By BALA B. BITRUS
Where an elective public office is converted or used for personal, pecuniary gains, decency and trust are inverted and subverted for avarice and corruption to thrive.
Those who often draw down gains from a public trust and from the confidence reposed in them, are often always ferocious in fighting any attempt to checkmate them.
Any public office turned for personal gains, the office is as well made a cash cow to milk it and it’s spoils of office.
The unfolding heat within the Peoples Democratic Party in Niger state, which has attracted attention of Wadata Plaza, the national headquarters of the party in Abuja is a case of the power of avarice fighting back those standing up against it.
A scenario where elected executives of a party from ward level to the headship of the party in a state, who were at the point of exiting their tenure, gave themselves pass marks and a fiat to continue in office for another term without allowing others to even obtain the party’s nomination forms to vie for the party’s leadership positions, is anything but democratic.
Such desperation to hold on to power, suggests there was more to it than the desire to offer oneself for altruistic services, for the good of the party and it’s expected electoral fortunes.
Where an office becomes a place for the occupier to use his position to either trade off the overall interest of the office or of those whose confidence is held in trust, the office is coveted for it’s spoils, hence the holder can do everything to retain his hold on it.
The arrow heads in the continuous calumnious attacks on the former governor and leader of the party in the state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu following his insistence that travesties and infractions must not be allowed within the party have led to fratricidal acrimony in the party in Niger state orchestrated by persons who have been drawing down personal gains and milking the party to their selfish gains.
The arrowhead and ego master of this crisis is known to have been going cap in hand to political heavyweights in the country including state governors of PDP extractions to source for “life lines” in the name of the party but which he siphons and converts same into his pouches.
No fewer than four state governors and one of Nigeria’s former Vice Presidents and presidential flag bearer of the party were contacted to doll out funds in aid of the party in Niger state in the recent past.
Beside this, the leadership of the party in the state from ward to state levels were roundly indicted by a committee set up by the party’s stakeholders in the state to evaluate the 2019 general elections in the state vis-a-vis the performance of the party after the election in the state.
The committee had found the executives of the party in the state culpable for shoddy, unethical party conducts, sell out and inefficiency which led to the abysmal performance of the PDP in the 2019 general elections in the state.
The committee headed by Hamidu Kadi Kuta, had asked that all the party executives be laid aside if the party in the state was to make headway in all subsequent elections. The then executives of the party, using its power, swept the report under carpet.
The PDP in Niger in the last few months has been entrapped in needless crisis, abuses and denigration of it’s stalwarts, elders and the leader of the party by young persons sponsored by influence seekers and political hawks who have positioned themselves to continue in office.
It is noteworthy to acknowledge here that the party in the state has had a power sharing or zoning arrangement which has subsisted over time.
The system supports power rotation amongst the three geopolitical districts in the state, (A, B and C) to produce interested persons for the leadership of both the party and the headship of the state in line with the party’s constitutional provisions.
Each of the three senatorial districts has local government councils, (not fewer than eight) who make up a senatorial district and the council areas are legible to produce persons to stand election for any executive office zoned to their district.
The contraption of micro zoning in the party was and remains a local arrangement for convenience sake but not a constitutional provisions of the party at the national level.
The argument by apologists and proponents of micro zoning system are oblivious of the fact that persons from any of the council areas within a particular district are free to contest for any elective position allotted to their zone.
Micro zoning cannot exclude anyone from the local government areas that make up a district or zone from exercising his/her inalienable right. Therefore any interested person from a district allotted the slot to produce a particular office is free to vie for the office.
The sweltering crisis in the party in the recent past has led to such bad blood that thugs were hired from other states to unleash mayhem on perceived foes at the venue of the party’s state congress last September.
The planned congress was disrupted by the hired thugs even before it got underway. Portions of the party Secretariat was vandalized. The thugs and their paymasters rejoiced, jubilated and danced around the Secretariat praising themselves and their paymasters for a job well done.
More invectives, hateful slurs and invectives were poured on the leader of the party who was not even around at the venue of the congress. Persons sponsored to denigrate him, acted on the scripts given to them to lampoon, abuse and maligned him.
The thugs in their hundreds, sang hailing praises of their benefactor, as they urged him to continue in office. They praised other co sponsors of their dastardly acts.
Some of the thugs briskly rose viciously against the giant size campaign billboard erected at the front of the Secretariat of the party. It belonged to the political rival of their sponsor and benefactor. Angrily, they tore it into shred and cursed those that were penciled down as their targets.
The electoral panel from the national headquarters of the party, looked on helplessly and had to be hurried out of the venue as the thugs surged towards inside the Secretariat.
Till date, the leadership of the party in Abuja, are yet to say a word, one month after the dastardly acts of wanton and willful damages, assault and thuggery sponsored by persons well known.