If the question is asked, would the PDP win the 2019 election? The answer is yes. However, they need to ‘shine their eyes.’ If they don’t, they will miss their way to victory. And this would be due to blurred vision. What do we mean? First of all this. The South-West must be told in plain terms that they don’t singularly deserve the chairmanship. It is not their birthright. The chairmanship was actually zoned to the entire South. All the South-Westerners needed was to persuade stakeholders to give them the choice of first refusal. They cannot demand specifically that what is given to all be given them as freebie, as jara.
But even more important is that the South-West may now have come into things that may turn out to be bigger than national party chairmanship. And what is that?
First of all, it is important for all stakeholders in the PDP to come to unsentimental self-knowledge. If they do, the logic of reality will run as follows: The elephant as a game can only be shared when it has fallen. The elephant that has not been hunted down cannot be shared – except in your vain imaginings. So the greater point, the best strategy, is to put everything into bringing down the elephant and not in gathering the pumpkin, as Okigbo would say. If you don’t, thunder may strike and shred your poorly held up wishes for the nothing they are.
In other words, the greater task is not who becomes what or which region a particular power falls on. No, the greater task may be to sack and dismiss the APC from power and history. That is, what should preoccupy the PDP now is what best battle formation will help them rout the APC. The answer, if you asked, is by being the best national party that the voters can bank on. And how do they go about that?
They should, in consensus, micro-zone the vice presidential slot to the South-West. However, they should go about to assure the South-East of its roles post-victory, after the elephant has be fallen. [The South-East is the presumptive guy for the Vice Presidency]. Maybe the Senate Presidency and whatever else will be specifically and specially be assigned to the South-East post-victory. This will serve as a compensation to their sacrifices at this hour.
And the idea can be sold. All that is needed is to approach the matter the way it should. If that is achieved and the South-East buys in, the following will happen. The new all-Nigerian stakeholder inclusiveness of the PDP will constitute a pincer movement against the APC. And APC would be choked to death as a virulence whose terms are finished. APC is just too sectarian to run shop for the next four years. They just need to quit.
Implied in this pincer-strategy is that the PDP should not approach the election in the narrow term of the rejection of Buhari and APC. That is only a part of it. Equally important must be the clear-eyed disposition of the PDP to geostrategic mapping. If they do it right, they can bounce around the numbers.
The details are as follows. If President Muhammadu Buhari runs with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Yoruba, as typical players, will go for and with the homeboy. You may call this our homeboy positive effects. [And this is on the option that the PDP runs a President/North, Vice President/East ticket].
But if the PDP runs the pincer-option the worst case scenario for the Yoruba is, ‘we won’t get it worse in PDP government.’ We will at the worst get it even. But that is a worst case scenario. What is, however, feasible is that the PDP government will be a more pan-Nigerian venture than the APC can ever be. The APC, to repeat, is too insular, too sectarian, too bigoted, and too narcissistic to do Nigeria any good. For example, the near total collapse of the Nigerian security blanket is a fallout of the nepotism of APC. All the top security brass are almost to the last number from one extraction. That is, in a fairer federation, the Yoruba and indeed everybody else will get a better deal than they are getting now. Thus it can be said that the Yoruba have lost nothing in image, in prestige and in real terms, if the PDP won, pincer-wise.
A related fact is that a new face has to be chosen from the South-West. The fact of a fresh surprise could help galvanize South-West voters and lock them in for harvesting.
Also important is this: It is the media. The Premium Times reported a story that at the PDP convention, some journalists were not accredited. The Premium Times implied it was just poor logistics. That is, the Premium Times or any other news shop wasn’t targeted. It was just poor media logistics and apparently poorer media relations. Now, the PDP has a new kid in town. Uche Secondus has arrived with his team. Sure as hell, it will pay the PDP to be media-savvy, logistics and all.
Of pundits and moonlighters
And this is for our television stations. But we shall begin with Channels. Channels, professional assessors agree, is the best we have about here. They have been winning the Best Television Station of the Year for the last 10 odd years, back-to-back.
But like virtually all other television stations, they make this one mistake. We illustrate. On the matter of the PDP election of Uche Secondus, Channels chartered in one lawyer. His name, if one recalls well, was Dwala. He was characterized as a Lincoln’s Inn-trained lawyer and stands in as a legal pundit. And that is excellent. However, he is given a moonlighter’s window. He is and also doubles as a public affairs pundit.
What doesn’t immediately make sense is how a super lawyer and pundit on legalisms can also be a public affairs or policy analyst. One, to be pundit, you need to be expertly trained and specialized in any given area. Now, public affairs and or policy, just as law, is a specialized area. And to be pundit in public affairs as in law, you need specialized training and continuous retraining.
There are specialists, experts, in public affairs as there are in law and legalism. Today, the era of renaissance wisdom or competence is gone. Aristotle, for instance, is reputed to be the last man who read all the published books in his day. It is just that with the present vastness of knowledge, aka specialties and sub-specialties, it is no longer feasible to hold expertise in any two separate disciplines.
And as Dwala was talking it showed. First he lacked the register to talk and critique public affairs and politics. All he delivered was an expert’s roadside perception of matters beyond his expertise. At best, his was an unwise wisdom. At his worst he looked ignorant and pitifully biased. And he gave the impression public affairs is something you learn on the streets, something you don’t go to college for.
Well, one won’t know if Channels was trying to rationalize costs, buying two for the price of one. If not there is no point pushing Peter or Dwala beyond their levels of competence. One, it is a gross drain on our human resources as audience, time and all. Audiences are not paying television cable fees to watch alleged experts stray into areas they know little or nothing about. And two, it doesn’t make for comparative advantage. If Channels can’t get to give us expert’s opinions let them run adverts, play music or even go blank. Why? We already have a superabundance of common man’s opinions at our beer parlors, the marketplaces, the villages, and offices, etc. So why gift us with spittle when we are already drowning in the pond?
Let us give one example. Dwala’s comments on unity list is wondrous, to put it mildly. The point is that there is no democracy in which there are no caucuses and sub-caucuses. In fact, caucusing is what defines politicking and power sharing. And it happens in Washington, London and Tokyo. Its best illustration is in Japan, one believes. In Japan, where there is actually a one party rule – Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) has virtually been in power continuously from 1955 to date but for a few year. With LDP, caucuses rise and caucuses fall, but the LDP rules. That is, the presence of a list of caucus members is not suggestive of corruption as Dwala asserts in his confident but wondrous unknowing. There may be corruption, but caucuses are not causal or correlated links. So the lawyer Dwala has to prove corruption, if any, but that must be independent of a list or caucusing. It’s imaginable that if Dwala was properly briefed in public affairs and history, he would have been more circumspect with his uncircumcised claims.
Anyway, nobody should blame him. This is Nigeria. Out there in America, Europe, Japan and China, before you turn up a [television etc.] pundit, you would have written books, critically well-received books, in that given area. But here, you can come up with a NEPA or utility bill and you will be voted anything – including legal pundit, public affairs guru, moral majority leader and articulator. Here oratory is deemed as insight.
Lest we are misunderstood, we are not saying citizens should not air their opinions on anything, not excluding rocket science. All we are saying is that that should be bundled under entertainment, not policy television. And finally, Nigerians must now be warned: A bleeding heart is not evidence of genius. That you are concerned doesn’t make you informed, not to speak of expertly so. For Dwala, next time you are asked what you don’t expertly know, better excuse himself and return to your lawyering. That is how Americans do it. You don’t deliver common knowledge with expert postures. ‘’That is obtaining.’’