By; Henry Ekpe
In order climes, politics is played based on ideology. That is to say, if you are a politician you join that political party that has likeminds, who believe in your ideals and policies.
However, in the present day Nigeria, if not for the First and Second Republics when politicians joined politics for service to humanity and to make names for themselves, now many people join politics for what they will gain, and not what they will do for the helpless poor masses.
This Nigerian syndrome makes a mess of the quote by a former America President, John F Kennedy that “Ask what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you”.
Recently in Imo State, there have been stories of how former members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are leaving their old party for the ruling All Progressive Congress APC.
If it is a shock to other people, to me and political historians, it is nothing new as it was ever expected.
Two of the reasons are one: Nigerian politicians do not play the game based on ideology, two; most of our people depend on Government for patronages via employments and means of livelihood and therefore must play to every Government in power for survival.
Therefore in the case of Imo State, it should be seen as “normal” which should not attract much attention, since the “Movement of the People” being witnessed between the PDP and APC will soon repeat itself, should anything change in favour of PDP tomorrow. Therefore, it just like a game of revolving doors.
The movement began on Jan 14, 2020 the moment the Supreme Court pronounced Senator Hope Uzodinma of APC as the next Governor of Imo State, after his predecessor Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha was removed.
It commenced right from the House of Assembly where most PDP Lawmakers moved party immediately, without even waiting for the outcome of the Review Instituted by its party and its Governorship candidate at the Supreme Court.
They simply betrayed their political party and jumped ship, exposing how unreliable they are both to their party, constituents and to future dealings with Groups and individuals.
This unreliability is anchored on the fact that, in a normal situation, these Lawmakers were voted into office by their constituents following the contents of their party manifesto, which they have now abandoned to run into a different political party for easy lucre.
The major culprit in this unreliability is the Speaker, Rt Hon Chiji Collins, who has traversed from three political parties within seven months, just to protect his office, and not for anything else.
Now, it has become the turn of some PDP State Officers. Their own case is same as those of the Legislators who were pursuing personal ambitions, than political ideology and provision of dividends of democracy to their teeming constituents.
Recently about five members of Imo PDP State Executive “resigned” from the party and joined the ruling APC.
However, it was unveiled that these PDP members had exhausted their first terms of four years of service to the party. And due to zoning formula in PDP, while the positions the held still remain in their political zones, it would rather be moved to other Areas.
Therefore, since these PDP officers were born with the PDP positions, they cannot allow others occupy these same positions, while they become strong members, and still work for PDP.
So, they had to move to APC, where they hope to become APC officials soon. That is the way of our politicians. None wants to build or sacrifice but will ever be ready to harvest where they did not sow.
Now, you ask, why can a party official who served the party for four years, even after replacing somebody too, not relinquish that position for another person, and still remain a strong member of that party?
In the case of the present scenario between Imo APC and PDP, the decampees, think they are fooling the people, with different tales of why they left one party for the other not knowing they are fooling themselves.
Why should they tell Imo people why they left one party for the other? They day they joined, did they tell anybody? Who asked them for their explanations?
Their tales by the Moon Light was prompted by guilt. If their conscience were clear, there would not have been the need for such stories as “why I left PDP”. Who asked you? You think anybody cares? This is because the masses know why you left: for stomach infrastructure nothing more, nothing less
However, these unstable politicians must realize that Imo people are no more as gullible as they take them to be.
The fact is that, these politicians are leaving for what they think they can personally gain from their new party nothing else.
But the irony of it and the highest gullibility to attack your former political party, as if that is what qualifies you to be accommodated in your new party. That sounds petty and childish.
Some of these PDP stalwarts make a jest of themselves when they openly insult PDP, becasue Imo people already know who they are and their antecedents.
Imagine a man who served PDP as LGA Chairman, a State Officer, Zonal Officer, and from there was appointed to a National Board member, and only left PDP three months ago and now leads the castigation of PDP.
The House you live in was built through PDP, the one you built for tenants was gotten through PDP, your car was through PDP, your children you trained in the University was through PDP, and still you come out to shame yourself and course yourself, thinking you are fooling the masses.
You were a Ward chairman of PDP, the wife you married was through PDP, the motor cycle you are riding was through PDP, the little two bed room apartment you live in was toiled through PDP, and you come to Facebook and post “these PDP people are useless, we shall deal with them one by one”. So, you think your village people and now following your idiocy? Tomorrow, you will call your Ward members together and swear that your new party is the best and must be voted for. They knew you had nothing four years ago, but became something after serving PDP as Ward chairman for four years? People are not fools. They know you will do something to APC sooner or later.
This was not how the likes of Dr Sam Mbakwe, Prof Ezeadi .O Ezeadi, Nze PC Onuoha, Dr Basil Nnanna Ukaegbu, Chief Mike Ahamba, Chief Onyeso Nwachukwu, Chief RBK Okafor and others played their own politics.
Politics should not been seen as a place for “anything can go”. Politics requires sacrifice, tenacity, perseverance, and dedication. Whatever we do today, our children are watching.
I have seen people who Eight months ago were shouting “Hope” is “Hopeless” today preaching with the other side of their mouths. When you ask why they were saying a different thing yesterday they will simply answer “O boy na game na!”
In all these movements and castigations of PDP, has anybody heard the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma criticize any political party or person? It is infact his appointees who rake up problems for the Governor by thinking that they only way their principal would recognize them is by insulting and hauling abuses on people.
Mind you, a political party is just the vehicle which takes a politician to his targeted political goals. Therefore, anything can happen tomorrow.
Chief Rochas Okorocha was one of the Governorship Aspirants of PDP in 1999 but could not make it. He later formed Action Alliance AA, moved to All Peoples Party APP, later returned to PDP. But it was in All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA he realized his ambition to govern Imo State.
Today, he is among the founders of All Progressive Congress APC. And this his political movement may not have ended yet.
Governor Hope Uzodinma ran for under Alliance for Democracy AD as Governor in 2003, with Dr Ikedi Ohakim as his running mate.
He tried again under various PDP primaries and failed. But today many years later it was under APC he is made a Governor.
This is a lesson to these overzealous inexperienced, but old politicians who delight in biting the fingers that fed them. Tomorrow is very unpredictable, as nothing is certain in politics
For those who are throwing tantrums at PDP, the party is gradually passing through it toughest periods, which APC is yet to go through.
Imo PDP has conducted its Ward and LGA Congresses, remaining the State Congress which would have been done if not for the Covid-19 lockdown.
But Imo APC, after winning the Governorship Seat, will soon conduct its Congresses. And that is when Imo APC’s resolve to mange crisis would be tested. And mind you, there already exist a “cold war” raging within the party which will come open soon.
There are the Governor’s APC, Araraume’s APC, Okorocha’s APC, the Coalition APC and Others. And in 2023 Uzodinma, Araraume and Okorocha will contest elections. So, it is after the APC Congresses that we will know how cohesive Imo APC is, and not now.
Therefore, we should not be in a haste to judge which of the political parties in Imo State has collapsed. 2023 is still far and when elections begin to approach we shall know how far the APC and PDP can go.
However, PDP remains the oldest existing political party in Nigeria, may be with APGA. APC was just formed in 2013, with nearly half of PDP members, yet PDP remains strong across the Nation.
So, you are under- rating PDP at your own peril. The matter remains that soon, all those who spoke evil about the PDP will still run back for accommodation because certainly, something will give with Imo APC, and if care is not taken, the implosion may lead to the party tearing to the seams.
And PDP has become a Roman Catholic Church where the absence of a few members does not stop service from proceeding.
Presently, those incharge of Governance in Imo State today are a “faction” of PDP, from the Governor to the least official of Government. Some of the Commissioners are still PDP members and yet obtain APC membership card. That is the real situation and a fact.
And for those who are running out of PDP with promised Gold and Silver, how many of the Araraume, and Rochas Okorocha men have been accommodated by the Uzodinma administration, despite their contributions in making him Governor?
How many of those appointed SAs, SSAs etc have gotten appointment letters and portfolios?
It is quite unfortunate that our politicians have forgotten all about ideology, but what they can gain from the system. Meanwhile, we are watching the drama as it unfolds.