comment