Imo PDP: Who Begs Who?

Posted by on Aug 17th, 2017 and filed under Last-Line. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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A political party in my own definition is like an Association founded by a Group of people, with set goals and objectives for the purpose of gaining political power.
Therefore, a political party is like a church, where worshipers gather every day to seek supplication from God. However, every member has equal ownership in the church, even though there must be a person presiding over the church. Such a fellow is not the owner, but opportuned, either by calling or general adoption by all members, to take charge of the church proceedings, since not all the members will preside at the same time.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was one of the major political parties that debuted in 1999 when the military went back to the Barracks.
In Imo, a few people brought the then nascent political party into the State.
Many of those who founded the party are dead now while those among them alive have been slowed down by age. Infact, those among them still alive are not within the leadership rank of the party today.
However, it is of importance to note that in Imo State in 1999, PDP was not the dominant party as such, because the known political heavy weights were all in the rival All Peoples Party, APP. Name them; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Francis Arthur Nzeribe, Chief Evans Enwerem, Chief Ifeanyi Araraume, Chief Ezekiel Izuogu etc.
But later, these “Big Names” joined PDP and the party became stronger, and swept most of the elective positions, especially the Governorship Seat which was kneely contested between Chief Achike Udenwa (PDP) and Chief Ezekiel Izuogu (APP).
Indeed, since 1999-2007, the PDP has never won Imo Governorship election again till date, but the party is the most populous in number in Imo.
Unfortunately, despite this ugly scenario, the PDP continues to wax stronger in Imo politics, until lately, when things changed to the hard reality as the PDP became an opposition political party in the real sense.
Because in 2007 when Chief Ikedi Ohakim of the Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA became the Governor, it took him a few months to rejoin the PDP, from where he moved to PPA to contest the Governorship election.
However, in 2011 when Owelle Rochas Okorocha of the PDP stock moved to the All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA to win the Imo Governorship, he could not return to the party, as many PDP members had erroneously hoped.
Instead, Okorocha joined other Nigerian politicians to form the All Progressive Congress, APC under which platform he won a second term in 2015, and has remained in that party till date.
Therefore, following hang-over for holding power interruptedly since 1999, Imo PDP had not witnessed real “opposition” where things the party and its followers took for granted now became objects of scarcity.
Added to idleness and lack of activities, it did not take long time before the bubble burst, and Imo PDP started talking in a Babbel of voices. The once solid and cohesive party fell apart due to interests within the party.
Although Imo PDP had passed through this road before during the era of “Onongono”, led by Chief Achike Udenwa, and the “Abuja Group” headed by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, but the latest squabble with Imo PDP nearly tore the party to shreds.
Many may say that it is not yet over, due to fresh issues in the party, necessitated by the continued Dog fight between Senator Hope Uzodinma and Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
But how did Imo PDP come to this disturbing situation? Well, the issue has to do on who controls Imo PDP? And whoever controls Imo PDP must be seen to produce the State Chairman.
The former State Chairman was Chief Marcon Nlemigbo from Mbaitoli LGA (Owerri zone) who ushered in the administration of Chief Ikedi Ohakim. But following PDP zoning formal in principle, Ohakim’s Deputy Mrs Ada Okwuonu was from Owerri zone; therefore Chief Eze Duruiheoma from Ideato South (Orlu zone) took over the leadership of Imo PDP.
During this period Duruiheoma supervised Ohakim’s election which came to grief. Ordinarily, a failed State Chairman who could not deliver his Governorship candidate ought to have vacated office voluntarily as is the case in advanced African Countries.
Luckily, Duruiheoma moved to Abuja as Chairman of National Population Commission NPC. And Senator Hope Uzodinma had the privilege to nominate Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie from Nkwerre LGA (Orlu zone) to finish Duruiheoma’s tenure.
However, in 2015, Emeka Iheoha from Aboh Mbaise LGA (Owerri zone) emerged PDP Governorship candidate, and his Deputy was Hon Chuma Nnaji from Njaba LGA (Orlu zone).
Due to time factor, there was no need replacing Anyaehie with an Okigwe zone State Chairman, to balance the political zoning of the party.
PDP went to that election and lost the coveted Governorship election again, under another Orlu man.
So, naturally, Anyaehie ought to have resigned honorably for failing to deliver. But he did not and continued until a Caretaker Committee was set up to take over from his Executive.
The Nkwerre born Millionaire of a Billionaire father, Anyaehie, went to court to challenge the Caretaker Committee and lost in Court.
Those who thought that was the end of the Anyaehie Executive in Imo PDP were wrong, as the youthful chairman dug deep in office, with the support of his known political Godfather, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma.
When an opportunity created itself for many PDP States to renew their Executives, Imo State joined and said that since Owerri zone had held the position, with Orlu for many years, it was now the turn of Okigwe to produce the State Chairman.
At a time, the agreement flied, but later when it became clear that if PDP State Chairmanship position moves to Okigwe, it means that zone will not produce Governorship slot, the story changed.
Again, those who felt that if the State Chairmanship moves to Okigwe they may not be able to engineer who will emerge upped the ante of resistance and the entire exercise ran into a crisis.
At this juncture, it became a dig- dung affair, as Imo political elites divided themselves into major Groups to fight for the Imo PDP soul.
There emerged the Senator Hope Uzodinma Camp, which insisted that Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie must remain chairman in a new congress that would renew his mandate for a fresh four-years.
In Uzodinma camp are: Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Hon Goodluck Opiah, Sir George Egu, Chief I D Nwoga, Dr Mrs Viola Onwuliri, etc.
Then there is the Emeka Ihedioha Group, which insist that Okigwe should produce the Chairman. In this Group are Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Dr Mrs Kema Chikwe, Hon Jones Onyereri, Hon Bede Eke, Hon Jerry Alagbaso, Hon Ezenwa Onyewuchi, Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu, and others.
While the battle was raging in Imo, it was also on at the National level in Abuja where Senator Modu Sherrif’s claim to the PDP National Chairmanship was challenged by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
To protect their various interests, Senator Hope Uzodinma hinged his hope of pushing through the Anyaehie Chairmanship on Sherrif’s emergence, while the Ihedioha camp hoped on the success of Ahmed Makarfi to hoist Chief Charles Ezwkwem as Chairman.
Therefore, each Group moved to the court to resolve the matter. But, as the issue went on, Modu Sherrif was coming out tops from the courts. As expected, joy and celebration rented his Group.
Frustrated with the turn of events, the Ihedioha Group threatened to leave the PDP should Sherrif win in the end.
The Hope Uzodinma concurred that it would accept the verdict of the court as the final arbiter to the Imo PDP problem.
Therefore, both Groups left the issue in the hand of the Law. Sherrif wins, we leave PDP, says Ihedioha Camp. Whatever the court says, we accept, the Uzodinma people swore.
In the end, a matter which ought to have been settled in the usual PDP family manner went on from the Federal High Court, to Appeal Court and ended at the Highest Court in the land; Supreme.
Within this period, everything was done for the matter to be settled out of court. In one of the peace meetings Sherrif had to walk out on the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
It was at this juncture that many began to ask if really there was anything the matter except to rebuild PDP. It exposed that Sherrif has no “PDP blood” running through his veins, because no real PDP man who needs peace would walk out on the National Leader, and refused every condition conceded to him for a final resolution on the matter.
It was clear that Sherrif and his supporters wanted nothing short of the entire PDP, and if they lose in the supreme Court, they lose the whole of PDP.
So, it came to pass that the final verdict by the Supreme Court is that Sherrif is not the authentic National Chairman of the party and that ended the matter.
Give it to Sherrif, since then he has minded his own business, without uttering a word, but he may have been covertly and subtly fighting to pull down the Roof.
Now in Imo, the Ihedioha Group has remained in PDP, since the Court judgment did not go contrary to their threat to pulling out of PDP if they lost.
The Big question; has the Uzodinma camp kept to its own agreement to accept defeat, if the Supreme Court says otherwise to their expectations?
This is where Imo PDP is at the present. Certainly, the Uzodinma Group is a large bulk of Imo PDP and cannot be wished away, and therefore should join their kits and kin on the other side of the divide who came out triumphant in the court, as the Group promised.
Anything short of this makes the Group ungentlemanly and not good at keeping promises. Since the Group swore to accept the court verdict, it should keep to it and not ruffle the still waters.
Senator Hope Uzodinma as I know him does not jump from party to party. And he has snuck a lot into PDP. Therefore, as a Statesmen and a member of the Highest Lawmaking Body in the land, he should live by his words. He should not allow political merchants, who cannot be men on their own deceive him. Imo people are looking unto him now to be a vehicle of peace to resolve the Imo PDP logjam unlocked by the clear spelt out Supreme Court judgment.
There is the issue about a court case against the Charles Ezekwem Executive, or was it a case instituted by Ezekwem against Anyaehie?
Whatever it is, Imo PDP needs peace to plot ahead as 2019 is already here. The party does not need further distractions as the Sherrif/ Makarfi saga had taken enough tools on the party already.
I refuse the story that the sabotage ravaging the party is domiciled in Orlu zone. It is not true. Each zone has its own folly too.
In 2011, Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri zones contributed on equal measure to the failure of Chief Ikedi Ohakim and PDP election.
Much as Owerri zone (not Mbaise Nation) contributed to PDP failure then, Okigwe zone also did more harm, because had the thousands of votes given to Araraume and AC been handed to PDP and Ohakim, it would have been victory ordained.
But the only dangerous difference in Orlu is the method of its voting pattern, where APGA candidates in the same election won and PDP candidates lost. What sophistication in voting pattern of the zone!
In 2015, PDP again lost all the elections in Orlu zone, except that of Senatorial seat. PDP needs to educate the Orlu electorate on how to vote in the next election, as it seems the electorate there are highly sophisticated.
Having said that, with the church analogy of a political party, who is the owner and who is the joiner? All PDP members are joiners. Therefore, nobody has the right to beg a former member to return, but has the moral courage to appeal to members of opposition parties to join the PDP.
And again, had Sherrif allowed room for compromise, and accepted settlement out of Court, there would have been space for harmonization and open and close set-up.
Now, with the entire scenario ending at the Supreme Court with the winners take all outcome, what then gives?
With PDP going back to the drawing Board with a new beginning devoid of Imposition and impunity, who will now open the Books and slot in names in disguise of harmonization?
Is the Horse not already out of the Barn? Let all the Groups adopt their earlier promised pledges for peace to reign. It is not fare to pull down the church because you came late after the priest had shared the communion.
Political party membership is like seeking Christ. It is a thing of the mind and if you love God you obey his doctrines.

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