Chief Bode George, former Nigerian Navy top brass and Lagos PDP chieftain, evoked what EM Forster said of the military, in his novel, A Passage to India: for every problem the soldiers solve (at least on the political front, where they are ill-equipped to deal), they set no less than 10 others awry.
That much was clear from Chief George’s bluster that the PDP suspend its constitution, just to throw Iyorchia Ayu under the bus, as the Wike/Makinde/George bloc, in the raging PDP dispute, demand.
But don’t blame the “Lagos boy” who once bragged, as military governor of old Ondo State (now Ondo and Ekiti states), that Akure would know a “Lagos boy was here”! Rather, blame the military complex in him. As the psychologists say, folks’ real essence bubbles to the surface when a crisis cascades.
Still, it’s reassuring formal structures of the South West PDP (Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti, leaving out only Oyo where Seyi Makinde calls the shot) have shot down the “Ayu must go” crusade of the Wike bloc.
That they wouldn’t even deign Pa George’s suspend-the-constitution call any response would appear a salute to PDP itself, learning from own past foibles.
At the peak of its hubris, when Commander-in-Chief and PDP Leviathan Olusegun Obasanjo was decreeing his “garrison commander” over and above elected Governor Rashidi Ladoja, don’t be sure George’s rally wouldn’t have gathered traction.
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Indeed, the party organs, from those five states, would have been clobbered to impose the diktat, if it tallied with the then regnal presidential interests, party laws be damned! But we all saw how that preening pride came before a shattering fall.
Still, it doesn’t mean this path of legality would necessarily help the PDP electoral mobilization for 2023. Indeed, you don’t need any magical eye to realize the move could have been cynical legality, pressed by the PDP powers-that-be under the Atiku-Ayu axis, to protect own flanks in the ravaging intra-party war.
That it was a joint press conference by publicity secretaries clearly gave the game away. Still, the optics were still much better than junking the PDP constitution, no matter how momentarily, as Pa George suggested.
That brings to the fore lessons PDP is yet to learn despite its past debacle: that a cynical gaming of others often ends in collective ruin.
Atiku moved for a “northern” ticket, knowing a platform with party chair and party presidential ticket, coming from the same region, would gore not a few.
The Wike southern camp too gambled to throw the North the fob of northern chair, hoping for an easy harvest the presidential ticket.
Both have ended in a fiasco. The result is this PDP war without end.