By Femi Fani-Kayode
I received the news of the apology offered to the Nigerian people by my friend and brother Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, with mixed feelings.
For goodness sake what is the apology for? Is it the great achievements of President Olusegun Obasanjo or the commendable strides of President Goodluck Jonathan?
In my view Secondus’ apology was ill-conceived and unecessary.
And if PDP must apologise for its 16 years in power then on its own part this administration and each and every one of the APC leaders must be compelled to pull out a loaded gun, point it at their own temples and blow out their own brains.
It is either that or they must be compelled to take some lethal poison and die a slow and terrible death for the corruption, hardship, penury, bloodshed and evil that they have foisted and inflicted on the Nigerian people over the last three years.
I proudly served in President Obasanjo’s government, which was a PDP government, for four years and his achievements were legion.
He inspired and encouraged our people and made them proud to be Nigerians again and he paid off our foreign debt, stabilised the country and pulled us back from the brink of war.
He treated every Nigerian fairly regardless of faith or tribe and he left a total of $64 billion USD in our foreign reserves.
He strengthed the economy and ensured that Nigeria was readmitted into the comity of civilised nations.
He boosted agricultural growth, fought an effective and non-selective war against corruption and ushered massive foreign and local investment into the country.
He built up local industries and assisted the manufacturing sector to prosper and thrive and caused the Stock Exchange to flourish.
He strengthened our Armed Forces, reformed the education sector, improved the health sector, encouraged freedom of speech and ensured that not one journalist, dissident or opposition figure was locked up for expressing his or her views.
He also managed the sharia crisis well and avoided a civil war, pulled us back from the brink of war with the Camerouns, brokered a successful peace deal in Liberia, quelled a military coup d’etat in Sao Tome and Principe and so much more. Is that what we are apologising for?
Anyone may say whatever they like about Obasanjo, and I do not for one minute suggest that he is an angel or that he is infallible, but one thing you can never take away from him is the fact that he remains probably the most patriotic, dedicated and effective leader that Nigeria has ever had and one of the greatest that the African continent has ever been blessed with.
Frankly we need to be careful what we say as a party and we should stop accepting and feeding into the deceitful and mendacious narrative that is being encouraged and fuelled by the Buhari administration and our collective enemies which asserts that we were all hopelessly corrupt and that we never achieved anything at all!
When we say that we are apologising it simply means that we have accepted that false narrative and that is not only a grave error but it is also unacceptable simply because such a narrative has no basis in reality, rationality, reason or truth.
It also does a great disservice to all the former PDP Governments and Presidents over the 16 years that we were in power.
We may have made a few mistakes here and there and we may not have scored 100 per cent on all fronts but to suggest that we are guilty of some heinous crime for which we are now constrained to apologise is not only inappropiate but also unwise.
Worst still in the coming months we may be forced to pay a heavy price for it as we become the subject of ridicule and opprobium.
The only thing PDP needs to apologise for is allowing APC to take power in 2015.
That is what we must ask God and the Nigerian people to forgive us for and nothing else.
My friend and brother Donald Duke, the former Governor of Cross Rivers state, and others have suggested that we must reach out to other political parties and form a broad-based coalition to confront and defeat the APC in next years presidential election.
That is a duty that is incumbent on each and everyone one of us and if we fail in discharging it God will judge us and deal with us ever so severley. Worst still, if we fail and Buhari returns to power next year, as Obasanjo has said, Nigeria will collapse.
If anyone needs to be reminded about just how inept and degenerate this government is I urge them to kindly consider the events of the last few days and weeks which prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they are nothing but a government of propagandists and disinformation merchants
First came the Dapchi scam. Then came the Martin Luther King award scam. Then came the Lagos bus terminal scam in which Lagos, the largest city in Africa, was put under lockdown and all its roads were blocked simply because Buhari was coming to open a glorified bus stop and attend a colloquim for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s 66th birthday.
For the last few days it has been one merry little photo-shoot and disingenious scam after the other but two events which struck me more than any of the others were the following.
At the colloquim Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reiterated his view that the PDP were corrupt and a party of looters and that the looting under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government and in the 5 years before Buhari came to power had destroyed the Nigerian economy.
This is a lie from the pit of hell.
Osinbajo is wfong .All he ever does is accuse the PDP and other members of the opposition of looting and corruption yet the government that he heads with Buhari has indulged in MORE corruption in 3 years than the PDP did in 16.
The second event was the release of the list of names of those who have been described as “looters” by the Federal Government even though not one person has been convicted by a court of law of looting amongst all those whose names were listed.
Simply put it is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. Yet before I go into that permit me to touch on an aside.
During the festivities they wheeled out an undoubtedly beautiful black British super-model called Naomi Cambell to pose in pictures with Buhari during his visit to Eko Atlantic whilst he was in Lagos.
Quite what the point of this exercise was I have not been able to grasp or fathom but it is interesting to note that the last African Head of State that this “pretty babe” took a picture with ended up being convicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at the Hague.
It was the day after the pose with Naomi that the Buhari government came up with their list of so-called “looters” which did not have the name of any APC leader
Yet the truth is that no list of looters is complete without the names of some APC leaders.
When, God-willing, we get them out of power and take over we will open the books, expose them for what they are and each and everyone of them will suffer the consequences of their unprecedented graft and monstrous larceny.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote the following in one of my essays:
“President Buhari forgets that our system of government is meant to be a modern-day democracy where the rule of law prevails, where dissent and a plurality of views and opinion is tolerated and where freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to life and the right to a fair hearing is held sacrosanct and is guaranteed.
Worst still he believes in demonising and crushing all his enemies and holding on to power at all costs and through any means both fair and foul. If you doubt any of these things please ask Sambo Dasuki, Sheik El Zak Zaky, Nnamdi Kanu or countless
On several occassions he has watched silently and done nothing after his security agencies and Armed Forces killed thousands of his own citizens, whether they be Igbo youths that are members of IPOB or Shiite Muslims, after which they are buried in mass graves.
These are crimes against humanity for which he should be charged at the Internation Criminal Court at the Hague.
Those that are not killed are thrown into prisons or horrific detention cells all over the country where they are tortured and left to rot without any form of due process and against court orders to release them.
If anyone has any doubts about that they should please read the latest report by Amnesty International.
To add to all these horrors poverty and hunger has ravaged the land. If anybody doubts that they should please read the latest IMF report where the International Monetary Fund claim that Nigerians are “hungrier today” than they have ever been and that more of our people are living below the poverty line than ever before.
The truth is that apart from being monumentally incompetent this government is also divisive.
I stand by every word that I wrote in that essay and frankly, as each day passes, things are getting worse for the Nigerian people under his watch.
Permit me to conclude this contribution with the following:
Like President Obasanjo’s devastating letter, President Goodluck Jonathan’s consistent criticism, President Ibrahim Babangida’s public admonition and Vice President Atiku Abubuakar’s pungent opposition, General T.Y. Danjuma’s bombshell, which was unleashed just few days ago against the Buhari government, was not only timely and courageous but also absolutely necessary.
He rightly alleged that our government, through its Armed Forces, are involved in ethnic cleansing and genocide and he boldly encouraged the people to defend thrmselves, defend their territory and defend Nigeria.
He has confirmed what yours truly and a handful of others have been saying for the last two years that this administration and their security forces collude with the Fulani herdsmen to slaughter and commit mass murder against our people.
This is unacceptable, it will never be forgotten.
Danjuma’s concerns, coupled with the admonitions of Bill Gates, the worlds richest man, who has criticised the Buhari government viciously both whilst he was in Nigeria and after he returned home to America, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Nigeria is in danger and that the Buhari government has messed things up very badly. Like Nero, they are playing the fiddle whilst Rome is burning.
If anyone needs to apologise to the Nigerian people it is Buhari, Osinbanjo and their APC and cetainly not the PDP or indeed any of the other political parties.