Family Letters, Not Family Affairs

on   /   in Editorial 4:01 am   /   Comments

NOT too long ago, Nigerians were reminded that matters that involved the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were family affairs.

The party extended its “family affairs” to the condoning of the arsons in many parts of the country, in the course of its members vying for political power. PDP stood above the law, which its members never expected to defend them, especially in contests among themselves.

Another round of feud has broken out in the family. It may assume the hue of letter writing, but any family – whether political or biological – that communicates to itself in the manner we have seen in the past few weeks, is in trouble.

PDP is really in trouble, but it is not doomed as many predict. Its trouble is rooted in the indiscipline within the party. More importantly, more party members have assumed statures that tempt them to act with impunity that was reserved for a select few.

Nigerians may be seeing a contest over privileges, particularly the right to dictate what happens, rather than any altruistic worries from the individuals grandstanding about the prospects of Nigeria under uninspiring leaderships.

What should bother Nigerians is the absence of proper channels for communicating family fights as both letters truly show. The letters from the two Obasanjos had a limited audience; they should have been left at the level.

It is important to note that PDP is famous for externalising ordinary party issues. It could be a subterfuge to paper over its cracking walls. Nigerians may be losing sleep over what happens with these letters flying around. Not much would happen.

The letters have achieved their purposes, which could include making the other party uncomfortable, coercing one party to act as the other wishes or most likely make a play at gaining the affection of Nigeria under the guise of being nationalistic.

None of these would work in the overwhelming circumstances that the country is finding itself. Economic matters are contesting fiercely for attention.

Politicians jostling for the 2015 elections and anything that is available before then, do not think about Nigeria beyond its relevance to their ambitions. The allure of power would sustain the conflicts, and ironically resolve them. Access to power, or bits of it, is the central interest in PDP.

The public’s concern is the distractions the tussles provide. They affect non-party members too.  With the number of States PDP controls, and its dominance at the centre, resources, including time, are expended in resolving one party issue or the other.  Governors are spending too much time in Abuja attending to endless party crises.

Governance is suffering. Governments should concentrate on the enormous task of rescuing Nigeria.


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