The secrecy behind PDP presidential candidate and Atiku running mate Peter Obi—Charles Novia

When it became clear last Sunday morning in Port Harcourt at the
PDP convention that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would be the
Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, a flurry of
lobbying and political ingratiating began.
Prominent politicians from the South East who had hitherto
believed the ticket would go to another candidate but Atiku, began
to fall over themselves to congratulate the Waziri with beaming
smiles and hearty and sometimes theatrical laughter and
backslapping with Atiku, in a show of optics.
Hardly had the sun set that Sunday, than social media became
awash with pictures of Atiku and his proposed running mates. A
surprised Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala saw her picture as a potential
running mate and sent a quiet message to a nosy enquirer that she
was happy in her present endeavours and not interested. Professor
Soludo also saw his name shortlisted by the press with Adewunmi
Adesina and Peter Obi. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu
also had his name on the wishlist. Even an unlikely Olisa Agbakoba
was touted as the running mate.
As the feverish musical chairs continued all week in a frenzy, I
warned in a post that the names were all speculations and that at
the end of the day, it would be Atiku himself, after adequate
consultations with the PDP hierarchy, who had the final say.
And that’s what happened.
Atiku consulted and made his decision and chose Peter Obi, whose
emergence as the running mate has been massively received with
accolades.
One would have thought that with Peter Obi in the saddle, everyone
by now would be thinking of improving on planning and strategies
for the campaigns in unison but politicians would always show
their alternate spoil sport colours as they are wont to do.
An earlier statement by Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State
congratulating Peter Obi was angrily withdrawn by Umahi as
reported, stating a grievance that he and other prominent members
of the party from the South East were not ‘consulted’ before the
choice of Obi was announced. The statement by Umahi, to
experienced body language readers, seems like one from a spoiler
rather than a slighted. It has thrown up surprise, condemnation
and derision of Umahi from many in the polity, especially those
from the South East. It just doesn’t make sense. And if it makes
sense to only Umahi and his sulking group of rebels, perhaps some
home truths have to be told to them so they can get the larger
picture.
First, Umahi is diminishing his political stature by this show of
petulance. It’s bad enough that there is already a perception in the
larger polity that he, being an open self-professed Buhari admirer,
might be one of the PDP Governors ‘working for Buhari’ as the APC
has been alluding for months. Perceptions, once planted in minds,
are difficult to remove in the long run. Umahi should be
circumspect about blatant public outbursts which feeds a narrative
of internal betrayal by him and some acolytes within the PDP.
Secondly, I’m told there are some heavyweights from the South
East in PDP, shocked and disappointed like Tubaba’s ‘Amaka’, that
a Peter Obi was chosen over them, given their believed notions that
they are better choices. Indeed, anyone not chosen from that zone
would definitely be bitter but aren’t they missing the big picture
here? Atiku has made a choice which has been widely accepted
across the country across tribes and zones. That some cowboys
from Obi’s zone are up in arms against this decision fuels an oft
touted political notion in Nigeria that the Igbo nation kicks itself in
the balls at times when they are supposed to piss and foam
together.
One understands however that schemings and machinations are
part of the game and that the larger picture such cowboys are
looking at is likely the reality that the man who is now the Vice
Presidential candidate has a better advantage of getting a future
ticket for the Presidency within the next decade but one would
have thought that counting chickens before the eggs are even laid
is a futile exercise until the eggs get hatched.
I think a note of caution has to be sent to Governor Umahi and his
sour grapers. History judges with both a basket of bounties for a
work well done in politics or with a garbage bin for works which
seemed well done at first but became the self-immolation of that
particular worker.
It would best serve all interests in the PDP, especially from the
South East, to rally round the Atiku/Obi ticket to make it a reality,
than to huff and puff to bring thevhouse down.
Only that the present house is too solid to be brought down.

4 Comments

  1. Hmm

  2. Nah atiku I go vote 2019

  3. hmmm

  4. Okay o

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