Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century, coined the term Realpolitik in his 1953 book, Grundsätze der Realpolitik angewendet auf die staatlichen Zustände Deutschlands (“Principles of realpolitik applied to the national state of affairs of Germany”).
The argument Rochau presented in his book is that might is not necessarily right, and the understanding of this is what he termed Realpolitik.
Saying that former Vice President Namadi Sambo, by virtue of his position as a former Vice President, has might, particularly within the PDP because of their tradition of respect to former and present leaders of the party, is stating the obvious and therefore moot.
But, going by the concept of Realpolitik, the question is, is the might of Sambo right in this National Youth Leadership tussle of the Peoples Democratic Party?
It is a known fact that Namadi Sambo, after leaving office, have stayed away from PDP activities. Ironically, he has been observed moving closer to the ruling APC.
Of all Namadi’s APC allies, one of his closest buddy is the former Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Sidi, who defected from the PDP to the APC in 2019.
It is not a big deal that Namadi is friends with Sani Sidi. What is, is that Sani Sidi is seriously financing and bankrolling one of the contenders for the office of PDP national youth leader, Sani Shehu Usman, simply known as El-kudan.
What this scenario leaves me to ponder is, is the APC playing PDP or is it the PDP that is playing APC? Is H.E Namadi Sambo trying to deal the APC a blow by luring Sani Sidi back into the folds of PDP, using El-kudan as the bait? Or is the APC trying to have a foothold in the PDP NWC by having someone like El-kudan, bankrolled by them and therefore indebted to them, as a puppet in the PDP National Working Committee?
Recently, on the occasion of moving into his new home in Abuja, former Vice President Namadi Sambo invited some of his APC friends to welcome him. Also invited was H.E Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 polls and also a former Vice President of Nigeria on the PDP platform like Namadi Sambo.
As a smart politician who erroneously believes in the right of might, former Vice President Namadi Sambo also wanted to use the occasion to drum up support for his National Youth Leader candidate Sani Shehu Usman, aka El-kudan.
Atiku, the unwilling participant in this scheme had to sit there, with a forced smile, and take pictures with APC stalwarts like Sani Sidi. El-kudan, the man basking in the support and petrodollar of APC had the biggest gleeful grin on his face.
But, this writer must caution, that readers should not rush into conclusion that El-kudan will be a stooge of the APC after they have bankrolled him into the PDP NWC. El-kudan, after becoming an NWC member, if he wins, might use that leverage to bring his financial master, Sani Sidi, back into the PDP.
If the latter is El-kudan’s strategy, then one cannot fault him because, though he enjoys the blessing of H.E Darius Ishiaku, the Taraba State governor have wisely refused to fund his campaign so as not to be seen as dabbling into the affairs of the North West PDP. El-kudan needs to fund his campaign, and to him, it doesn’t matter if the funds comes from the APC.
This move by El-kudan of getting campaign finance from an APC stalwart is one of the reason why I posit that he is more of a politician than the 25-year-old Muhammed Kadade. In his youthful fanaticism, radicalism, and loyalty to PDP, Kadade will rather lose the election than collect a penny from the APC. This is innocent naviety though because, is the PDP ready to accord him such level of commitment in return for his loyalty?
Well, the outcome of the National Convention will tell if the PDP rewards fanatical loyalty to the party or if it believes that might is always right and the end justifies the means, unlike what Ludwig von Rochau posited in his classic that might is not necessarily right.
Will PDP leaders and elders play Realpolitik or not, time will tell.
_This piece contains the personal reflections and musing of the author, Dr. Simeon Nzimiro, PhD_