By Oluwole Josiah

The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is at the throws of self suffocation, arising from a political milieu that was endemic in all political parties. The idea of “regional equity” as promoted by Mr Mimiko and his cohorts in the PDP was also dealt with by the APC, LP and other parties attempting to make impact in the coming general elections.

This pursuit of balance is a fair view of the peculiarity of the nation’s political space and reality, with the goal of ensuring inclusiveness and togetherness among the diverse ethnic and religious entities.

But the political permutations and calculations which attended the primaries of the APC and the PDP tended to truncate the peace in focus. The Atiku emergence is viewed by many in the southern divide of the nation as a violation of the understanding of a rotational presidency between the two geopolitical hemispheres. This is not respecting the fact that the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, from the South South, is the Vice Presidential candidate. The fact remains that the issue is the presidency.

In the APC, the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu appeared to be the clincher until he made a choice of his running mate in Shetima, the former governor of Borno State, tilting the religious balance in favour of Muslims. The unprecedented fireworks and mischief that followed has left putrefying sores all over the party.

What the constitution provides for has been well satisfied by all parties involved, however, what equity and morality requires is what is in question. Driving this end of the stick deep into the minds of those running the PDP is the herculean task Nyesom Wike, Mimiko and others are grappling with.

The trouble with stubbornness is the damage done when trying to uproot it.

Wike and his admirers in the party are stubborn. They have given a condition, demanding the resignation of the party’s Chairman, Iyiorchia Ayu, to resign to make way for proper balancing. Ayu and his supporters are stubborn and unyielding. This is damaging the PDP’s chances ahead of the elections. It appears that the party leaders do not see Atiku really winning the presidential election and so are not so perturbed by the ongoing battle of egos.

So, when the about 440-member campaign council list for Ondo State was released during the week, and the name of Mr Mimiko came up tops, the confusion was almost a relief. But he bursted it when he declared his stand and dissociated himself from the committee.

Mr Mimiko, through his media aide, John Paul Akinduro, in a statement on Wednesday rejected his inclusion as “Leader” of the team.

“Dr Olusegun Mimiko has been inundated with calls and messages from the general public, and his political friends and concerned individuals around the nation; and in particular, his teeming supporters across the length and breadth of Ondo State, seeking clarity on a fake news making the rounds since yesterday that he had ditched Governors Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde and their colleagues governors, and abandoned the agitation for regional equity within the PDP; and in particular, making a party member of southern extraction its the national chairman before the 2023 election,” Mr Akinduro said in a statement.

“The report and the list that triggered it, are fake and a deliberate attempt to muddle things up and smear Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

“It must be stated with emphasis that Dr. Mimiko was neither consulted by anyone nor consented to his inclusion in any Ondo state PDP Presidential Campaign Council list.

“For the avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, Dr Mimiko is unwavering in his commitment to the principle of equity, fairness and justice through which he believes a credible push for a PDP victory is possible

“He fully subscribes to the agitation by his colleagues and other stakeholders in PDP and the generality of Nigerians that the PDP structure must reflect Nigeria’s diversity, if it genuinely wants to unify a visibly divided country.”

The corollary, therefore, is that Mimiko will campaign for someone in 2023, but that person may not be Atiku Abubakar. He is standing on the same platform as Wike, who has been rumoured to be in favour of APC’s Tinubu.

Should this be the case with Mimiko, we might have a repeat of the 2011 debacle where Mimiko as the Labour Party Governor in Ondo State, ran the campaign of Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP – A combination he smartly devised and executed.

If this movement gains further momentum and with the connivance of other southern PDP governors, the party is done for and should be ready to stay out of power for the next eight years. We should doubt that after such prolonged exile, the PDP will ever be able to stand as a major opposition party in the country.

While it is late to change presidential flag bearers, the party can do a quick remediation by acceding to the demands of the violently vocal groupings within the party so as to boost it’s chances of winning the 2023 presidential election. The truth is, this battle is certainly going to leave behind a residual adverse effect on those running for other political offices. The party is set to lose in a big way if something urgent is not done NOW.

Wike, Mimiko and others may have their way. If the party survives this after all, they can resume the battle when the time comes to share the booty. Otherwise, the seismic effect of the coming implosion is certainly going to drown all the dramatis personae. Neither Wike, Makinde, nor Mimiko will survive the outcome.

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