By Denrele Animashaun
“Nigerians are what they are because their leaders are not what they should be”
“They have not always elected the best leaders, particularly after a long period in which they have not used this facility of free election. You tend to lose the habit.”- Chinua Achebe
In Nigeria, politicians do not practise sportsmanship; they merely engage in scorch earth tactics in dealing with whoever they consider an opponent. It has now been evident in the way the People’s Democratic Party deals with those who will not toe the party line. They do not believe in the rule of law as it is clear from rulings they have violated.
The writing is indelibly on the wall that PDP is heading for the rocks, those that jumped ship have done so in spectacular fashion; former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, David Mark, Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and governors of Kano,Jigawa, Sokoto,Kwara, Rivers and Niger states have been absent and missing in action. There is definitely great decent in the ranks,so while Rome burns the emperor remains feasting in the banqueting halls.
It is uncertain what good the peace and the elders meeting will do to patch the great divide amongst the ranks. Things have got that desperate that Jonathan is calling off his media goons (Okupe and Gulak)to heel and he orders them to stop lambasting those who speak out against his administration and leadership. A bit late for that then closing the stable door when the horse has bolted.
So it is a situation of putting old wine in new bottles the ‘Old PDP’ and now the ‘New PDP’ are at logger heads. So the ‘old’ PDP is baying for the blood of the breakaway group they are litigating for no less than a custodial sentence.
PDP have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and they only have themselves to blame. From the sublime to the ridiculous, splinter groups open a new office /secretariat on September 4, and appointed themselves and the others into various offices constituting the PDP National Working Committee (NWC).
The Baraje group is making waves by attracting new members,basking in the bad publicity and adulating in the glory that the old ‘PDP’ are giving them exposure by the incessant infighting.
2015 may be a long way off but these warring factions have drawn a line in the sand and declared that it is all out war straight to the finish line.
You would have thought that they would be working towards endearing themselves to the electorate but no, the arrogant politickings strongly believes they have it in the bag and that the electorate will vote the way they are told. This time I hope that Nigerians prove them wrong in the ballots and reward them accordingly . For so long, the politicians have taken the rights of Nigerians for granted and trodden on it to exploit Nigerians so perniciously.
The grandees are deep in their necks in the mire, the power scuffle is increasingly unravelling and it has become very ugly, a free for all and no one fully in control. Yes, the roar from some quarters has become more than a whimper and they can no longer break bread in the same room. The Old guards, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida have been wheeled in to perform diplomatic hocus-pocus and bring the warring factions to meet with the PDP newly elected executives,but to no avail.
The chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor Godswill Akpabio, went as far as to defend the lacklustre dinner/meeting when he said; “Out of 23 PDP governors all the 17 are here at the dinner, there was no faction in our party, what we are experiencing is a storm in(side) a teacup. We will soon overcome it and reconcile ourselves”.
This man is very much in his own universe and how I wish we were all as gullible or deluded as Akpabio.
For good measure, the leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has been very vocal while speaking at press conference that if Jonathan is not re-elected come 2015 that the Niger-Delta cannot guarantee peace in Nigeria. It is this kind of blackmail of a whole country that speaks volumes that it is the welfare of all Nigerian and their will that matters not one of a group or class region or religion. This is has been the basis for our road to ruination. We cannot be held to ransom by the enemies of real progress. Making deals to divide us and pandering to one group over the other despite the failures is not a way to proper governance. This is not a game of thrones, this is our country and the future of our young that is at stake here.
The foot and mouth disease has gone on for far too long to rein errant sycophants in. Only last Monday,they declared that there cannot be democracy in Nigeria without the People’s Democratic Party. Who say that one lame duck political party can hold the whole country to ransom? Reality check, please, the party is beginning to look empty and while the president looks forlornly to make peace in the crisis party and the rebels refused to kowtow and break bread with the president.
Seriously,this is not a moment to gloat, we are staring at the abyss and we are at the crossroads,we have a choice to either continue sinking or we can start swimming to the top, rebuild our nation from the ashes. We cannot go lower than this and we should not go lower than this. It is in the interest of our people that we put aside the religious and tribal rhetoric aside and work towards securing our nations’ best interests.
Crucially, the public spates is not helping the ordinary Nigerians, it does not put food on the table,it does not give jobs to our young people,it does not make affordable and accessible health,social and our educational institutions better staffed and resourced .
What we see played in public is an ignominy,to say the least and it has tarnished every Nigerian politician and in general Nigerians. We need to stop the circus and plundering of our nation’s commonwealth that has been used to shore up sleazy individuals and groups. We need to look closely at ourselves because these so-called egotistic and narcissistic “leaders” are not alien to us they,are us. There is no extricating ourselves from this mess,we voted them in and we supported them. We all need to put our house in order and begin to develop some moral backbones.
So the road to 2015 is not going to be a walk over as many may have wished; it will be a year for Nigerians to hold people and each other to account .