Date Published: 12/02/09
Rivers AC and Sekibo’s search for Alternative Platform: Matters Arising By Ifeanyi Izeze
An informed attempt to deconstruct the ragging controversy on the alleged defection of the former minister of transport, Abiye Sekibo amongst other politicians of Rivers state extraction to the Action Congress party (AC) show a strata of insincerity interlaced with lies, deceits and outright Machiavellian manipulations both on the side of the Rivers AC and the supposed decampees.
In theory (at least in Abuja), Awuse and Sekibo amongst other self exiled Rivers politicians are always welcomed back into the political fold. However, the reality on ground (in Port Harcourt) is murkier as their return poses great threat to the new crop of politicians at the helm of affairs at the home front.
From the tone of the statement of retraction of the planned reception for the decampees by the Rivers AC, Sekibo et’al were at the National Working Committee meeting of a political party in Abuja where they were welcomed and asked to go back home and strengthen the party ( AC/the mega arrangement). Though Awuse and Sekibo claimed that the meetings they attended in Abuja were those of the proposed mega party- coalition of several opposition parties, there are so many unaddressed issues by the claim.
This explanation can go for Awuse but not for Sekibo who being a PDP man had no business attending the proposed mega party or any other political arrangement being canvassed to wrestle power from the PDP at the centre come 2011. So what was he doing in the midst of supposed strange bed fellows if he had not or intends to join them? This is the big question he must answer.
In addition to the clear fact that the denial statements had all the trappings of any other political gimmick elsewhere, the phrasing of the denials particularly by Sekibo, as carried in the media seemed calibrated to allow a caveat for future counter explanation or re-denial but this is just an aside.
Understandably, Sekibo’s anger must have been rooted in a stanza of the Rivers AC’s press statement on the attempted re-entry: “In the case of Dr. Sekibo, I am pleased that he has chosen at this point in his career to join forces with the party of the future, a party that would gladly welcome him and put behind the memories of a time he sought to destroy it, especially with his and that of his masters like Odili and Obasanjo.
“In addition, I will however advise Sekibo that, considering his antecedents in politics, that he does the right thing by formally registering at his ward, instead of his futile romance with some elements in the National leadership of the party in Abuja. He must be guided with good intention in joining the party as if the plot is to use Rivers State AC to destabilize the Amaechi's Administration or take us back to the period of the Odili's legacy, then he may have us to contend with.”
Either deliberately or by mistake, the state chapter’s chiding of Sekibo was a clear mischief set out to clearly tell the former transport minister from day one that he was not coming to AC to hijack the party from Princewill’s grips. If the NWC of the AC asked the state leader to go home and prepare a landing ground for these erstwhile elder statesmen, there was absolutely no need of singling out Sekibo for the catechism of atonement for his past ( or rather ever green) sins.
Also, dragging Governor Amaechi into the controversy over an alleged attack against the governor by Sekibo was another mischief by the Rivers AC leadership.
The question is: if Sekibo had agreed to be welcome into the AC as originally planned, would the issue of the former transport minister’s position on Amaechi’s candidature or destabilization of the state have mattered? It was very interesting that it took Sekibo to deny any plan to decamp to AC for the party to come up with the code of conduct stanza in its reaction.
A latter statement issued by the AC concerning the position of the youths and women wings of the party sounded as a confirmation that Sekibo’s alleged coming into the party was actually interpreted as a threat to the leadership of the party in the state. If not, why would the “Rivers State AC Women and Youth Wing Rejoice, Pledge Solidarity to Princewill as Sekibo Recants Decision to Join The AC Family?” We are watching with keen interest.
There are pertinent questions that should help get a clearer picture of all sides of the controversy: Has Sekibo joined the AC at the national level? If yes, why was he so pained by the state chapter’s trumpeting of his cross-carpeting to the party? If Sekibo has not joined the AC yet, is he ‘exploring’ ways of joining in the future either through AC or the mega party arrangement? These questions must be answered to help halt the ongoing naked dance by the state chapter of the party.
Supposing the duo of Awuse and Sekibo amongst others finally cross-carpet to the AC or maybe the proposed mega party, what would Princewill do? What of the youths and women wing of the party that have vowed to move to another party in the state, will they actually decamp?
Although for sure both sides would have each other to contend with, the ongoing bickering will only produce one result and that is –strengthen Amaechi’s position come 2011 though he does not even need any political crisis in the opposition camp to win landslide in the April 2011 governorship race.
IFEANYI IZEZE, ABUJA (firstname.lastname@example.org)