In June this year, writing under the title ‘Of Atiku’s sucker punch, Wike’s tantrums and APC’s only door,’ we said, “In reality, the primaries had long been done with because Atiku started early. He had those in control of delegates on his side. Anyone conversant with Nat Geo Wild documentaries on how animals hunt might have seen lions in action. The lions have those who lay in ambush to disorganise herds and those who shepherd the prey to the trap, akin to wingers in a football derby lobbing the ball to their main striker to score. Atiku’s people, like Adamu Maina Waziri, who is in the thick of the Wazirin Adamawa’s preparations, not only have delegates that can do anything for them but can hunt as well as shepherd others to be banked.”
Any serious campaign, just like any government that desires to succeed, must have people like Waziri in its heart. They are called “enforcers”. They go about with a whip in one hand and a carrot in the other. For a campaign or government to be successful, some people must be whipped into line and some cajoled. They know who should get what treatment, how, and in what dosage.
But to be fair to Wike, he did his best to bring Waziri, the man he cast as his “tormentor in chief”, to his side. When he started nursing the ambition to contest the presidency, he identified and singled out those who he thought could be vehicles for his journey. He wanted to bring to his side those whose influence was beyond their localities, those who could bring delegates to the table for one to emerge as the candidate, as well as plan for secondary success. Among those, he zeroed in on Waziri.
And so, in July last year, he invited Waziri to Rivers State to commission the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni unity road project. At the event, Waziri confessed to the “sour” relationship between the two of them.
He said, “I tell Wike I don’t like him and he tells me he doesn’t like me.” He even revealed how he refused to answer Wike’s phone call but he was beguiled into speaking with him before accepting to go for the commissioning event.
But Waziri refused Wike’s courting and overtures. Perhaps, being the serious person he is, he would have understood Nigeria is in a grave situation and that what it needs now is not a comedian or an egotistic dancing president full of himself, a man who thinks everything must start and end with him. A man-kid, who when denied anything, throws tantrums about like an infant denied access to his feeding bottle.
And so, Waziri was in the centre of the battle of wits that made Wike a loser. That they outsmarted him miffed him and so everyone that did not follow the prompting of the pocket emperor is an enemy that must be publicly traduced and ridiculed, while the person that defeated him must be made to lose.
One of the ways to achieve that is through disorganising the party. It was the same Wike that spearheaded the removal of Adamu Mu’azu from the north as party chairman and brought in Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who the party stakeholders had to battle hard to retrieve the party from.
He, later on, brought in Uche Secondus from the south. When he started nursing the ambition to be President, he removed him and then brought in Iyorchia Ayu, believing that he and Atiku were “sworn enemies” and so he would work for him.
Now he wants Ayu to resign. Just like that. But can it stop at just that? In the PDP, the deputy national chairman (1), national organising secretary, national treasurer, national legal adviser, and national youth leader all come from the region that produces the national chairman.
The positions of deputy national chairman (2), national secretary, deputy national secretary, national publicity secretary, national financial secretary, national auditor, and national woman leader go to the other region.
Therefore, if Ayu resigns and his office is taken to the south, what happens to the office of the national secretary? Would he resign and the office brought to the north, or would the chairman and secretary remain in the same region? Or should all positions be swapped as a result without holding any convention?
Therefore, this is a great constitutional crisis Wike is inviting on the PDP that would cause grievances, bad blood, apprehensions, and disenchantment, which, no doubt, would distract the party from its campaigns. It is plain mischief echoed by those whose intention is to cause havoc on Atiku’s chances. These are the things Wike is “bringing to the table”.
But with or without him, Rivers’ people know where their votes are going. He benefited from that; he became governor because of it and not because he is Wike.
Having failed to achieve constitutional mayhem, the next best way is to derail Atiku’s campaign by shooting down some of its arrowheads, one of whom is Adamu Maina Waziri. By attacking him personally and sponsoring others to attack him, Wike will hope to demoralise him, weaken his drive, and put a wedge between him and Atiku.
However, Adamu Maina Waziri is one tough nut to crack. Charismatic and full of confidence, weakening him through that means is not possible. Not every human being will go through his political experience and still come out with his confidence intact. Atiku, too, may not easily be hoodwinked.
And unlike Governor Samuel Ortom, former Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo and others held spellbound by Wike and afraid to move out of his lair, Adamu Maina Waziri wouldn’t give a hoot about what Wike thinks of him. Insults and blackmail do not hold him back.
Hassan Gimba is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Neptune Prime.