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Published On: Wed, Dec 3rd, 2014

Automatic ticket: The anguish of PDP senators

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President Goodluck JonathanBy Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators have eventually landed themselves in an excruciating dilemma, over their threats to shutdown the economy and government if President Goodluck Jonathan refuses to give them automatic tickets to return to the Senate in 2015.

On one hand of the dilemma is the vehement refusal by the PDP Governors Forum to allow the senators have access to the automatic ticket, on the other hand is that the senators have lost popularity among Nigerians due to the threats which has confirmed the lawmakers’ selfishness; as politicians who do not care about the interest of the people that elected them.

Since the inception of this 7th Senate, the overbearing partisanship with which the PDP senators handled critical national issues that pinch Nigerians, left much to be desired among ordinary people, hence the current love lost between the senators and their constituents.

Now that the chips are down, the chicken has come back to roost, but Nigerians, in whose purview lies the remedy for this whole drama, have rejected granting the chicken access to the roost.

From the situation at hand, it is obvious that the hands of President Goodluck Jonathan (in whose interest the PDP senators exhibited this crass partisanship, even when it is uncalled for) are seriously tied by the Governors of the party.

Of course, a serving President, who is desperate to cling on to power for the next four years and who has apparently developed the phobia of being the first serving President to loose election, would never do otherwise than what President Jonathan has done to the PDP senators.

Political analysts have submitted that as long as Nigerian politics is concerned, the Governors are the field commanders. President Jonathan also admitted this in Dutse, capital of Jigawa State, while commissioning the newly built Jigawa International Airport.

Even though senators can assist in the work for victory, but the fact is that it is the Governors that win elections for any President in presidential elections. To this end, no serving President, who is as concerned for a second tenure as Jonathan, can afford to toy with the Governors, who are the architects of political victory for their respective parties.

Since the beginning of November, when the PDP lawmakers in the upper chamber made this threats and brought it to reality by shunning plenary twice, observers have conceded that such reckless decisions have in no small measure, further reduced the waning popularity of the ruling party’s lawmakers.

It is interesting to note that the gamble for this automatic ticket by PDP senators did not just start after the ward congresses. The outcome of the gamble is a product of a well thought out scheme, well executed by the PDP lawmakers since they came on board in 2011.

Though a truce was purportedly reached between the aggrieved senators and President Goodluck Jonathan, who promised to wade into the situation, this promise has been described as a political makeup aimed at appeasing the lawmakers not beyond the conference hall.

The PDP Governors have equally tackled President Jonathan over the alleged promise, as they reportedly threatened to abandon him if he succumbs to the cajole antics of the PDP senators.

The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, who is bent on going to the Senate by all means, has equally said that the senators clamouring for automatic ticket are only afraid of standing before their constituents due to their poor performances in the Senate.

There are reasonable arguments by political pundits that if the automatic tickets are handed down to the PDP senators, it would alter the zoning formula which is already in place in some states.

Observers have also highlighted that indiscriminate automatic ticket for lawmakers will have negative political consequences on the electoral fortunes of the ruling party. This is bearing in mind that the PDP senators who will come into the Senate, would be ensconced in legislative laxity, hoping for another automatic ticket by the end of 2019.

Currently, the ruling party senators have added a new twist to their vain fight for the underserved automatic tickets, which is the current impeachment noise in the Senate.

Apparently realising that their demand for automatic ticket has fallen on deaf ears, these PDP senators who have contributed no value in the lives of the poor masse, have resorted to threats of impeachment against President Goodluck Jonathan.

This they are actively pushing forward by riding on the back of few of their APC colleagues, most of who may not be aware of the rationale behind the impeachment agenda.

Speaking to journalists recently on the purported impeachment moves, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe north), admitted that the impeachment is being sold to Nigerians by a ver

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