The South-South/South-East Blew it

by Tunde Akinloye

From all indications, it appears the South-South and the South-East regions have finally shot themselves in the foot by blowing away what only a few weeks ago, seemed to be their best chance ever at producing a president for Nigeria.

Between Peter Odili, Donald Duke and Victor Attah the chances of the south-south producing a PDP flag-bearer was brighter and same can be said about the South-East which had Rojas Okorocha as a leading contender. Political watchers would have expected a last minute political calculus at the PDP convention that would produce one of these men as a common front at the poll judging by their individual strength, but they fell for the whims and caprices of the North once again. A further confirmation of the saying that “when it comes to the game of politics, the north plays it better”

But the ordinary man in the streets of Port Harcourt, Yenogoa, Uyo, and even Onitsha trusted his leader to fight a good battle at that poll ensuring that one of these regions produced the next Nigerian president. Or at least, be seen to have done just that. Only for such a leader to throw in the towel even before the start of the battle. What A shameless display of wanton disregard for their people who entrusted their future on them at the Abuja theater of shame!

And to imagine that just months ago, these same people shook Nigeria with their uncompromising position that they would settle for nothing except the presidency. Why don’t we have leaders who would say they mean and die for they believe? That is how good societies a built. Not through hypocrisy and politics of opportunism. I’m yet to see a society where lame men and cowardice remain political leaders but Nigeria.

Ours is a society where apologists and political leaper remain in the fore-front of public opinion. This same set of people will still parade corridors of power and even bag political appointments in the next dispensation. Mark my words.

Regardless of what has been said, Yar’ Adua’ selection is a tragedy for Nigeria. A man like Yar’ Adua would not have won the PDP ticket if Odili and his cowardly friends from the south-east and the south-south had not misled their supporters only hours to the polls.

South-south’s hope now lies in Action Congress to ensure that Pat Utomi’s political ambition is not sacrificed for Buhari in the name of coalition. And if I were any of the disgraces PDP apologists, I would make sure it happens for the region through Utomi.

Hoping that men of integrity from the regions would rise up now and make it happens.

By every standard, Utomi has what it takes to be Nigeria’s best president ever. one who would restore a good degree of respect to our national image and make things happen at the pace we should be moving. The youth of Nigeria at home and many Nigerians in the Diaspora believe in this intelligent man to prove to the world once and for all those we not just a bunch of illiterate dictatorial generals and money bag politicians leading a crime-ridden society. But again, please, don’t blow it.

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Anonymous January 2, 2007 - 2:36 pm

Kwushie is bent on umasking faceless. He is not interested in objectivity. He is only interested in knowing this faceless people who dare oppose him on the internet I think so that he can teach them a lesson or two. Your rant has no meaning Kwushue. We are not in a village square for wrestling. What do you want to do with the names. My friend the internet provides for anonimity and for what ever reason anyone can choose to remain anonymous. Your rant has only brought out your immaturity and lack of tolerance for other views. You have a view which is perfectly within your right just like others. Tell us what is wrong with other views without name calling and self righteous indignations.

Godwin Kwushue January 2, 2007 - 2:49 am

It is obvious that there are a few things I cannot stand, one is a man who goes up to the market place to advertise an opinion with a megaphone only to cover his face with his palm in order to obfuscate his identity. Such men are always out to dish out half truth or on a mission to misrepresent facts. Information from men who are not ready to put their name on what they say should be treated with a pinch of salt.

The world we live in is a school, therefore living in it everyday is an ongoing learning process and for that reason I am always willing to learn from people with superior ideas, however I shall not tolerate for one second any deliberate effort to dress up fallacies in the garb of facts. The writer of the initial article that. provoked my response wrote with the intention to mislead. I stand ready to shoot down those fallacies with facts and if you take that as some sort of intolerance, them you are right and no apologies either..

For once, Tunde Akinloye never mentioned Obasanjo as the immediate cause that warranted the South South candidates loss of PDP presidential candidacy nomination in his write up, nevertheless it was convenient for him to label South South candidates as pretenders, and he even asked where are men of integrity. Where was the writer when Obasanjo announced on the roof top before the press that he knows those who will not succeed him.

The most annoying aspect of Obasanjos attitude was he knew right from the word go that he was not going to provide a level playing field to all contestants so why didnt he let the men know that he was not going to let them contest the election. In all these Akinloye never saw Obasanjo as the problem, and in his wisdom concluded that, the South South contestants fell for the whims and caprices of the North once again. Akinloye also wrote What A shameless display of wanton disregard for their people who entrusted their future on them at the Abuja theater of shame. To say the least Tunde Akinloyes writeup is repugnant to good conscience and mean-spirited

On the issue of name calling, I have not done anything wrong, you have elected to remain anonymous in this matter, still you are protesting being addressed as faceless. I think you have a peculiar definition for the word truth and that is most unfortunate.

Godwin Kwushue

San Diego

Anonymous December 30, 2006 - 5:18 pm

It is obvious that kwushue cannot tolerate any argument that does not support his own views. In his view only his own argument can hold water. He calls Obasanjo a dictator but that is not in dispute. Obasanjo is just like kwushue who cannot tolerate a different view. Kwushue is full of excuses and his only way to make a point is to resort to name calling. Kwushue consider the arguments and counter the arguments objectively. Do not take things too personal.

Godwin Kwushue December 26, 2006 - 2:05 am

Dear Faceless Fellow,

It is just unfortunate that you are about to get me bogged down in a hopeless argument. Simply put, what you have suggested is that the governors should stand up to Obasanjos dictatorial attitude in an extra legal manner, heat up the system, and create a situation that could provoke a coup. If the South South contestants decided to sacrifice their personal ambition for the sake of peace, I think they deserve the respect of all and sundry.

In Orji Kalus case I think he suffered a personal loss in that he claimed he gave a check of one million dollar to Obasanjo for his campaign which Obasanjo confirmed to Nigerian press.

Your argument is useless and cannot hold water; that is why you have elected to remain faceless, good day.

Godwin Kwushue

San Diego

Anonymous December 25, 2006 - 3:39 pm

Godwin Kwashie may not agree with Akinloye's view and that is OK. However I do not see anything unkind in the article instead I think Godwin kwashie is the most unkind in this instance. If Mr Akinloye was commissioned to put a spin on the PDP primaries as Kwashie claims, why then did Akinloye refer to the emergence of YarAdua as a tragedy. Is it that Kwashie did not read this article well? or is he just venting his frustration on Akinloye. Akinloye just stated the obvious. The truth is bitter indeed. I make bold to say that the attitude of the east and south-south zone on the issue of the presidency is at best pathetic.

You make excuse for these men as if the excuses are tenable. If these men were sure of themselves and their records why did they not spurn Obasanjo and his PDP and join some other party that will give them a platform or at least a fair level playing field. Are we supposed to pity them because a dictator at whose pleasure they became governors in the first place has now decided to deny them the ticket to the presidency? Wake up Kwashie and smell the coffee. He who rides on the back of the leopard will sooner or later end up in the belly of the leopard. What Obasanjo did at the PDP convention or coronation, depending on how you look at it, is fair game and not unexpected. It would have been a bit out of character if the outcome were different. We are talking about the PDP here my friend.

It pains me to observe that the east and south-south zones have been their own worst enemy. Too much discordance. Obasanjo has used some of it sons and daughters to do his dirty work. He now convenietly uses them against one another. He has even found a new hobby of dictating who the governors and senators from the zones will be and no serious challenge has been heard from the zones. Those that should know better from the zones are silent and content with the variety of government patronage they have enjoyed under Obasanjo. Those from the zones who speak up are routinely ignored by their people (Ezeife and the likes). Orji Kalu who many will argue is a crook threw up the best challenge to Obasanjo dictatorial tedencies. Say what you like about him but his stand was courageous and should have been emulated. Tinubu is still standing in Lagos today because of the tactical support Tinubu enjoys against Obasanjo. Others from the east and south-south zones could have taken the cue from Kalu and work together to get a consensus candidate instead everyone of them choose to individually dance with the devil. They say if you must eat with the devil you must have a long spoon. Apparently these so called gentlemen from the east and south-south forgot their long spoon at home and so Obasanjo grabbed them by the wrist and blackmailed them into withdrawing from the primaries. There are men of worth from these zones. People who the late Mbadiwe would refer to as men of timber and calibre. Where are they? Why are the zones not rallying around them. Some of these men if put forward will be acceptable to majority of Nigerians and will be unbeatable. Men like Utomi, Anyaoku, Ekwueme etc. But what do we see. We see men from the zones whose only real purpose is to have some influence in the presidency as also ran. Only the rejects are showing their hands why will they not be beaten flat

Godwin Kwushue December 22, 2006 - 10:22 am

Dear Tunde Akinloye.

Your comment on the inability of south south candidates to clinch PDP presidential ticket at their primary is infantile, it bespeaks lack of depth in your political analysis and exposes an unacceptable level of bankruptcy of evaluation that your mind suffers.

Truth as the saying goes is sacred and the lines between facts and fallacies are not thin enough for decerning minds not to spot same, even when there are deliberate effort on the part of some individuals to blur such lines.

Instead of trying to put those helpless gentlemen from the South South on the spot, I expected your writeup to dwell on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's undemocratic values. I expected you to phsycoanalyse Obasanjo as an individual and what havoc his level of intolerance, his inordinate desire to control and dictate everything has wrecked his government and the political party called PDP.

In the days leading to the PDP presidential primaries efforts of unapproved candidates to sell themselves to delegate in various state were minimized by activities of thugs and the police. At the venue of the PDP convention the South South candidates were barred from addressing delegates and on top of that, they were told that it is the decision of the president to prevent them from taking part in the election, so how on earth can any fair minded person locate the fault on these men.

Ken Nnamani the senate president suffered a worst fate as his home was invaded by a large contingent of anti riot policemen and the neighbourhood where he had his house in his state was also invaded by soldiers just to ensure that he is denied the opportunity to take part in the election, that is Obasanjo's model on how to be a good democrat.

You may also be aware of Audu Ogbeh claim that he was forced to sign document that suggested he has relinquished the chairmanship of the PDP at gun point. Surprisingly you talked about political calculus in your writeup, of what use is any political calculus with an opponent who is ready to call in soldiers to manage you and make your wishes amenable to his. We all are living witnesses to the kidnaping of a seating governor by the former inspector general of police.

There is no doubt that the economy is being mismanaged and financial scandals are wide spread the emergence of Yaradua and Goodluck is part of Mr president's game plan to live in peace after retirement because it is only the emergence of some lame ducks that would afford him the opportunity to continue to control things even in his sleep. It was this same kind of selfish mind set that saw the emergence of Shehu Shagari as the president on Obasanjos first hand over and that was when the destruction of Nigerian economy took effect.

In closing, I do not know if you have been commissioned by somebody to put a spin on the charade that took place at the PDP primary election. However I think it is most unkind to suggest lack of effort on the part of contestants from the south south, it is always an uphill task to pull the wool over the eyes of enlightened readers, a journalist with your training and background could do better.

Godwin Kwushue

San Diego

obi, USA December 21, 2006 - 5:43 pm

You count Rochas Okorocha put. Na so your disrespect for Igbo man reach.


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