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Old wines, new bottles

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By Denrele Animasaun

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.  – Plato

Far from me stating  the obvious, the  writing has been glaringly on the wall and so it came as no surprise. The mutineers have finally taken a decisive turn. So rather than walk the plank, the renegades seven jumped the ship in a spectacular fashion.

This comes a day after GEJ called off the last ditch attempt to reconcile the fractious 7 back into the PDP fold. Actually, it  is 6 (Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).The governor, Sule  Lamido of Jigawa State, are  mulling  things  over .

Despite this development, the captain and his spin doctors have been reassuring the party faithful and the misguided, that the current move is merely a storm in a teacup! They want us to believe that the power base is water tight. This has definitely put the proverbial spanners in the works to the planned GEJ triumphant ride come 2015. The  spin doctors have been scrambling for air time  to deny the extent of the  damage and to reiterate that the party  and the  people have  not  lost  confidence in  the president. That in itself is an understatement but I am sure, they have no choice but to deny the huge gap in this monumental debacle.

Far from me gloating, the alternative is not promising either, for those who have left the PDP are as culpable as those that remain in the ailing party. They have been party to the wanton abuse of power, level of corruption and misappropriation of our common wealth.  As far as I am concerned there is no saint in this faction or in the merger.
I  am  sure there  are people  who  are  used to  bargaining with  their reasoning; that  it is  better than the devil you know! I disagree. We  should demand better and no less, that  politicians  work for  the  good of  the country and its citizens  and  not for their  self-aggrandizement. If  we  do  not call  our  politicians  to  account, then  this merger and the  status  quo remains unchanged and in fact,  it  will  be  worse.  It will be case of decanting the same old wine in new bottles; is still the same old  wine but  more pungent and repellent.

Call  me  a  cynic, I  am  yet  to  see  a  definite  vision  from our  leading politicians  that  does not  compromise the  nation  further. So, this has fully opened up the political landscape but it is not going to be a free ride for either party from here on.  They  all  know  there  is  much  at  stake(our commonwealth) and  neither  of  the parties will  give  ground without  a  fight .

Politicians become desperate and resort to desperate measures and this  can only  spell more hardship for the Nigerians.

The vitriolic has begun to flow, the Special adviser to GEJ on political affairs, Ahmed Gulak, said of the defection that “outside there is nothing and that the PDP is the only party”.  In the  same  vein he  offers  the olive  branch  to  the  G-7 that they  still have a  chance to be welcomed back  into the party. Can this man make up his mind?

He also maintains that “The Presidency does not feel threatened, the PDP does not feel threatened,” methinks he protests too much. I  feel that  the PDP tree  has  been shaken to the  roots and they  are  in denial as  this  assault will  not disappear. The  Akwa Ibom State governor and chairman of  the PDP Governor Forum, Godswill Akpabio said that they should respect the position of the president  even if  they  do  not  respect  the  president as a person.

He stated ” that the president  was prepared to  continue to  have  a dialogue with  any  other group, not just G-7 and any group of  Nigerians who are outside the party, either trying to come in”. And those who have “grievances” and that he wishes to use this opportunity to remind all PDP members that the peace process initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan is still on course and we wish to thank him for his patience, humility and spirit of accommodation”.  Apparently, the peace meeting between the President and aggrieved members is scheduled to take place on the 1st of December. We will see what happens then. As the former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson   famously said, “a week is a long time in politics”.


My father’s response to: Be a critic-

Denrele, two issues have been very sensitive – religion and ethnicity. People are blind and cannot reason in this country. We cannot because of that not do our duties to God and our country. Please, give as much as you get. They did not spare me and I do not see them treating you with kid gloves. And you are not a kid, in May, you will be 50. You own this country as well, God bless you, the daughter of Kola Animasaun. I would not because of them come out, even momentarily, of retirement.

National HIV Testing Week
“The First wealth is health.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
This week in the UK, 22nd to 29th of November marks the National HIV Testing Week. HIV can stop your body from working properly, making it more difficult for you to fight off infection so you become ill more often.
So there is a huge promotion and awareness drive for adults of all persuasion to take HIV test in particular, amongst African men. The  campaign is called  “IT STARTS WITH ME”  raises awareness and helps emphases the personal role that each and every African can play in stopping the spread of HIV in its tracks and drawing the whole community together in that effort. The more people that test for HIV, the fewer people will be infected.
The statistics speaks for itself; one in five people with HIV are UNDIAGNOSED, with the number of cases in gay men reaching an all-time high. That 21,900 people out of 98,400 with HIV in the UK do not know they have it. The overall number of new cases was up 1% on the previous year.

Gay men remain the group most affected by HIV, followed by black African men and women. HIV is a major public health concern in Africa, and in the UK more than 100,000 people live with HIV.

Although HIV cannot yet be cured, it can be treated. Do not dice with your life or that of others, stay protected and get tested.  I  have worked in  the  black community  for  so many  years and I have often come across newly diagnosed  cases  and  some  have   failed  to  tell their  spouses and continue  to live in  denial while  callously  affecting others.

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