PDP needs Wike’s wacky ways?

PDP needs Wike’s wacky ways?

There has been some controversy over the response of the Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike to a comment from former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that he had always clinched the party’s ticket and expected to do so again by saying that it suggested that Atiku Abubakar was taking PDP convention delegates for granted.

The controversy is understandable but unnecessary.

Atiku Abubakar was simply asked about his confidence in his chances of getting the PDP ticket and it’s standard practice for candidates to present a bold front under those circumstances.

Did it imply that Atiku was assuming that the PDP delegates were wrapped around his finger? Well, nothing about his PDP presidential pursuit history offers a basis for this because Atiku Abubakar has only been given the PDP presidential ticket once and that was in 2019. He’s a founding member of the party and has a powerful network and significant influence but he knows he’s always going to have to convince his party members and work to keep them on his side. He just had to sound confident and project authority and that’s okay.

With that being said, the response from the Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike was useful. To achieve internal democracy, it’s vital to have contesting party blocs keep each other on their toes and Nigeria desperately needs the Southern bloc of the PDP to be as powerful as possible to make it easier for the negotiations that allow for balanced policymaking. The Southern bloc of the APC has been little more than a group of sycophants and Nigeria has suffered dearly for this.

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Peter Obi and Bukola Saraki are exciting candidates but the consideration of Nigeria’s present situation suggests that Atiku Abubakar might be the favorite to emerge as the PDP candidate but it is useful to have competing power blocs that can offer checks and balances so we don’t have a repeat of the pseudo-monarchy that is the Buhari Administration.

With the electoral bill finally being signed and campaign season picking up as Nigeria looks forward to the 2023 elections, contesting parties are taking the stances they hope would boost their chances of meeting their goals. And those goals vary.

Some want to be elected while others (kingmakers) want to influence the elected.

Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar are both powerful and confident men who have been successful in Nigerian politics. Their personalities appear to vary somewhat with Wike being a more colorful and aggressive character but their success as politicians show that they have had some experience with knowing when to play hardball and when to shift ground so it’s expected that when a compromise needs to be made, all sides would know to do what’s has to be done to get electoral success.

Author

Eugene Uzor

Eugene Uzor

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