PDP: The twists and turns of treachery

As Senator Ali Modu Sherrif fights on to retain his position as chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nigerians are divided in their opinions. While those against Sheriff accuse him of malicious intransigence and deliberate obduracy, added to the unsubstantiated allegation that the governing party, APC, was surreptitiously stoking the raging political inferno that has engulfed the PDP, and using “Sheriff and his fellow renegades to destroy the party and prevent it from reorganizing itself so as to provide credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State  gubernatorial election and the 2019 elections,” the supporters of Sheriff on the other hand say he is fighting a just cause.

They argue that Sheriff has been terribly bruised and betrayed by those he trusted. Yes, the same PDP governors who enthroned Sheriff in February were the principal architects of the intrigues that led to the ouster of the PDP chairman, a few months later in Port harcourt, Rivers State. Unarguably, the worst kind of hurt is betrayal because it means someone was willing to hurt you to achieve an aim, self-serving interest. And the saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies. Betrayal comes from those who we trust, our loved ones, closest friends, social and political allies. There can never be betrayal without trust; two different things that walk hand in hand!

It is, therefore, obvious why Sheriff feels too hurt and is fighting on. Sheriff feels he has been cornered and tied to a stake. He cannot run. But  he has to stand and fight like a bear. But as he fights on, Sheriff must realise that what is happening in PDP is neither peculiar to PDP nor strange to our polity. Political parties have severally betrayed their members. Party members backstab and betray one another at will. Above all, political parties and their members have serially betrayed the electorate.

According to Benjamin Disraeli, “there is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour”. Meanness, blackmail and subterfuge are a few tactics our “honourable” members and political parties often and effortlessly deploy to revoke the promises they made to the electorate and more often than not, against one another.

The innate treachery in the Nigerian politician and his inordinate desire to cling onto power at all costs easily manipulate them into deadly intrigues and vicious competitions with one another. Thugs, youth groups, cultists and some times security agencies are wheedled into taking sides. In all, the Nigerian people are the losers.

To cling onto power, a governor, former two-time House of Reps member who has completed eight years of two terms would insist on single-handedly picking a successor against the wishes of the people and provisions of his party’s constitution. What a betrayal!

Except a few like Chief Martin Elechi, former Ebonyi State governor, most of the former governors succeeded in foisting their anointed ones as successors. Their anointed ones, as we know, are usually neither those with pedigree nor those who declared interest to ‘serve’ their people. The anointed ones are never the hardworking and popular Aides, but the reluctant political neophytes often wrongly considered suitable for a stooge.

The anointed ones are not usually people like Cordelia in Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ who would prefer sincerity by telling her father who was about to give up his power and divide his realm amongst his three daughters that she “loves him as a daughter should”.

The anointed ones are usually people like Goneril and Regan, corrupt and deceitful, who lied to their father, ‘King Lear’ with sappy and excessive declarations of affections to gain power and wealth, only to turn back at the benefactor.

The irony is that the ‘anointers’ or godfathers never lasted with the ‘anointed’ or godsons. And like ‘King Lear’, they live to regret the extra-procedural tactics they deployed to ensure that the godson emerged.

Treachery, backstabbing and betrayal in Nigerian politics show clearly that what is of primary importance to the politician is permanent interest, not permanent friendship. Theodore Orji, Ochendo global was Chief of Staff to Chief Orji Uzor Kalu then Governor of Abia state for eight years. Theodore Orji succeeded his boss as Governor of Abia State. It never ended well with them.

In a piece titled “The Chameleon in Theodore Orji”, former Abia Governor, Orji Kalu wrote “Is it not sheer wickedness and the height of meanness for him  (Theodore) to station his boys at the gates to my houses in Abuja, Lagos and the village to write names of people who visit me and report back to him?” “I still do not believe that it was the same Theodore Orji…. that is hauling abuses at me on daily basis and walking the corridors of power like a colossuss”. “He calls me all kinds of names and uses every available medium to castigate my person”. “He tells anybody he encounters…. that I am his sworn enemy”.

“No God-fearing person would go the level he has gone in seeking vengeance, if indeed I had done any wrong against him”. “All I know is that I trusted him”, Kalu wrote.