No sooner had the ‘Progressives Congress become Nigeria`s ruling party with the swearing in of Muhammadu Buhari as president in May 2015 than its communicators and propagandists, who to clinch power had refined the dark arts of propaganda, hypnosis and brainwashing, turned their energies to another of the acts of the dark arts: buck passing.
As the enormity of the task of nation-building which it had taken for granted on the campaign trail stared it in the face, combined with the sheer incompetence of those elected on its platform, the it soon perfected the art of blaming the deposed Peoples Democratic Party for everything happening in the country.
Over the years, when Nigerians have wailed under the hardship midwifed by those who barely know their left from their right but would grab power at all costs, the All Progressives Congress has almost always had only one excuse: that the fate of Nigerians as things stand was sealed under the PDP which was in power for all of sixteen years.
Both sides of a coin
In 1999, as Nigeria sought an escape from the desperate stranglehold of the Babangida and then Abacha military dictatorships which set the country back dozens of years, the Peoples Democratic Party was hurriedly formed. In its ranks were many of those responsible for Nigeria`s problems up till that time, and many of their cohorts and their collaborators.
But the party was to take power in fortuitous circumstances before going to introduce the twin monsters of political corruption and electoral manipulation into the country`s political space. Thus, in spite of its embarrassing performance in office between 2009 and 2015, it was only in 2015 that it finally ran out of luck when Nigerians ran out of patience. In the election of 2015, the All Progressives Congress swept to victory as a forlorn incumbent helplessly looked on.
The APC has had seven years in power and by next year, it would have had eight. In each of these seven years, the party has shown that it is cut from the same cloth as the Peoples Democratic Party. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that under the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, the APC has taken incompetence in government a notch higher, the result of which is a country precariously perched on the precipice.
Weasels on a warpath
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, both the APC and the PDP have sought to present the other as the villain. The only common ground they have so far found is their trepidation, and consequently trenchant criticism of Peter Obi, the presidential candidates of the Labour Party.
But between two parties where practically all the members of the excos of one were former linchpins in the other, there is really no difference. The apple cannot fall far from the tree. In Igbo folklore, the offspring of a snake naturally grows long as well.
If the APC is the current swarm of locusts eating up Nigeria, it was the PDP that made the invasion possible in the first place. If the PDP had not played a desperately poor hand between 1999 and 2015 when it was in power, Nigerians would not have had to know the fathomless darkness that the APC is.
Perhaps, it is salubrious for Nigeria`s democracy that the electoral system has matured beyond the malicious manipulation of electoral thieves, to the point where the ballot box can be used as a veritable tool in holding to account those who having had the opportunity to lead Nigeria, failed woefully.
So, while the train hurtles towards the elections next year, and the APC and the PDP coat each other in mud, both parties will do well to remember that there can be honour even among thieves, and even some remorse.