Why Ekweremadu must resist any temptation to dump PDP
By Steve Oko
The media have been awash with reports of alleged moves by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu to dump his party – the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. Although Ekweremadu has roundly debunked the rumour, insisting that he is “still in PDP ” many folks are still unconvinced that the Enugu West senator is indeed “still with PDP body and soul”.
There may not be sufficient grounds to doubt the DSP, but one on-line commentator in a swift response wrote that Ekweremadu’s choice of words “still ” suggests that “for now he is in PDP but tomorrow may be elsewhere “. Some political pundits have also said that the rebuttal was not strong -worded enough to truly show his mind is still with PDP. The recent photonews where the DSP was in a handshake with the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole somehow heightened concern among some political watchers. Could the trending picture be a photo shop? Nothing is impossible in this age of technology.
Be that as it may, Ekweremadu deserves the benefit of doubt that his denial of any attempt to leave PDP is nothing but the truth. There is no gainsaying the fact that he has every right to be angry with the way he was allegedly treated by the presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar immediately after his emergence at the Port Harcourt convention considering Ekweremadu’s role in the former Vice President’s victory at the contest.
Although Atiku fully reserves the right to nominate his running mate without any external influence, there was nothing actually wrong with Atiku holding a kind of ‘cosmetic consultation or meeting’ with the South East PDP leaders before announcing his choice of running mate, at least to create the impression that he has carried them along. It must be re-emphasised here that the choice of Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate cannot be justifiably faulted by any reasonable person from South East or any region of the country considering his track records both in the private and public sectors. Obi is simply one of the bests if not the best that South East can produce for that enviable position as at now.
Neither Ekweremadu nor other PDP leaders from South East could have stopped Atiku from picking Obi, but as elders they should have been taken into confidence . Had Atiku, his confidants and of course the PDP leadership done the needful, the unnecessary hullabaloo that greeted Obi’s nomination would have been totally avoided. Those who allegedly grumbled over the choice would have been too ‘ashamed ‘ or afraid of the people to make their grouse public.
Nonetheless enough has been said both for and against the alleged discordant tones among the PDP leaders over Obi’s nomination. The time of blame game should be over. It is now time to unite and forge ahead at least for the sake of the major battle which is still ahead. This is the wrong time for self ego .Rather it is the time for more sacrifices and gallantry offensives into the enemy territory by all the gladiators if PDP truly wants to take over Aso Rock in 2019.
There are therefore, so many reasons Ekweremadu must resist any temptation or pressure to dump PDP. Understandably, APC may be reaching out to him with flamboyant promises but he must resist such enticement. He shouldn’t forget in a hurry that Senator Godswill Akpabio who was allegedly promised Senate Presidency before he dropped the umbrella for the broom, may be living in regrets today.
Similarly, Senator Shehu Sani of Kaduna Central who selfishly stayed back in APC when he was expected to cross over to the PDP along side with his colleagues is also today full of regrets after being used and dumped by APC. It will take only God for Sani to return to the red chambers come 2019 as he has been boxed into an obscure party.
Ekweremadu should not leave PDP because doing so may be suicidal. I am sure if he defects to APC some, if not most , of his loyalists will be unwilling to follow him. His popularity will invariably whittle down. A number of his fans will lose their respect for him as one of them and a collueage has already confided in me.
There are more far reaching implications of Ekweremadu dumping the PDP for APC now. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of his home Enugu State may be one of the immediate casualties as his re-election bid may be truncated. Ugwuanyi is unlikely to survive the APC onslaught should Ekweremadu join forces with Senator Anyogu Eze, the APC governorship flag bearer angling for Ugwuanyi’s seat.
Yes, Enugu State may fall into the waiting hands of APC in 2019 but Ekweremadu may not last long in politics. There are many probabilities. APC may or may not fulfil its promises to him assuming the party wins the Presidency. He may be used and dumped just like Sani and Akpabio. His integrity as a principled politician will also be at stake. He would have lost his popularity among his people.
He may however be lucky to preserve his personal political future but the regional interest of the South East zone may suffer. This is because APC does not seem to be serious with the promise of ceding power to South East after Buhari’s second term in 2023. Works and Housing Minister, Raji Fashola’s recent remarks /revelation that Buhari would hand over power to South West in 2023 should the zone vote for him in 2019, is enough word for the discerning.
It is now obvious that South East is closer to getting the Presidency under PDP. Even if Atiku reneges in his promise of ruling for only one tenure, his eight years will definitely be far better than four years of uncertainty under Buhari. That is why Ekweremadu should stay back in PDP so he doesn’t become a stranger in the new political dispensation.
If Osita Okechukwu, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria with all his anti-Igbo vituperations could be treated as ‘a slave ‘ today by APC what assurance has Ekweremadu that he won’t have a similar fate if he falls to the APC temptation? If the ‘Powerful’ Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in all his ‘ gragra ‘ and anti-Igbo postures just to play the good boy for APC could be so humiliated by the same party how sure is “Ikeoha ” that his case will be different?
Former Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State is still labouring in vain to come off the hook of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, despite his anti-Igbo utterances ostensibly aimed at curring favour from APC. It is yet to be proved that President Muhammdu Buhari or APC truly has confidence in Kalu as he wants the public to believe. Maybe Ekweremadu will get a better treatment!
Even if APC wins in 2019 which is very unlikely going by the indices on ground can Ekweremadu become the Senate President with Bukola Saraki in the Senate or will he just retain his position as DSP which he ordinarily would have no qualms retaining if he stays put in PDP? The inherent risks of dumping PDP now seem quite enormous.
Perhaps the more reason Ekweremadu should not dump PDP now is to avoid sending the wrong impression that he is embittered for not being nominated as Atiku’s running mate as some of his critics are already insinuating . It is certainly not in his political interest nor that of the people he represents for the public to have such wrong impression about him. Agreed that as the hieghst political office holder from South East he needs to be assured of his future in the event of Atiku /Obi victory in 2019 as South East may no longer retain the position of DSP, but maturity is needed in handling the issue.
It is time to prove his critics wrong. His political survival is not tied to being a Vice President or Deputy Senate President. As an astute and sagacious politician with a lot of goodwill he will certainly have a role in the coming political dispensation, after all age is still very much on his side.
Importantly, if there is anybody to dump PDP for APC, certainly not Ekweremadu who has sacrificed so much to sustain the party when others were leaving in droves. What is expected of the DSP at this point is to let go, allow the sleeping dogs and carefully watch against any political move that could be counter productive.
On the other hands those trying to take undue advantage of the situation to demonise Ekweremadu should desist from such efforts in futility. He doesn’t deserve the insults being hauled at him by some psychophants or those with insufficient knowledge of the goings-on. Atiku and PDP leadership should also not allowed the situation to escalate . They should, as a matter of priority reach out to Ekweremadu and others like him to reassure them because everybody matters at this point.
EndSteve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.