Face-Saving Formula

The Dimapur Municipal Council may never be able to work in the way it should function given the ugly turn of events that has now divided the very council right down the middle. Worse still, for the ruling NPF government in the State the present power struggle has only exposed the party as never before. Clearly now it appears that two factions have emerged on the political landscape and the way the drama is unfolding it is becoming a high stake political game of one upmanship. The resignation of three DMC members from their respective parties and joining NPF (read Hewoto Awomi) will no doubt only make matters more difficult for the NPF party high command. For the beleaguered DMC Chairperson Vikheho Awomi it is a development that will now strengthen his position both within the DMC and also in the NPF.

Whether or not the Parent NPF Party will take disciplinary action against its dissident members inside the DMC remains to be seen given the fact that as many as seven of the NPF councilors have appended their signature to the petition demanding the ouster of the Chairperson and his Deputy. Clearly the tactical move of Hewoto Awomi to get along three DMC members into the party fold will push up his standing within the party. 

Against this backdrop, any move by the party high command to endorse the dissident group may only create further problems within the party set-up especially in Dimapur, which no doubt remains the source of strength for the NPF.

Coming back to the No Confidence Motion, rest assured that even if one group comes out on top of the other after the vote the damage done to the functioning of the DMC by this latest power tussle is now almost beyond repair. In such a situation it would be better if the District Administration itself takes over the municipal and instead call for a fresh election. But this may not be legally feasible as the group claiming majority support will have to be given a chance to prove its majority on the floor of the house.  Taking into consideration all these factors, it will be best if the matter is resolved at the party level. 

At the end it would be in the interest of the NPF party if the President can immediately call a sitting of the party leadership and hold serious deliberations with his colleagues to reach an amicable settlement on the differences so that any further damage to the party is stopped. If the two warring groups can agree to a formula of rotating the post of the Chairperson such an option should be seriously considered. The NPF may not have too many options at the present moment and from all account, the only face-saving formula remains a power-sharing arrangement. There are at least greater chances that the DMC may be able to work to some extent on the basis of mutual agreement and cooperation. A winner-loser situation for either group may only cause more turmoil and make the DMC a dysfunctional body. Whether the party high command ought to intervene and whether the No Confidence Motion should at all go ahead are questions that it would have to address immediately.