Friday 12 February 2010

Nigeria: Goodluck left the PDP out

The visit

The members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party in Nigeria met with the acting President Goodluck Jonathan for two hours soon after the houses of the National Assembly passed the resolution for him to take authority.

In those two hours, it appears the acting President kept his cards close to his chest and did not inform these people of his plans to reshuffle the cabinet.

For 78 days, the global news wires mistook the atrocious preponderance of party political needs over the Nigerian Constitution for the due process of succession and handovers when the President is incapacitated.

Party arrangements

The fact is the alternation of leadership between the Northern indigenes and Southern indigenes of Nigeria was primarily an ungentlemanly and undemocratic fudge within the ruling party for the purposes of their self-serving cohesion.

This arrangement held the whole country hostage even though they all knew before the President was selected for election that his health was frail and where that frailty took hold the inevitability of Goodluck Jonathan acting in his stead was sure.

So, they really did feel out-manoeuvred when the acting President did not give them the opportunity to foil, interfere or know of his plans.

We felt left out

He could hear the wailing and lament of one of the leaders in the following comments, in intersperse those comments with some commentary, as taken from the Punch news story – Cabinet reshuffle catches PDP unawares [1].

We were there for about two hours in the night and throughout our discussion, he (Jonathan) did not raise the matter with us.

They were there to scheme as they had schemed for the passed 79 days and for once the man in charge felt it necessary to keep the matter to himself – we felt left out.

That was why some of us were making calls to journalists on Wednesday to confirm the information that some ministers had been dropped.

There was a disconnect somewhere, how could he not have told us about this, we could be losing control of the party agenda and the country taking priority – we felt locked out.

We were surprised

As I told you, we were with the Acting. President, but the members of the NWC were not told. It came to us as a surprise. This can be verified from some of the calls which some of us made to you members of the media, trying to ascertain whether what we heard was true.

We really could not believe it when the information got to us so we called the press to squelch it but found out we really had been out-manoeuvred – we felt kept out.

It is not that the party is against what the Acting President has done; but in the past, the party was always in the know.

Usually, the party decides what the president does, we make the decisions and tell him what to do, the president is not supposed to have the initiative – we have really been locked out here.

The buck used to stop with us

He is the Acting President and Commander-in-Chief, the buck stops with him.

This is a new development we no more have control of the agenda, this is serious – we are off the gameplan.

We certainly will not control him on how he does his things; he is in charge, but it is fair to let us know, at least for an input.

We are busy thinking of how to deal with putting the Nigerian Constitution above party interests, we used to control the President and dictate to him what he did, we were in charge, it is so unfair to take away our interfering, unpatriotic influence on the government. An input really should read our orders – this is disastrous, maybe Nigeria now has an independent President.


[1] The Punch: Cabinet reshuffle catches PDP unawares

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