“I always tell people that even if you conduct presidential election 100 times and bring angels from the moon to conduct it, PDP will still win. Because as a human system, there may be some errors or flaws…but there is no other party today that I can say has a bigger followership than the PDP”. VP Jonathan Goodluck
At a time when the controversy surrounding the health of President Yar’adua continues to dominate political discourse in the country, Vice President Jonathan Goodluck, last week took time to remind Nigerians that politics remains the central plank of daily life in Nigeria. For those who see him meek as a lamb, Jonathan Goodluck displayed serpentine and venomous fangs, when he responded to some of the political issues of the day. At the heart of the problems is the fate of Charles Soludo as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2010 governorship elections in Anambra State. The reader might recall that Soludo had been scandalously imposed by the party barons without any pretence at democratic niceties. But in Anambra state, nothing is as clear as it might first appear.
Most of the party members in Anambra were unhappy at the manner of Soludo’s imposition and were determined to stall it. The courts seemed to have backed the resolve of Soludo’s political enemies, much to the chagrin of the PDP machinery that is much used to a lawless format to the political process. They always seem to go scot free anyway so why should it be different this time? But there were different issues, much like a witch’s brew, that threaten the hegemony of the PDP; and that was why Goodluck had to expose the poisonous fangs of the party man whose interests are facing jeopardy in Anambra state. “My conviction is that of course INEC cannot stop PDP from contesting the election”, said Goodluck. But why would the vice president issue a non-veiled threat against the electoral body? Is there no love lost between the party and Maurice Iwu’s INEC, especially when taken against the backdrop of the quixotic displays of independence in recent times by Maurice Iwu, the controversial electoral czar?
To make a sense of the unfolding scenario we have to dissemble Iwu’s own interest in the matter. There are reports that all is not well between Soludo and Iwu and therefore he was just too happy to become head of a “lawful” INEC for once, by obeying the courts and therefore trying to ensure that Soludo’s candidacy does not appear during the elections. It seems obvious that the PDP is aware of this element of the political jigsaw and that informed the “INEC cannot stop the PDP” threat by Goodluck Jonathan. On the other hand, Maurice Iwu has a second chance of doing the biddings of his master, Nnamdi ‘Andy’ Uba, who suddenly re-appeared in the governorship race as candidate of the Labour Party. If the reader remembers, Dr. Chris Ngige had informed Nigerians on the eve of the 2007 elections that he read Iwu’s only wish in a church record and that was for Nnamdi ‘Andy’ Uba to become governor of Anambra. The fake doctor Uba had single-handedly been responsible for Iwu’s emergence as electoral czar in the first place. Iwu’s INEC acquiesced in the banning of all that might stand in the way of Uba’s emergence and so over-zealous was Iwu’s INEC that Uba was awarded more votes than there were registered voters in the 2007 polls! Thanks to the Nigerian courts, Uba was thrown out after two weeks.
Conditions have changed and in the context of the confusion reigning at the heart of the nation’s political system, Iwu is trying to exploit the weakness of the ruling regime and its confusion to pretend to have discovered the “Independent” attached to the electoral body he heads. That is why he has been throwing broadsides at the PDP and in the same breath hoping to facilitate the candidacy of his “oga”, Nnamdi ‘Andy’ Uba and hurting Charles Soludo and by extension his PDP. The PDP will not take such blows to the body hence the frontal manner of Jonathan Goodluck’s response to the unfolding event in the political scene in the country. It promises to be an interesting prelude to the dirty politicking that 2011 will bring to the country.
If anybody feels the situation might find sanity, Jonathan Goodluck foreclosed the basis of optimism with his statement that angels from the moon cannot prevent the victory of the PDP, not even in a hundred times of electioneering! Nigerian politics defies logic and common sense, because this is the only country in the world where the more a party inflicts suffering and poverty and pains on the people, the more they “troop out” to vote for that party. In Nigeria, the people hand power to the PDP and wring their hands saying here we are make us suffer even more. Bring angels and even they will join the chorus that more suffering should be inflicted on the country and who else is confirming that but the country’s vice president; not for him the programs of his party but its size! Nigeria is a huge prison where the PDP holds the people hostage and not even angels from the moon can set the hostages free; now that is Jonathan Goodluck’s “very original” contribution to Nigeria’s political evolution!