By Halima Achi

The unfortunate demise of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi state was quite predictable. We had seen the handwriting on the wall and did not spare any reasonable advice. As Ebonyians continue to express grief over the systematic destruction of the party they once loved, those agents of destabilization are still cavorting in shallow political waters in the state.

Recall Olusegun Adeniyi in his insightful epic, “Inside the PDP Tower of Babel” published March 30, 2023 revealed how the “share-the-money” syndrome was the worst undoing of a party in opposition that merely mouthed its desire to return to power but demonstrated crass unwillingness to deal with the virus that was crushing its very marrow – corruption.

One would have expected the party to try and redeem its name even if just for posterity. It would appear, however, that PDP is quite comfortable in the mire. The party’s National Working Committee (NWC) appeared to have been too deeply marinated in corruption that it could not resist the bags of dollars that allegedly flowed into the Wadata House in bribes for nomination. It was allegedly so soaked in the mess that it lost every sense of inclusivity, negotiation and compromise. In overconfidence, its members walked stridently in perfidious arrogance goaded by the stupendousness of opulence freshly acquired from bribes money while the party in every state of the federation haemorrhaged.

Take Ebonyi state for example. Stakeholders had resolved on the power sharing formula that would both preserve the state’s fragile geopolitical balance as well as help root out APC from Ebonyi. That was before an intruder, one Mr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, bought his way into the governorship race with packets of freshly minted dollar bills splashed on the occupants of Wadata House. It would later be revealed that the young man might have been recruited to help frustrate the ambition of Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim who was contesting against Atiku Abubakar for the presidential ticket of PDP.

Dr Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman, seeing through the young man’s unconcealed antics was convinced that there was more to Odii’s ambition than met the eyes. In a well-attended stakeholders’ meeting held at the NEC hall and attended by the entire NWC as well as Ebonyi PDP stakeholder, Ayu openly ordered Mr. Odii to shelve his ambition and allow the real members of Ebonyi PDP choose their flagbearer. That was before he (Ayu) was bitten by the dollar bug though. Once he had eaten the vile apple, he turned a blind eye, ate his words and played along.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had allegedly been introduced to Odii by one of his errand boys, a certain Silas Onu. At the meeting, Odii was alleged to have assured Atiku that he (Atiku) would not have to spend a dime in Ebonyi for his campaigns. Odii promised to underwrite every expense. Atiku, in turn, allegedly convinced Ayu to rally support for Odii in Wadata House in utter contempt for the person of Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, the undisputed leader of the party in the state. How could PDP so choose to cut its own nose just because it wanted to spite its face in Ebonyi?

Unfortunately, the dollar-oiled conspiracy found acolyte in one of the foremost party leaders in the state, Dr Sam Ominyi Egwu who allegedly had also been sold the fluke that his bid to return to the Senate would entirely be bankrolled by Ifeanyi Odii. Egwu had also allegedly been promised the position of Senate President should Atiku become president. In its appearance, Aso Rock was only just waiting for Atiku and for Wadata House mercantilists, Atiku was a goal. It was on the strength of all of these, perhaps, that Egwu threw caution to the winds.

As we know, all you need for fowls to gather is throw some corn. Ifeanyi Odii had quite some corn the source of which is still a subject of controversy. Needless to say he gathered quite a bunch of hungry fowls. What were you going to tell someone who believed that money indeed answereth all things? Odii was so deluded by his money that he despised every wise counsel. But in Ebonyi, much like many other states, geopolitical balance is a superior consideration. It was not the turn of Ebonyi South to produce the next governor. Period.

One of the founding fathers of the state, a traditional ruler dethroned by then state governor Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu but who still wields enormous influence across the state reportedly gave Odii what should have been a saving counsel. Odii had gone to seek his blessing for his divisive, ill-fated mission. The elder statesman was said to have bluntly told the Wadata-appointed PDP gubernatorial candidate that the state was founded on a charter of equity which is now being destroyed by moneybags. But, like a headless chicken, Odii ran heedlessly, not deterred or even phased by any of the words of His Royal Highness.

If Odii’s mission was to destroy PDP as it would appear was the case, one can safely say he performed maximally. Ebonyi PDP has become one of the numerous collateral victims of uncontrolled thirst for dollar denominated bribes in the Wadata House of Corruption.

Halima Achi writes from Abakaliki

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