Posted by Osondu Ahirika | 4 February 2014 | 4,833 times
It was a mere update on his Facebook wall, but Elijah Bassey stirred eruptions in my thought processes. The post was: JUDAS LEAVES PDP, SATAN TO FOLLOW. And with a tint of sarcasm, he added: “See details in Soccer Star.”
I’m sure he was making jest of the latest defector from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Obviously, it was one defection too many. Robbed of the thunder it should ordinarily precipitate, Atiku Abubakar was looking gaunt, forlorn, embattled and marooned. He flaunted a portrait of a drowning politician rescued from the tempest of political storms whose high tide he could no longer survive.
Besides, we have had several other defectees who have since spewed the orgasm of political porting to its zenith. First, it was the five governors. Then, the Representatives and some State Legislators. Thereafter, the foot dragging surfaced in the Senate, and some Reps did a volte face and returned to their vomit, the PDP, restoring the party’s numerical supremacy in that chamber of the National Assembly. That’s where Atiku Abubakar’s case becomes an anti climax. Much ado about nothing.
Barely two four years ago, Atiku was running from pillar to post, canvassing for a waiver to enable him contest for the PDP Presidential Primaries. He had ditched the PDP for the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, when his boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, vowed to frustrate his desperate bid to succeed him in 2007. In Bola Tinubu’s party, he was unhorsed. The Turakin Adamawa was bypassed for the presidential standard bearer. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was preferred for the ticket. A bruised and battered Atiku sought rehabilitation in PDP after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and magnanimously, he got the waiver.
Commencing a menacing presidential campaign, his arch nemesis Obasanjo was to dismiss him with the three words that ever since became a sobriquet of sorts. “I JUST DEY LAUGH” OBJ said in reaction to newsmen seeking his view of the presidential bid of his erstwhile deputy. It didn’t matter; Atiku was the so called consensus candidate of North ahead of big names like former President Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Aliyu Gusau. OBJ clearly codified what that gambit represented: a huge joke.
On the day of nominations, a cocky Atiku took the dais and in his presentation, embarked on unprintable name-calling and diatribe against President Goodluck Jonathan. It came to nothing. Jonathan trounced him and went ahead to win the 2011 presidential elections. Still over estimating his current political strength, Atiku touted reinventing the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) machine he inherited from late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. It was even registered last year as a new political party. His associates ignored him. Unsure of what to do and certain he can’t muscle his way through PDP as at today, he seeks a cheap escape route and returns again to his vomit. Atiku had denounced Tinubu’s party as a regional party and said he was returning to PDP as a truly national party. Today, he crawls back to beg Tinubu. His road show in the name of consultations and visitation with All Progressives Congress (APC) governors was a mere playing to the gallery. Truth is, Atiku Abubakar is a fugitive in APC and he knows it. Tinubu and Gen. Muhamadu Buhari will not give Atiku that freedom he so desires to spread his peacock ego and dominate the arena. Pity!
The only disconnect is, rather than leave quietly and pursue their interest, Atiku and his cohorts try to clothe their private ambitions with national apparel. They arrogate to their clannish pursuits a collectivity and presumption of speaking on behalf of the rest of us. Hear him in his departure speech:
“More worrisome though is the danger posed to the continued existence of this country by this culture of impunity and arbitrariness. We continue to have threats from officially protected political extremists. Increasingly our people are recklessly being divided along the lines of religion, ethnicity and region for political gains. Our history and that of many other countries in Africa and Eastern Europe ought to teach us that this is very dangerous and must stop.
“We can and we must do better. Our people deserve better.
“It is against this background that we should understand the visit by the leaders of the APC and their invitation to me to join hands with them to save the country. Consequently, I have been consulting my supporters and associates, my family and friends for the past few weeks. My decision may not satisfy some of my friends and associates. In the end, however, I have to put the interest of our country first. This country has done so much for me personally and it deserves all that we can do to help rebuild it and serve our people better.”
My comment? Bunkum. Empty talk. Hypocritical. Boastful. Political jargon and balderdash. Atiku should go and rest. We have heard that over and over again from self-appointed messiahs who let us down after all the sweet talk.
One thing is becoming sure though: What is happening in PDP will in the long run serve the party for good. The spate of defections is a vindication: Call it canonization of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio; He had stated on assumption of office as Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum that the party would be cleansed of Judases within its ranks. I don’t know what purgative he, or the party may have ingested. It could be Reglo, Famlax or Doculax, but the anema is working and the Judases are getting counted. PDP should let them go and then rebulid, reinvent herself.
Is Atiku the Judas of PDP? Well, Judas walked out that night of the Lord’s Supper and betrayed his master and fellow disciples. Again hear Atiku: “...I and some other leaders and stakeholders staged a walkout during the party’s last convention in Abuja.”
Does that not say it all about the Judas(es)?
Obasanjo has said he is withdrawing from all activities of the PDP, though he is staying put in the party. Forget the pretense of begging him to rescind the decision by the party hierarchy. In reality, they pray earnestly that he throws in the towel too and joins the Chibuike Amaechis and Atikus of this world.
That takes me back to Elijah Bassey’s caricature. Judas has left PDP, Satan to follow soon. Hmmm! If you impute that OBJ is the Satan, you are on your own oooo!
Let me sign out on this beat by bringing on Anietie Ekong, who succinctly flays this latest political disgruntlement, saying: “With that declaration Alhaji Atiku Abubakar becomes Nigeria’s latest progressive and patriot. After all, it is only in Nigeria that a Progressive and a Patriot is anyone who is opposed to President Jonathan and can pour invectives on the President bandying such term as ‘clueless’.” Folks, I still dey laugh oooo!
•Osondu Ahirika writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo shows Atiku Abubakar.
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