According to the famous American attorney and political commentator, John Bolton: “There is no patriotic obligation to help advance the career of a politician who is otherwise pursuing interests that are fundamentally antithetical to your values. That’s not the call of patriotism.”
What is going on in People’s Democratic party (PDP’s) nuclear family is not patriotism, but petty parochialism that can best be described as misguided antagonism, no thanks to the ruling party’s failure in governance, which have had ripple effects on every aspect of Nigeria’s component parts and integral entities. It is giving field day to APC cronies to keep mismanaging our common patrimony.
Nigeria is suffocating in the heat of unabated insecurity and its twin evil of poverty and austerity. The people have found themselves in quagmirical junction. They are in dire need of a saviour as the nation head to 2023. The only three viable groups that traditionally have the calling to rescue and/or succour the wailing masses are Trade unions, primarily the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the religious bodies and opposition parties. Incidentally, these three classes of social interveners are forlorn and bastardized!
With comatose economy, heightened poverty has reduced man in this part of the world to “homo erectus” with the ‘sapien’ attributes traded for comestibles and quest for survival. Death through starvation stares everyone in the face!
Even religious leaders whose foundational philosophy was on the abnegation of this passing world’s transient glory are compromised already. Most of them have turned profiteers. Emphasis is placed on money and temporal gains much more than on salvation, and the attendant moral rectitude and attitudinal change. In fact, some of them have been accused of going to Aso Rock plate-in-hand soliciting for contracts to make ends meet. And Ayuba Wabba-lead NLC made no pretence about its ineptitude in this regard too.
Where then lies the hope of the common man, you may ask. The opposition parties of course. But then you remember that the main opposition party — PDP choose this queerish moment to throw tantrums among themselves.
Who could ever believe that after its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, snatched the party from its pallbearers after colossal failure at the 2015 general election, and elevated it from the pit of 11 states, to the enviable rostrum of 16 states at some points, would be reprehended by campaign of calumny and inglorious attempt to remove him from office? Granted, PDP under him lagged behind, in terms of walking the talk for the nation as an opposition party, but that doesn’t mean he should be bullied on and off the courtrooms. He may deserve every vilification, but certainly not this Oshiomole treatment being metted out to him. Those maligning him failed to recollect Francis John McConnell’s counsel that “We need a type of patriotism that recognizes the virtues of those who are opposed to us.”
Regular followers of this column will recall our discussion here on March 22, 2021 entitled: “PDP and NLC are suffering from Stockholm syndrome” which can still be re-read via this link: https://www.blueprint.ng/pdp-nlc-suffering-from-stockholm-syndrome/
In the course of that musing, we opined that “PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has achieved nothing aside wresting the party from its undertaker, former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, and increasing the number of states controlled by the party from 11 to 16. But of what value is the numerical strength in states controlled by the party if they could not translate into viable consistent adjuration for good governance and welfare of the masses.
Before APC came to power, Nigeria’s economy was gasping for breath under PDP with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala leading a potent economic team that administered palliative therapy to keep it stable. Yet, in 2015, following a spell of an acidic opposition force, the APC grabbed power and the economy slipped into coma immediately. With further poor management under the amateurish handling of their finance ministers, it was referred to ICU and with the naira exchanging at N500 to a dollar, fiscal pundits were bold to declare it dead.
At such woeful outing by the ruling party, everyone thought PDP will seize the opportunity to repackage and re-market themselves and save the nation from socio-economic hardship. But the predictors of such hope were disenchanted by the reality on ground.
With unmitigated incidences in banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and gross abuse of human rights, it would be an easy ride for any opposition party that worth the name to chase APC out of Aso Rock in 2023. But since losing out in Supreme Court on the 2019 presidential election, PDP lowered its tail in-between its legs.
When last did you hear solicitation for the nation from PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate Alh. Atiku Abubakar? Bukola Saraki has been on sabbatical. Nyesom Wike has taken a vow of solemn silence, only to be fingered in Prince Secondus’ chastisment. Ayodele Fayose is gaming. Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state was canvassing for herders to be wielding AK-47 riffles. Senator Ike Ekweremadu is sitting on the fence. Former President Goodluck Jonathan is alleges to be in clandestine romance with APC, etc.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state is the only one adorning the warrior’s garb and speaking out against brazen injustice in the land. Charly Boy’s “#Our mumu don do” protest march, Omoyele Sowore’s #revolutionnow and the recent #EndSARS protests presented fertile grounds for PDP and NLC to cash in. But instead, they chose to look the other way.”
Five months after sending this message to PDP via this medium, the hen is home to roost.
Some commentators have argued that the difference between PDP and APC is in their names only. Nothing in essence! This is proving to be true. Otherwise, why would the only thing in their agenda be to fight one another, while their supposed enemies in the opposition watch on? Today, the likes of Gov. Ortom is running solo, daring the power centres, but what can a lonely voice do in a forest of deafening silence from his fellow party men? The last two months saw many of the party’s stakeholders defect to APC as asylum seekers. From here, 2023 election looks every inch a novelty exercise.
It is more ridiculous to think that those (the PDP governors) on whom we wait to lead constructive opposition politics against maladmininstration in the land were waiting for Secondus too, as placards of the anti-Secundus protesters read.
Secondus doesn’t wear the power of the state, the governors does. He has no electoral mandate, the governors have. Whether they believe it or not, their livid anger against the Chairman is misdirected. They should re-appraise their position and blame the man in the mirror. Since NLC has slumbered, the current bickering and in-fighting in PDP is a huge disappointment to Nigerians who hoped on them for the rescue. Unfortunately also, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) vocally led by Imo Ugochinyere has grown cold! Ugochinyere is nowhere to be found. The danger of it all, is that 2023 may just be another formality!
May daylight spare us!
✍Eze Jude O.
A Columnist and Public affairs Analyst.