By Festus Adedayo
IT may be impossible to love the gruff in his voice and the stridency of his calls. Or even the monotony of his defence of where he stands. On a critical look, however, you cannot fail to notice the presence of the concept of Lady Justice and the advocacy for equity and fairness in his voice. Nyesom Wike is the lone voice in the wilderness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who is relentlessly leading a battalion of advocacy for the return of reggae musician Peter Tosh’s equal rights and justice in the politics of the leading opposition political party in Nigeria.
As it stands today, the PDP, in its leadership constitution, body language and disposition does not seem to have respect for equity in its dictionary. In a flagrant disclaimer of Nigeria’s national mood, the PDP went ahead and picked its presidential candidate from the northern part of the country. Before then, it had its chairman and key officers from the same part of the country. It was expected that, as a mark of respect for equity, PDP would immediately, upon the self-immolating move of a northern presidential candidate, backtrack to a face-saving path of having a southerner as its chairman.
Its presidential candidate, however, immediately junketed back to his UAE home base, leaving the angst in the party to fester. Not only did the party leave the wound generated as a result of the presidential primary unhealed, but it also stood by while it festered. When Wike, who the party said was inconsequential, began to harvest politicians who ostensibly want him to jump ship and give their own aspiration fillip, the UAE-based candidate flew to Nigeria on a visit to douse the smouldering fire.
Wike may be your own definition of irritancy. You are likely to back up this stand with the unrelenting underscore of his contributions and relevance in the PDP. You, however, cannot forget the fact that when Atiku and other party commissars were jumping political party ships like a prostitute changing brothels, it was to Wike that all ran to quell the fire in the PDP all over the country. So when Iyorchia Ayu, the beneficiary of this inequity and injustice, was blabbering last week about some “children in their diapers when the PDP was being formed”, he forgot to say that that same PDP child would have died unsung in its infancy but for the Wike childminder who sang the baby soothing lullabies and provided him breast milk to avoid his infant death.
For those who advocate justice and equity in Nigeria, Wike is fighting their fight. How can a Fulani be leaving office after eight years and another Fulani would be his apt replacement? Not only does this tantamount to ethnic arrogance and impudence, but it is also the singular vermin that has stagnated Nigeria’s growth since independence. The way out is to call Wike and southerners in the PDP to the roundtable and arrive at an equitable juncture that will satisfy their yearnings in a federal Nigeria.
(Published by The Cable, September 4, 2022)