By Sunny Ikhioya
NOTHING has changed. The same people, the same system, same language. It is a vicious circle, with the masses bearing the brunt. It was supposed to be a total change, a radical departure from the past, a paradigmatic shift with new focus and culture to achieve the desired result. But no, they have chosen to remain the same and the masses have become more confused.
Somebody asked the question; what is the difference between the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Congress, APC? Another answered: it is Buhari and the Buharists in the APC party, whose ideology is Buharism.
Then I begin to wonder, what is the ideology behind Buharism? Is it to manage hardship or a one sided persecution? Or, to be quiet over activities of Fulani herdsmen? What really is Buharism?
Some say it stands for anti corruption and integrity. But, I remember in the past, the children of the PDP big wigs- Tukur, Lamido and others- were brought to court over fuel subsidy scam. How many of those in the present APC government have been brought to book for corruption? The PDP member moves to the APC and he becomes an angel. The APC member moves to the PDP and he becomes a criminal and a thief.
Meanwhile, things remain the same, the living condition of the ordinary or average Nigerian has continued to nose dive. Some say it is as a result of the waste and kleptocratic tendencies of the past. Again I ask, couldn’t the waste be halted in two years? If the people are no longer stealing, as it was in the past, why aren’t we seeing the result? It all seems like dejavu. December 14’2017 Premium Times headline reads; “Nigerian Governors Approve $1bn From Excess Crude Account To Fight Boko haram”.
Another headline, this time from Sahara Reporters of same date reads; “NNPC MD Says Buhari’s Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari Asked Them To Keep #50bn Away From TSA”. In this APC government in this year 2017? It’s all so familiar, the drum beat is the same but the drummers are different.
The politicians have come back again, stronger and more vigorous with familiar messages. It is a season of crossing and recrossing along and across party lines. The PDP is back after successing hosting its convention.
Waziri Abubakar Atiku and some others have moved back to the PDP while Musiliu Obanikoro and others have gone back to the APC. It was a situation long foreseen, the difficult fusion of the progressives and the reactionaries/ultra conservatives, together with a PDP faction had the one agenda of removing Goodluck Jonathan as President of Nigeria, when that was achieved, the union seem to have no other focus, as the past two years have shown.
While other groups in the union went silent, the Buharists emerged as the dominant group in the APC. 2019 is still far but near and the politicians are back to their old ways. They have started aligning and realigning for the elections. They are again on the path of taking the people for a jolly good ride, as can be seen from the on going criss- crossing. The question therefore is : can’t we have an independent third party? Why have the numerous progressives in the country gone silent in the face of hardship facing the ordinary Nigerian? Now the fuel queues are back in cities and very soon extraneous excuses will be given as responsible for it.
Nobody is fighting for the common man any more. How we miss the Fawehinmis and the Kutis. Our present progressives have taken us on a slavish ride and the people have become hopeless. `The challenges of the economy are still begging for answers. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, can indict and have media trials for as many suspects as it wants, but the people see differently. As the saying goes perception is real.
It is time for a turn around. It is time for our independent and true progressives to step up. It is unwise to claim to be a progressive and be tied to a party that profess same, while doing something else. We need independent thinkers who will go into the race with their convictions of what is good for the people. It is time for good men to come out, so that the bad guys will not take us down the doldrums. Meanwhile, what we have now cannot give us the desired result. The mix of the progressives and the ultra conservatives have not given us the change we expected. It was a union that was bound to fail from the beginning. Let us be wary of our politicians. Let us go for an independent third party.
*Mr. Ikhioya, www.southsouthecho.com