IN the first take of this topic in this column last Friday, the narrative ended with a notation on pillaging of atrocious proportions. I continue from there by saying that thankfully, all the Arms Monies haven’t bought PDP a return ticket to the Loot to reloot and Pillage as usual.
That looting, after all appears the hallmark of the PDP government. Not that there aren’t more than a few of PDP types around even under GMB as PMB, at State Government Houses, at the National Assembly, at LG levels and even right at or around the key centres of power, if rumours of what is going on are to be believed.
Only recently, Wife of the President , Aisha Buhari, followed up on her daughter’s earlier alarm on the poorly state of the Aso Rock Clinic. We have also heard Junior Oil Minister Ibe Kachikwu claiming and declaiming wrongs he said were committed in his own ministry.
There is also the recent whirlwind around the police from one of its own, now in the Senate, ex-cop Isa Hamman Misau.
Thank God, the courts have been asked to confirm or put to rest the stories by Senator Isa Hamman Misau from Bauchi State, himself facing charges of desertion from the Nigeria Police Force. He is accusing the Police High Command of pay as you go in promotions and VIP protection, netting humongous sums from these “extra-curricular” activities. And Hamman Misau was of course PDP before berthing in our Change APC.
From another PDP spillover, the PDP-appointed CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele’s station are tales of round tripping as the recurring issue most of the first year of our APC government reported on web-based media. I keep repeating, “Our APC” because some of us are founding stakeholders of the APC, coming into the merger from Our GMB’s Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. The GMB who is now PMB and on whom we have since winning the elections been waiting on endlessly. Yes, endlessly!
And this brings me to my point, of worrying at the change of name our dear GMB got to PMB.
It does seem to have worked the desired magic for PDP types in the regime. After all, a preponderant majority of the movers and shakers of APC used to be PDP, or ANPP which all its life was more PDP than PDP. Even its choice of presidential candidate was always dictated by the ruling PDP. At the very beginning, it was PDP’s godfathers who chose former Governor Ogbonnaya Onu (now an APC minister) as candidate for the party at its first national convention in Kaduna.
He was not even a candidate then in the APP 1998 convention. I was a delegate, and still feel the pain of helplessness when things are going wrong or have gone hopelessly wrong and there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it.
Onu was later “stepped down” by the puppeteers of Minna. AD candidate, Olu Falae and Late NSO boss, Umaru Shinkafi were foisted on the APP (before it morphed to ANPP) as President and Vice President, in a clearly no-win alliance to give PDP an edge in 1999.
That state of pain and helplessness is where we are today in our dearly beloved APC. That must have been the cause of the agonizing cry of GMB’s wife, Aisha Buhari, the mother of the nation.
Since that ominous announcement by GMB warning, “I belong to nobody; I belong to everybody” we see a repeat of the deliberate PDP designed missteps of those days. A few of us, perpetual optimists and “die-hard” Buharists refused to see it as a re-echo of a similar warning 16 years earlier, by PDP’s General Olusegun Obasanjo who also dropped his hard-earned “General” for “President”, when he warned all who had invested in him to consider their investments lost at his own swearing-in as President in 1999.
But developments since, tend to disprove us, the optimists. Yes. We have all the security we have prayed for. Yes. We have the EFCC and ICPC doing their best on corruption. We also have the long drawn out battle to bring Senator Saraki to heel over the charge that he is in breach of the Code of Conduct Bureau’s rules.
What change seekers who voted the General in Buhari were looking for is that he’d hitch his government to the vision of the people. They expected something done on those leaders and politicians whose monthly expenses cannot be funded by two lifetimes of wages and legitimate earnings brazenly flaunting their obviously ill-gotten wealth. They expected to see a Change in the comportment of their Governors, their ministers, their Senators and House of Representatives members and others much lower down the rungs of the ladder of power, who have traditionally flaunted a life of obscene opulence. They expected a new narrative with GMB leading the Change.
The thought and hope is that this class of people can well be checked no matter their status, if our Buhari, our General is in charge. Alas! They removed the General in him, and gave us a President.
That was exactly what happened to General Obasanjo, who also had the General removed and “President” prefixed to his name.
Expectedly, Obasanjo without the General in him was mainly on show as President, having bought in to the idea that the name was all he needed to become a civilian politician and do all he wanted. He broke all rules in pursuit of his own agenda and that of the groups he decided to ally with at any turn.
General Obasanjo as President, bearing the President tag, is generally believed to have given official corruption a boost that was only to be bettered by Jonathan, his Niger Deltan protege. The facts at issue today speak to this thesis. That is verifiable recent history.