Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Mu’azu’s Testament of Truth

 During the week, precisely last Tuesday,  at the inauguration of the campaign  committee of President Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja,  Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu , the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did the unusual. He told a very bitter truth, which many have felt uncomfortable with, because they say that the truth Mu’azu spoke is not politically correct

Here is what Mu’azu said: “Mr. President, I want you to discuss with your governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and other elected officials.

“We say that members of the PDP should not be used and dumped again. People leave the party because of lack of equity or injustice.
“Monkey dey work, baboon dey chop. That must stop. This time round, monkey must work and monkey must eat.
“A lot of people who left (our party) did so because of injustice in our party. The party is full of injustice.
“The membership of the APC, LP, APGA and others are increasing because of this. All these members are from our party. We must find out what is wrong and correct it.”
He couldn’t be more correct.
But many think that at a time like this, when the rival political parties are upping the ante of their identities and laundering their images before the electorate, what Mu’azu declared about his party may have appeared like disservice. But it is not.
His reading and summation are quite on point. He has challenged the party to examine what is wrong with it with a view to correcting the past errors.
In 1998, only three political parties were registered. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Of all three, only the PDP has remained with its name and logo intact. The other two have either died or been swallowed up in some form of political mutation.

PDP indeed had an assemblage of the country’s courageous political gadflies who, under the aegis of G48, stood up to challenge the iron-fist government of late Gen Sani Abacha. Imbued with noble intentions and desire to retrieve Nigeria from ruin, Nigerians sided with the PDP. The party won more states and seats in the National Assembly and since then, it began to grow. As it grew, its anomalies grew. It began to wax strong in impunities.
It began to circumscribe political ethos and march down people’s rights and prilivileges. And little by little, many people began to search for justice and fairplay in other platforms. That is what has grown the threshold of other political parties, some of which are today, ready and squaring up for a big electoral fight with the PDP. It is because the PDP had become a domain of arbitrariness and sometimes oppression, that its loss has become the gains of other political parties.

So, Mu’azu was damn right when he said the party lacked justice. Its reward system is also warped. It appears to be a party that runs on the rail of emotion and sentiments. If the Big man does not like your face, then you are out in the cold. It happened in the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is yet happening even with President Goodluck Jonathan.
What, for instance, was the offence of former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva that he was muscled out of the party and not allowed to contest for second term in office, which the constitution guaranteed? Today, one of the major prisms of Jonathan’s supporters, more than the credential of performance,  is that the constitution guarantees him the right to seek re-election. Correct! But didn’t the same constitution guarantee Sylva the right to seek re-election?
Already, the good boy chosen to displace Sylva, Governor Seriake Dickson, is said to be in the bad books of the powers that be, as both Dickson and those who enthroned him are now like light and darkness: never meeting mutually. I even hear that Dickson, on account of the brewing feud, may not be allowed to seek re-election when the time comes, if those who thrust  him on the people of Bayelsa are still in position to take such decisions.

As a result, the governor has been struggling to do things to seek rapproachment so he does not get kicked out with ignominy like his predecessor. That perhaps explains   the out-of-character and elaborate interviews the governor has been granting in recent times, in the unregulated praise of Mr President.
Have we also not had cases where some persons who had decamped from the party and later returned were granted waivers to contest elections while some others were not? Does it not suggest that there are two sets of laws operating in the party: one for those favoured by the political oracles of the party and the other for those seen as enemies by the powers that be?
It is this deep-seated practice of injustice that has made futile all efforts by the party apparatchiks to organize a full reconciliation of aggrieved members. Many such committees had been set up in the past without achieving much progress.
That explains the seemingly endless bitterness of members of the party who feel that they were unjustly edged out of the contest during the recently-concluded PDP primaries.
Is anybody surprised, for instance, that the very spokesman of the PDP-led federal government, Mr Labaran Maku who lost out in the PDP governorship primaries in his home state of Nasarawa, has now dumped the PDP and ran into the little-known All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)?
In fact, it is wit the belief that the PDP will remain the behemoth of political gathering in Nigeria that a former national chairman of the party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor declared that the party will be in power for 60 years. He can no longer make such declaration in all honesty, given the situation on the ground.
I am convinced that if the PDP must rediscover itself, it must be told the type of unplaited truth by Mu’azu. That should be the challenge it must embrace and address if it must remain relevant.
But those who are perhaps critical are wont to ask that given the confession and admonishment of Mua’azu, why should Nigerians yet invest their hopes and trust on a political machine that does not operate with fairness and justice? That is the question.

Now that the Campaigns Have Started
Ihave always looked forward to political campaigns. It is about the greatest side thrill I get from democracy and its processes.
Really? Why? Is it because that’s when they unearth all the bad and covered sins of the politicians?

I am most thrilled by the colours that it elicits from the politicians.
Have you for instance noticed the transformation that has taken place in Buhari’s wardrobe? Did you see him in tight-fitting suite the other day, fitted with a bow tie? Did you? But for his unmistakable frame and face, many would have argued it was not Buhari. And then during the week, we saw him again in Niger Delta hat, looking like fish ditched from the waters. And yet again, a fine and flowing regalia in Akwa Ibom like an Ibibio chieftain.
Was it only Buhari that wore new clothes? Did nt you see President Jonathan in his immaculate and well-embroidered agbada in Lagos, complete with owambe cap as he thundered away in his campaign at TBS last Thursday? Didn’t you see that ?
I did my brother. Do you know campaign seasons are financial seasons? You can imagine how well-paying vocations like tailoring, printing, artistry etc will be by now. Trust me, with campaigns in the air, all the hidden cash get spilled out by these politicians.
But why are you not talking about the kernel of the campaign: the issues of governance?

We are tired of what you people call issues? Look, the issues remain the same every time. We are fatigued by all that electoral rhetoric. So let’s enjoy the razzmatazz and the fun that go with campaigns: the drumming,  the singing and dancing, the parades and all that.
We have been clamouring for issue-based campaigns, and I think it is relieving that at least the critical issues confronting us as a nation are being addressed by the major contenders. Buhari and Jonathan are talking about security and corruption. At least we are getting to know how and where they stand on such issues and that is some progress in our political maturity.

My brother, they say glib things now to woo us, the gullible electorate. When they get into office they assume a mind of their own, ignoring our hue and cry. That is why some of us have lost faith in the electoral process.
Ok. Tell me, what issues will they be talking about today that we have not suffered and endured with for the past twelve years? Is it security or poor educational standards or poor living standard or unemployment or bad and decayed infrastructure? Look, these issues have been with us. They have become part of us.  In fact I challenge you to listen to the video recordings of these same politicians in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and you will find that the only things that will change are largely the outfits and perhaps venue. The same characters, the same topics, the same swags, the same hollow-assurances, the same everything my brother.
But have you noticed that none of them is talking yet about the petroleum subsidy? Do you realize that Nigeria is still paying petroleum subsidy even when the price of crude has tumbled more than half in the international oil market? Or is the type being brought to Nigeria not affected by the falling oil price? Look, let me tell you, we the electorate are like the army barracks. Politicians come and go in their streams and seasons but  we remain as we are or were.
You ask too many questions. You cannot get answers to everything. Somethings are better left unprobed. It is called te doctrine of expediency.
Look, even in the advanced world, all is still not perfect. Nigeria is work –in-progress. We have a duty to hold these politicians accountable. If you like record what they are saying now and use it to judge them when they get into power. We cannot be taken for granted all life-long.

Now you see the point I am making. That it is not worth all the efforts after all.
That is the wrong bit. We must not lose hope. We must insist that we are governed properly by holding politicians accountable. Whatever they promise us now should be their bond, which should not be broken at will.

Ok. I heard many of the governors, four years ago, promising to build world class hospitals in their states. But today, they fly abroad for every little health issue. Some did not even build cottage hospital. One of them the other day asked for medical pension of N100 million per year, so he and his family can get medical attention abroad when the need arises, as if those who cannot have the means of travelling abroad must die here.

This is my advice: Keep at it. Stay with them. Follow the developments. Take notice of their promises. And when the need arises later, confront them with the facts.
Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing Buhari in full Urhobo outfit when he visits Delta State for the campaign. What a sight it would be.

Now that the Campaigns Have Started

Ihave always looked forward to political campaigns. It is about the greatest side thrill I get from democracy and its processes.
Really? Why? Is it because that’s when they unearth all the bad and covered sins of the politicians?

I am most thrilled by the colours that it elicits from the politicians.
Have you for instance noticed the transformation that has taken place in Buhari’s wardrobe? Did you see him in tight-fitting suite the other day, fitted with a bow tie? Did you? But for his unmistakable frame and face, many would have argued it was not Buhari. And then during the week, we saw him again in Niger Delta hat, looking like fish ditched from the waters. And yet again, a fine and flowing regalia in Akwa Ibom like an Ibibio chieftain.
Was it only Buhari that wore new clothes? Did nt you see President Jonathan in his immaculate and well-embroidered agbada in Lagos, complete with owambe cap as he thundered away in his campaign at TBS last Thursday? Didn’t you see that ?
I did my brother. Do you know campaign seasons are financial seasons? You can imagine how well-paying vocations like tailoring, printing, artistry etc will be by now. Trust me, with campaigns in the air, all the hidden cash get spilled out by these politicians.
But why are you not talking about the kernel of the campaign: the issues of governance?

We are tired of what you people call issues? Look, the issues remain the same every time. We are fatigued by all that electoral rhetoric. So let’s enjoy the razzmatazz and the fun that go with campaigns: the drumming,  the singing and dancing, the parades and all that.
We have been clamouring for issue-based campaigns, and I think it is relieving that at least the critical issues confronting us as a nation are being addressed by the major contenders. Buhari and Jonathan are talking about security and corruption. At least we are getting to know how and where they stand on such issues and that is some progress in our political maturity.

My brother, they say glib things now to woo us, the gullible electorate. When they get into office they assume a mind of their own, ignoring our hue and cry. That is why some of us have lost faith in the electoral process.
Ok. Tell me, what issues will they be talking about today that we have not suffered and endured with for the past twelve years? Is it security or poor educational standards or poor living standard or unemployment or bad and decayed infrastructure? Look, these issues have been with us. They have become part of us.  In fact I challenge you to listen to the video recordings of these same politicians in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and you will find that the only things that will change are largely the outfits and perhaps venue. The same characters, the same topics, the same swags, the same hollow-assurances, the same everything my brother.
But have you noticed that none of them is talking yet about the petroleum subsidy? Do you realize that Nigeria is still paying petroleum subsidy even when the price of crude has tumbled more than half in the international oil market? Or is the type being brought to Nigeria not affected by the falling oil price? Look, let me tell you, we the electorate are like the army barracks. Politicians come and go in their streams and seasons but  we remain as we are or were.
You ask too many questions. You cannot get answers to everything. Somethings are better left unprobed. It is called te doctrine of expediency.
Look, even in the advanced world, all is still not perfect. Nigeria is work –in-progress. We have a duty to hold these politicians accountable. If you like record what they are saying now and use it to judge them when they get into power. We cannot be taken for granted all life-long.

Now you see the point I am making. That it is not worth all the efforts after all.
That is the wrong bit. We must not lose hope. We must insist that we are governed properly by holding politicians accountable. Whatever they promise us now should be their bond, which should not be broken at will.

Ok. I heard many of the governors, four years ago, promising to build world class hospitals in their states. But today, they fly abroad for every little health issue. Some did not even build cottage hospital. One of them the other day asked for medical pension of N100 million per year, so he and his family can get medical attention abroad when the need arises, as if those who cannot have the means of travelling abroad must die here.

This is my advice: Keep at it. Stay with them. Follow the developments. Take notice of their promises. And when the need arises later, confront them with the facts.
Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing Buhari in full Urhobo outfit when he visits Delta State for the campaign. What a sight it would be.

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