By Chuks Osuji .
In any political process, the most constant thing is public opinion of the majority of the people. Since it was announced that the PDP zoning committee led by Governor Otom of Benue State has wittingly or unwittingly recommended to throw open the Presidential ticket, a wild fire of criticism, a plethora of condemnation and outright rejection of such recommendation has filled the Air . According to Walter Bagehot, a British Political scientist has opined , “ Public Opinion is a guide which controls the barometer of any political action . Therefore , what touches all must be approved by all, provided the majority opinion of the people is sustained All things considered”.
Furthermore, An American political scientist, David Easton, has opined also that “ Every organisation works like a system and every aspect of system must work in consonance for the body of the organisation to work systematically”.
What this means, is that today, if a public Opinion Survey is carried out among the Nigerian Public, the majority of Nigerians including those who are not members of any political party would submit that , indeed, the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should come from the South.” And in the past one year or so many Nigerians including those from the North have been feeling that since the out going President is from the North, , Equity , Justice and fairness would justify that , given the nature of our Federal System, the next President should come from the South regardless of political sentimentalism . A couple of weeks ago, I read an article posted and published by Chief Ozichukwu Chukwu ,one of the most experienced minds in the arena of political process, in which he discussed very excessively and succinctly that from the origin of PDP the rotation of offices between the North and South is the bed rock of the Party. Anybody whose brain is clear and mind pure who read that presentation no matter how bias or prejudice of the mind of the person would see that the concept of rotation is essential ingredient upon which the PDP was founded by its founding fathers .
I wish that my respected members of the public particularly “ those who are not born to rule “ would know that what Governor Otom’s committee did was indeed to hand over to APC a free ticket to the Aso Rock .
Although we all are not members of the PDP not all members of Nigerians are ,majority of us are no fools , we know what has been going on since the present National executive committee under Senator Iyor Chia Ayu came to power. Senator Iyor Chia Ayu has been a progressive mind even when he was still a Senator. However, according to Jim Reeves, a Western country Musician who said “ time changes everything, ” time must have changed Senator Ayu. There is no doubt that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar did everything possible that his preferred person became the PDP chairman, therefore such a blunder decision is traceable to Atiku Abubakar , who like Tinibu has a life ambition to become a President .
Without doubt, this blunder by Otom’s committee, if allowed to stand , will simply mean the PDP has handed over to APC a free ticket to Aso Rock . One may ask how can an individual aspiration determine the overall interest of the generality of the Nigerians ?However, there is a one solution and a saving grace and that is for the NEC of PDP should reject completely Governor Otom’s recommendation.
If it is accepted by NEC, APC should prepare for another Presidential innauguration, because PDP can never absolutely never never recover from this political suicide.
It was observed that before the meeting yesterday, Profs ABC Nwosu and Jerry Gana had incollaboration with their pay masters drafted what they purported to represent the views of the PDP National Zoning Committee in the previous meeting.
This was revealed to the meeting by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Ndudi Elumelu.
To the rude shock of some members, Hon Elumelu got up and wanted to present what he claimed was the draft resolution of the Committee for adoption. He was angrily shouted down by a two or three committee members from the South. Someone queried Professors ABC Nwosu and Jerry Gana why they hijacked the duty and responsibility of the Committee’s Secretariat to summarise our contributions and went ahead to draft resolutions for the Committee.
At this juncture, Gov Ortom took the microphone from him and started pleading with the house for calm and understanding.
Gov. of Enugu State, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was obliged to make contribution and he spoke along the line of his colleague, Gov Ortom on the challenges facing the PDP as the Party in opposition; as as the expectations and opportunities for the PDP to seize.
Thereafter, Gov of Taraba state was visibly angry and made reference to the submission of Bode George on the need for equity, fairness and justice to be reflected in all that the PDP will come out with.
However, it was Senator Jang ,former Governor of Plateau State who took very strong exceptions to the attitude of his colleagues and queried the justification and morality in what they were saying. He bluntly told everyone that what they are about to do by denying the South East Zone their God given opportunity to at this time of national distress to step in and rescue Nigeria is an act of hatred, cruel and unjust. Barr. Ibrahim Shema former Governor of Katsina State was unapologetic in his submission and quoted various sections of the PDP Constitution to support his position and insistence on Rotation and Zoning. As a former Deputy Chairman of the PDP, he counselled the Committee to adopt the strategies of the past in cases like this, Rotate and Zone as per the PDP Constitution, but that will not preclude those opposed to it from contesting because it is their constitutional right. By so doing you have upheld the party’s Constitution.
In the midst of grumbling, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu whose very brilliant and explosive memorandum had been earlier circulated took the microphone and made a very moving speech that provoked an outcry in the meeting. He challenged their minds with incidences, facts and figures while buttressing and reinforcing the submission of Governor Shema. He reminded all of the need for justness and sincerity. He spoke of the need to reinterpret the paper of Professors ABC Nwosu and Jerry Gana into ordinary language for them to become effective instruments for action. How efficient will they be. To whose benefits he queried. He went further to caution the PDP not to take the “sensitivities and sensibilities of the masses” for granted. He insisted that Rotation and Zoning are the pillars on which the PDP is anchored and what will happen in the event that the PDP jettison it and APC dusts it and embrace it. He cautioned the PDP not to engage in “fatal masquerading. Don’t let APC takeover the steering, the loading bays and tipping points ”
He laced his very impressive scholarly presentation with appropriate quotes the last of which was like to the PDP:
“What was, is no longer;
What is, is not worth preserving;
What will be, is not yet;
Let us not look elsewhere for the secret of our evils.
This is our chance.
The time is now, to immortality or decay”.
At this point Governor Ortom asked him, please what do you want us to do and he responded, Your Excellency, please let us do RIGHT THINGS RIGHT and Zone the Presidency to the South. At this juncture there was an uproar. Alhaji Sule Lamido spoke but the eruption attendant to Nze Ozichukwu’s bombshell. To those who became quite uncomfortable and apprehensive, he cited the “need for the diligently and sincerely cultivate the civilization of dialogue.”
We overheard him telling the Chairman that as a democrat he will sign the draft resolution not as a consensus document but as reflecting majority opinion though no voting by raising of hands took place but he heard the voice votes.
After the meeting, we wanted to seek audience with Nze Ozichukwu for more light but he disappeared.
By the time we went out looking for him, we were told that he had driven out with his driver.
Dr Chuks Osuji is a Public Opinion Analyst.