FINALLY, the October 6-7 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be holding in Port Harcourt. There, some 3, 619 delegates will be electing their presidential standard-bearer and hoping that the conduct of the convention and the party’s candidate would help create a great and positive momentum to steer the party into retaking the presidency. A few days ago, however, the omens were not so good. Governor Nyesom Wike, fearing that party leaders were having a second thought about the convention venue — perhaps for fear that the governor and others might bring unwholesome influence to bear on the process — threatened everyone who stood in the way of the convention holding in Port Harcourt.
The misunderstanding has been finally resolved. The convention will hold in that great South-South city, and presidential aspirants appeared to have made their peace with the venue. But everyone must be embarrassed by Mr Wike’s outburst. The public must wonder what the governor stands to gain by cajoling the party into holding the convention in Port Harcourt. He and outgoing Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti had once formed a pact of steel to enthrone and dethrone party chairmen, oblivious of the fact that their errant behaviour was weakening the party. It took a number of lawsuits to help untie the knot that was immobilising the party, and restore it to some sanity. It is surprising that the impetuous Mr Wike has not learnt his lesson.
The Rivers State governor may have the funds to host and influence the election of a presidential candidate, and may have even entered into a secret pact with one of the aspirants, but there is nothing to show that he has the wisdom and temperament to coax the party into the right choice. His ally in conspiracy, Mr Fayose, has come a cropper, his exuberance and arrogance probably neutralized forever. If Mr Wike will not learn any lesson from the Ekiti governor’s fate, particularly about the transience of power, he will be doomed to repeat the tragedy confronting his now considerably weakened ally. The Rivers governor may have won elections and retained his popularity, but he has neither been a true democrat nor cared to embrace great ideas required to under-gird his legacy. Even if he has committed himself to an aspirant, it would not have been a bad idea to proceed with caution and patience.