After a long assault on the psyche of Nigerians, regarding the exit or non-exit, removal or non-removal of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the chicken has come home to roost. We are beginning to see why the “war” has festered.
The fight, it is now clear, is not about Ayu per se, but for deeper political calculations designed to ensure things work in their favour, come 2027.
The latest is that when the five governors came to Lagos two weekends ago, they changed their nomenclature and christened it “Integrity Group”. The quick question to ask is: Where is integrity in their activities and antecedents? Where?
The Advanced English Dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness.” Can we say our five governors possess the basic tenets of integrity? Do they, in their everyday activity, live by that high social and moral excellence?
My answer, with due respect to them, is that they possess no iota of integrity.
What a misnomer for them to describe themselves as men of integrity!
Let’s start from home. Mr. Seyi Makinde, Executive Governor of Oyo State, who incidentally in Lagos announced their rechristening, has literally not removed the log in his own eyes but wants to remove the speck in another man’s eyes. During the period of his nomination to contest as Governor of Oyo State, not a few indigenes opposed his nomination because both his predecessor, the late Senator lsiaka Ajimobi and Makinde came from the same senatorial district of Oyo State.
For Governor Ñyesom Wike, he and his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, come from the same ethnic stock in Rivers State. Even his anointed Governorship Candidate and the Running Mate for the 2023 elections are from the same senatorial district. Ditto for the Governor of Benue State, where the agitation against his nomination of a successor is more virulent. Ortom and the PDP Governorship Candidate are both Tiv, cleverly sidelining the Idoma and other partner nationalities in Benue State, who have never tasted the governorship. What an irony!!
Wike’s case is even more dishonest.
Senator Abaribe, former PDP Majority Leader in the Senate described the aggrieved G-5 governor’s as a bunch of “comedians” who left their states for Umuahia to come and raise a party flag for the state’s governorship candidate. Abaribe queried rhetorically: Is Wike now the National Chairman of PDP? The same way he came to Lagos to come and endorse the opposition APC Governorship Candidate. This is the height of impunity, political indiscipline and lack of integrity. Those who go to equity must go with clean hands. So says the usual refrain.
Part of their strategy is to whip up the North-South dichotomy in order to gain public sympathy. This sentiment has failed because, clearly, no candidate determined to win election can start organising a convention for changing party officers at this critical time.
The G-5’s belligerence has nothing to do with integrity. They are simply bad losers whose attitude has degenerated into an embarrassment to the party. They have refused to come to terms with the reality of losing the National Convention of May 2022. The “gra-gra” posture is a face saving device. Unfortunately, they’ve carried the joke too far.
The time for the five recalcitrant governors to retrace their ugly and dishonest steps is now. They have no integrity to lay claim to, talk more of calling themselves the “Integrity Group.” Anyone laying claim to the adjective INTEGRITY should possess very large doses of uprightness, honesty, rectitude, probity, good character, ethics, morality, nobility and decency. Can the five governors boast of these attributes? I doubt very much.
FORMER EDITOR OF PRIME PEOPLE AND PUBLISHER/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TODAY’S CHOICE MAGAZINE (TC), COKER ONITA IS DIRECTOR, INFORMATION AND STRATEGY OF THE ATIKU PEOPLE UNITED (APU).