PDP’s Denial Of Gov. Nyesom Wike- Is It Right?

By Uzoma Nathan

Today, I’m on a political voyage to discuss political justice and fair play as it concerns the executive governor of Rivers State Chief Nyesom Wike. All my readers should read this article with a mind bereft of political resentment, rancour and bias. It’s only by so doing one can appreciate the inherent reality.

The science of rectificatory justice is the science that has equity as its object. It also means equity, fairness, fair play, just or being considerate in its various aspects. Even as old as the human society is, Aristotle who lived in the 4th Century AD, remarked the inevitability of equity and rectificatory justice in the social ream. Consequently, Edmund Burke infers, “Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society, and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all”. Justice is power and this power is truth in action. In my opinion, the search for equity, must follow certain and systematic process that is intertwined with fact. We all know that facts are series of events and an event is series of actions while an action is a happening. It may be a conduct by expression, consent, implication, acquiescence or ‘condonation’ by an individual. Action and non-action constitute a person’s reaction to a given circumstance no wonder Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary defines Equity as “Justice according to natural law or right; specifically, freedom from bias or favouritism…”

Aristotle in Book 5 of his (Nicomachean) Ethics[i] noted that “equity and justice are neither absolutely identical nor generically different”. Equity for him is superior to legal justice but not to justice as being a different genus. “Thus, justice and equity coincide, and although both are good, equity is superior. What causes the difficulty is the fact that equity is just but not what is legally just: It is a rectification of legal justice”. Aristotle further defined an equitable man, (a virtuous elite, an equitable politician and political office holder aspirant) as, “one who chooses and does equitable acts, and is not duly insistent upon his rights, but accepts less than his share, although he has the law on his side. Such a disposition is equity”. By rectificatory justice, Aristotle meant remedying an inequitable division between two parties by means of a sort of arithmetical progression- the mean relative to us (or to a particular situation and circumstance). Consequently, he ruled that “in arithmetical proportion the equal is a mean between the greater and the less”.

Equity is the oil that greases justice because it is an inspired philosophy of social justice; its characteristics include the tentacles of validity in syllogistic deductions and conclusions. It asserts and maintains that any state of oppression, repression, exploitation or suppression is not synchronous and is therefore out of focus of naturalism. For John Kennedy, “The achievement of Justice is an endless process”. It is Justice that renders to each one what is his and does not claim another’s property which informs why St. Augustine concludes, “The soul has four virtues whereby, in this life, it lives spiritually, namely, temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice. The fourth, justice is that which pervades all the virtues.”

In Nigeria today, I do not think that Gov. Wike is to be compared to any past and present Governor in terms of execution of projects and loyalty to party membership. Gov. Wike has shown that party is supreme; it’s in him that majority of us in PDP discover what justice and fair play is. He supported PDP when others abandoned the party. He speaks his mind and is loved my many, little did he know that he was the envy of few political gladiators. PDP would have suffered deep political atrophy and stagnation if not for his commitment. Wike played the role of a political father who believed in the constitution of the party hence he insisted on zoning. As a trained lawyer, his watchword before the PDP National Convention was the rotation of power between North and South. He insisted on fair play, justice and equity. Gov. Wike suits into the Aristotelian definition of “equitable man” as indicated above because he went to the extent of accepting less than his ‘share’ in order to strengthen the political process in PDP, yet injustice played out against him. Today, almost everybody in PDP is jittering and appealing to Wike to accept injustice. However, asking a man that believes in justice and equity to accept injustice is like the Carmel passing through the eyes of the needle. PDP is it right?

Equity is the basis of honesty. In equity and justice our honesty make us deal fairly with friends and foes without causing an unbalance that creates envy, violence and revenge, no wonder Aristotle say, “If a man is interested in himself only, he is very small, if he is interested in his family, he is larger, if he is interested in his community, he is larger still.” Gov. Wike is politically larger than anyone who is insisting on power going back to the North this is against natural justice. PDP is it right? One philosopher says, “Courage consists not in hazarding without fear, but being resolutely minded in a just cause.” Albert Einstein says, “Real human progress depends upon good conscience”. Juan Arias says, “I am free when I accept the fact that my life should be ruled by conscience”. Mahatma Gandhi concludes, “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” This is where Gov. Wike is finding it difficult to adjust. PDP is it right?

Confucius {550-478 B.C.} the Chinese sage, was asked if he knew a secret for happiness. He answered that he did not know any. Then another of his disciple asked, “Do you know any secret to ruin a country?” “Yes” Confucius replied, “When its rulers do not accept criticisms, equity and justice.” According to Martin Luther King Jr., “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right.” Is it right that a man who has stood in for the survival of his party to be treated like someone with less importance? PDP is it right? This is a question of the conscience and anyone who reads should attempt to reflect on it.

In Aesop’s fables, the philosopher (Aesop) told a story of the lion and the wild Ass thus, “A lion and a wild ass went out hunting together, the latter was to run down the prey buy his superior speed, and the former would then come up and dispatch it. They met with great success, and when it came to sharing the spoil the lion divided it all into three equal portions. ‘I will take the first’. Said he, ‘because I am king of the beasts; I will also take the second, because  as your partner, I am entitled to half of what remains, and as for the third-well, unless you give it up to me and take yourself off pretty quick, the third, believe me, will make you feel very sorry for yourself.” The above story by Aesop however reveals the true reason why Gov. Wike insisted on equity and justice in power rotation in PDP. PDP is it right? Anyone with conscience must fight for his right and no harm occurs to an individual who decides to trust God in the fight for justice.

Gov. Wike’s body language has been given different interpretations on our various national televisions and whatever decision he makes justifies his conscience. I quickly want to add here that if PDP as a political party fails to do the right things and handle Chief Wike with love and respect he deserve, I foresee what the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard called ‘The Anguish of Abraham ‘befalling the main opposition party in 2023. Any further attempt to evade political responsibility that is retributive will worsen the situation.

I wish to conclude this article by once more drawing the attention of my reader to another fable by the slave philosopher Aesop about an old woman and the doctor. According to him, “An old woman became almost totally blind from a disease of the eyes, and consulting a doctor, made an agreement with him in the presence of witness that she should pay him a high fee if he cured her, while if he failed he was to receive nothing. The doctor accordingly prescribed a course of treatment, and every time he paid her a visit he took away with him some articles out of the home, until at last, when he visited her for the last time, and the cure was complete, there was nothing left. When the old woman saw that the house was empty she refused to pay him his fee, and, after repeated refusals on her part, he sued her before the magistrate for payment of her debt. On being brought into court she was ready with her defence. ‘The claimant’ said she ‘has stated the facts about our agreement correctly. I undertook to pay him a fee if he cured me, and he, on his part promised to charge nothing if he failed. Now, he says I am cured; but I say that I am blinder than ever, and I can prove what I say. When my eyes were bad I could at any rate see well enough to be aware that my house contained a certain amount of furniture and other things; but now, when according to him I am cured, I am entirely unable to see anything there at all.” Those who have ears to hear let them hear!


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