By Japheth Omojuwa
The jury did its job and has since gone to sleep on the Peoples Democratic Party. The question now is not whether the party is guilty as charged; the question is about the length of its punishment. The crux of the matter was how much the PDP had failed Nigeria. The defendant, the PDP, claimed it has had only 14 years and several trillions of naira to change Nigeria, but the 112 million poor Nigerian souls insisted the PDP had to go. The jury decided and granted the wish of the Nigerian masses.
The PDP has failed Nigeria! It failed us yesterday, it is failing as we speak and it has borrowed enough money to get the future of our children started on the path of failure. Some political parties fail you today but they offer you hope of success against tomorrow, the PDP fails you today with enough doom and gloom to last into many tomorrows. Anyone who argues against this will one day argue whether an above-the-law petrol cabal truly deprived Nigerians of trillions of naira in 2011. That the PDP has failed is a documented scroll in the archives of time, sealed by the laws of Medes and Persians, under the weight of the trillions of naira stolen since 1999 and being embalmed by the blood of innocent Nigerians lost to the politics of “do-or-die” enshrined by the forefathers of the PDP.
Except for those who share genetic traits with the Israelites of the wilderness era, most Nigerians do not think we need another 26 years of the PDP to complete a 40-year period of walking in a barren wilderness. The Israelites had God at their beck and call; we have God as our kalokalo, making money from the poor in His name. Fourteen years is enough and by 2015 it’d indeed be 16 years of brigandage, of blood and bullets, of waste and economic hemorrhage. Sixteen years of dilapidated infrastructure, of hospitals without drugs, of schools without students, of universities without lecturers. It would be 16 years of the ugliest display of nonsense since the word came into existence in 1799. Nigerians want change so bad, but they must wait till 2015 except President Goodluck Jonathan resigns, which will never ever happen or there is an Egyptisation of our Nigerianised democracy. Which also is a rarity considering our peculiar nature of “suffering and smiling”. God forbid, but the top hierarchy of our military has become fat so that one sef no go happen.
2015 would be about one thing and one thing only; Change. Any individual or political party that wants the trust of Nigerians in 2015 must come in the form of change. This is where the All Progressives Congress is currently failing itself. You cannot come promising to be an angel, yet appear in a garb with horns. While the APC continues to form, the Action Congress of Nigeria, one of the bigger parts of its whole has since lost its way in its use of the media. The ACN has allowed the mediocrity of the PDP to drag it down. The PDP has nothing to lose, it is right there in the mud but instead of the ACN to stand away dignified, it keeps going down the muddy path of the PDP.
The PDP may be foolish and clueless in the art of effective and productive governance, but it is wise enough to know that it cannot afford to discuss policies with the opposition. The PDP cannot afford not to talk dirty. Logic will fail it, decorum will fail it, only distractions can save it. This is where the ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change and the rest of them have lost it. You cannot beat the pig in a game of dirt. Where you expect the APC through its forming parts to offer the alternative, it comes in the cloak of the same, the PDP. “PDP accuses APC of being Muslim” and then the APC goes ahead with something like, “Worry about the decaying carcass in your front yard.” The engagements have followed this path. Of course it’d take a Nigerian without the independent ability to see and think to accept that the APC is set up to be a Muslim party. There are just as many Christians and Muslims in the APC leadership team save for the odd number. What the APC and its constituents must understand is that the PDP will not seek to engage them on ideas or policies; it will engage them in distractions and ijakadi. In this game, there can be only one winner and you already guessed who.
If the APC wants to be taken seriously, there are realities it must take without kid gloves. Bola Ahmed Tinubu may be politically powerful but he is not the type you want to represent your image. He has not been proved to be corrupt but there is a strong perception of corruption around him. He set the foundations for the current transformation of Lagos State but he also ensured his and the future of his family are well taken care of. It is alleged that taxes, roads and hospital payments in the state somehow have their way of keeping his wealth well-milked. The APC needs him but it does not need him publicly displaying his obvious might. The Ekiti State issue was avoidable. You don’t tell anyone to step down; let democracy decide. You cannot claim to be different from the current order by doing things according to the same order. The democratisation of the APC would be its biggest argument for genuineness and brand differentiation. Let democracy decide. Always.
On another side, you cannot come to Nigerians in 2015 on the altar of change by presenting the same sacrificial animals that have kept Nigeria at its feet. The APC cannot continue to take every Tom, Dick___d and ‘Lootocrat’ that comes from the PDP just because it wants to show it is the new bride. If they are not careful, the old bride will look like the new bride if it continues to shed its ugliness on the cosmetic table of the new. The APC must define itself and set out a political ideology that sets it apart. If you must take from the PDP, take the part of it that looks good to Nigerians, not old losers who lost in the PDP power game.
The APC itself must know that it is not the ideal. It is at best a pragmatic solution to Nigeria’s current leadership quagmire. At its best, with a developed political ideology and democratisation, it would only be the lesser ugly of two beasts. We need not fool ourselves, this is not the politics we want but this is the one we are stuck with for now. Nigeria needs a viable alternative to the PDP hegemony. We are desperate for change but we will not close our eyes to the glaring failings of those who paint their faces with the colours of change, but have the nucleus of the old order. If the APC does not show itself to be different from the PDP in truth and in deed, we might as well prepare for another four years of PDP in 2015. The only thing worse than that would be a PDP led by the incumbent, globally renowned, incompetent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.