IT was a mammoth gathering at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, South South Nigeria, on the 15th of August, 2015. It was a gathering of defecting politicians, crossing over from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Party (APC). The crowd in the stadium that day could not be less than four thousand people, talking of the politicians, their supporters and the usual hired political hoodlums. It was an embarrassing defection to PDP as nearly every leader of the party in the State left to join “the-all-saints” party of APC.
The decamped was led by the PDP State Chairman; retired Colonel Sam Inokoba; a terrible blow you would say considering the fact of his position as Chairman for PDP till that fateful day. Timi Alaibe; a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) also “crossed over”. Others are Senator Heneiken Lokpobiri (you are not most likely to forget him in hurry if you are a keen observer of political abracadabra in Nigeria, Senator John Brambaifa, Senator Clever Ikisipo, Nestor Binabo; one time acting Governor of the State, Werinipre Sebarugu, Dr. Stella Dorgu; a former honourable member of the House of Representatives, Christopher Enai; another former member of House of Representatives, Professor Tarila Tebepah; former NDDC Chairman, among others.
The APC leader in Bayelsa State in the person of Timipre Sylva; former Governor, was obviously over-whelmed with joy when the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, announced to all (decamped) that “the only road through which they could get to President Buhari is by passing through Timipre Sylva”. This statement has its negative far-reaching effect which we shall evaluate later.
We need to understand the implications of this action on two personalities, which are former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari. The former, for who he was as president and who he is now that he is out of power, while the latter, for whom he is perceived to be, considering his past record as military Head of State. We can summarise two questions from the episode of that day. One, what is the difference between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari as political leaders? Two, what is the difference between the PDP and APC as political parties?
Goodluck Jonathan is from Otueke community of Bayelsa State. He started his political career as Deputy Governor of that State. He later became a Governor of the same State and at both times he operated from the State headquarters – Yenagoa.
He began his political life in the PDP and ended it in the PDP, at least for now, because l cannot see that man truthfully coming back to political lime light again. Now, all the gladiators that defected from the PDP that day were people that “passed” through Jonathan as a political leader, so to say, at least counting from 1999 till the date of the defection. Another fact to be taken into consideration is that as of that date of 15th August 2015, when this disaster of defection happened to the PDP, Goodluck Jonathan was not dead, was not sick and was not physically impaired by any means. Yet it was he; the former president, that those politicians rejected directly first and foremost before the PDP as a party. What a calamity!
What this implied in the final analysis is a fundamental truth that President Goodluck Jonathan, as a political leader, was a disaster of monumental proportion, according to the epistle written by his own people of Bayelsa State. That was on Goodluck Jonathan on one hand. In the other hand, it can be conclusively adduced that all those politicians from Bayelsa State that perpetrated that act of massive defection represented, what l would call “the Nigerian squad of barbaric, un-repented destructive, eat-to-quench and killer political group”. They shall forever remain a class of perfidious ignominy with consequences of curse upon their unborn generations for ever. This is the implication to Jonathan and his brothers (representing that shameless Nigerian political elite class all over the country). What is the implication of this on PMB and his APC Party?
The fact has been established that those who decamped that day did so for only one or two reasons. They understood PMB body language that CORRUPTION MUST BE KILLED. They equally know the fact that corruption is metaphysical that cannot be personified. It means therefore that the only process of killing corruption is to “kill” the perpetrators of corruption. They (the defectors, either from Bayelsa or all over Nigeria) left the PDP, believing that Buhari may not be willing to deal too ruthlessly with “those who made his presidency’s journey possible”. All of them are now coming to APC to save their heads from going to jail since it is the platform of APC that brought Buhari to power.
And this exactly was the interpretation of the APC National Chairman when he told the crowd of defectors in Yenagoa on that day that “the only road through which they could get to President Buhari is by passing through Timipre Sylva”. What the Chairman may have told the people, inadvertently though was “as long as you can cross over to APC, you are safe with your looted wealth”. On the other hand, while the preservation of their stolen wealth is guaranteed as long as they remain in the ruling party, they (the decampees) are given a second chance to steal more.
This is where the implication on Buhari is more daunting because if the truth must be told; APC minus Muhammadu Buhari equals to PDP. Over two third of those who brought APC the crown of glory, during the April 2015 general election, came from PDP and this majority could not have become real saints over-night.
Then, with more of PDP members crossing into APC, the more of “demons” Buhari will have to contend with in his battle to “kill corruption”. The vital information for PMB is that Nigerians know the fact that most of these “born again politicians” coming to APC are notorious looters. With all these looters that are becoming latter day saints, how can Buhari kill corruption? It is only the President that can answer this question and Nigerians are waiting for the answer.
Mr. Godwin Etakibuebu, a commentator on public affairs, wrote from Lagos.