GUEST COLUMN: Ayu: Of a Party Chairman’s Ignominious Exit, By Ozumi Abdul

Iyorchia Ayu

GUEST COLUMN: Ayu: Of a Party Chairman’s Ignominious Exit, By Ozumi Abdul

AREWA AGENDA – In life, there are two major times when logically one has to bow out or throw in the towel honourably. And the two vital occasions are when the ovations are high, and when you are on the cusp of losing it all.

Now, let me explain the two extensively with corroborating examples.

One can bow out honorably when the ovations are at its peak to avoid being found out. In this instance, the intelligent and well-informed need to bow out honorably to tacitly evade the embarrassing ‘law of diminishing return’, which can easily rubbish one’s cumulative records of good and fantastic performances that have spanned perhaps several years.

In corroborating this therefore, the scenario that saw the legendary former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson resigned impromptu almost a decade ago, having graced the Old Trafford club’s dugout for over two decades readily comes to mind. That was exactly during the aftermath of 2012/2013 season, having won the club’s last EPL laurel.

Recalled that in the 2011/2012 season, the preceding one that Sir Alex retired, the then ’emerging’ ‘noisy neighbour’ (Manchester City) from the blue half of Manchester had pipped United to the EPL trophy, on goal differences in a dramatic fashion, on the very last day of the EPL after United had bottled up their five-point lead over their arch rival with just five games left to the end of the season.

Irked by this disappointment, Sir Alex Ferguson quickly realized that he needed a proven go scorer, and thus swiftly reacted by getting his man in Robin Van Persie from Arsenal during that season summer’s transfer window, and the rest was history.

Van Persie proved to be the missing jigsaw in the United’s previous season, by scoring loads of goals in the process that contributorily won United and Sir Alex his thirteenth and last EPL laurel respectively.

Then after that season, the Scot shocked the footballing world by announcing his retirement impromptu,and bowed out of the round leather game honourably, with ovations still at their very highest.

Since the Scot’s retirement, United had not won the EPL, and the closest they came was finishing in a second position behind their city rival, Manchester City with nineteen-point gap.

Definitely, if Fergie had decided to stay on for perhaps another two seasons, his records would have undoubtedly be shattered in tatters, with the coming of City’s rampaging and marauding Pep Guardiola into the league.

So, that’s how to bow out honorably when the ovations are still loud.

Another major time to bow out is when one is losing, and there are no iota of signs in sight that he or she might regain momentums to win from the losing position.

Thus, the best thing to honourably do in this instance is to rid yourself of your sharp fang ego, adopt the ‘damage control’ tactics by putting wedges on the wheels of the vehicle that is on a free-fall from contouring into the deep trenches of your enemy.

This is more wiser than being stupidly egoistic and arrogant.

For instance, it is only naturally wise for an archer who went on a hunting expenditure in a lion-infested forest to retreat, because the string of his bow is getting weaker, and also with just a spear left in his spears-sheath to avoid being ripped into shreds by the kings of the jungle.

That’s not weakness but rather wisdom, because there is always another day to fight.

Having laid the above analogical foundation, permit to quickly delve into the thematic discourse of this piece.

Naturally, post election era should be the time for a political healings, and mending of fences across various conflicting political interests.

However, the reverse appears to be the case for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), that has been suffering from lingering internal wrangling, even before the 2023 general elections.

The crisis in no small measures stymied its chances in not just the 2013 presidential election, but also the national and state assembly elections, as well as gubernatorial election in several states, with Benue state being a leading example.

The crisis is deeply rooted in the allegation of imbalance in the composition of the party’s leadership positions which seems to have northern dominance with Ayu as national chairman of the party and former vice president Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate.

The rebellion in the party was/is spearheaded by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, with the support of four other governors and some prominent leaders of the party, who have since been calling for the chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu (from the north) to resign his position for a southerner to assume.

Ayu’s well-documented and widely published decision to stuck by his gun, and thus remained the PDP’s chairman, despite the dissenting demands of the G-5 governors that one of the conditions for working for the party’s presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the February 25 presidential election is for (Ayu) to relinquish his position to a Southerner, is a political miscalculation on the part of Ayu; and even the fact that he allows the crisis to fester by being at its epicenter, which made the party vulnerably crestfallen months to the presidential election is a political suicide.

Who says the electoral fate of Atiku, who appeared to have contested his last to become president wouldn’t have changed if Ayu had yielded to the demands of the G-5 governors and they work unanimously for him (Atiku) in the presidential election?

It beckons on Ayu to have been premonitorily proactive enough to understand that sooner or later, he will vacate the position irrespective of the outcome of the presidential election, and throw in the towel and then resign during the heat of the protest for his removal/resignation by the G-5 governors.

The unnecessary ado about nothing would have been permanently laid to eternal rest, because it was basically unnecessary.

Like the Yoruba adage, “igba wo ni maku o’oniku?” The proverb is a rhetorical question of sort, that loosely translates to mean Mr. Maku will eventually die, why keep avoiding the topic of mortality?

Generally, Ayu’s ouster as the PDP’s chairman had long been scripted clearly, platitudinously and crystal clear on the wall even before the election even though if he pretended to be ignorant of this.

He was only lulled by the lullaby of lust for power, avarice and egoistic aggrandizement to have fought dirty, bought time for himself till after elections, when he “stepped down” from his position.

Summarily, Ayu lost the battle by contributing in no small measures to his party’s loss at the presidential poll by the virtue of his refusal to honourably resign his position as the party’s national chairman; the reason the G-5 governors refused to work for Atiku,the presidential candidate at the poll, while also losing the war in an unceremonious fashion, by his suspension and eventual “stepping down” as the party’s chairman. He lost on both fronts.

Indeed, there is always a time to bow out and still be relevant without losing it all. Unfortunately, Ayu failed to discern when the ovation was the loudest for him.

Ozumi Abdul is a staff writer at PRNIGERIA and can be reached via [email protected]