May 29 fraud and carnival of men of all seasons

Except for the PDP stalwarts and the chorus ‘men of all seasons’, who gathered in Abuja to celebrate both the 14 years of PDP brand of democracy that holds in disdain democratic principles of ‘liberty, justice and common decency’, and President Jonathan’s claimed two years of superlative performance, we all know all is not well with our nation.

What May 29, the fraud PDP christened “democracy day’ called for was sober reflection about how our nation has finally descended into a state of nature where the law of the jungle reigns supreme; where elections become ‘do or die affairs’, where losers resort to self help; where a justice of the Appeal court for being loyal to the nation, is in chains while those indicted for rigging elections move to Abuja to preside over our affairs as senators or party executives where they use the desecrated judicial process to intimidate their victims; and a jungle where those who have access to power share our national patrimony, using proceeds therein to buy private jets and armoured cars for self protection.

It was a day that called for a sober reflection on how the tragedy of our nation started with the arbitrariness of Babangida who cancelled the most credible election in our nation’s history; how MKO Abiola, the winner of that election died protecting the mandate given to him by Nigerians; how the scourge called Abacha later taken care of by God came upon the nation; how Babangida and other soldiers of fortune of ‘Nigerian Army of anything is possible’ along with self-serving politicians imposed Obasanjo; how Obasanjo lacked the grace to give honour to those who watered the current democracy with their blood; and how in turn, all he built in eight years, he destroyed with his own hands. Yar’Adua reversed his policies; Jonathan squandered the foreign reserves he built up.

Even Orji Uzor Kalu, Abia State former governor, a man not known for moderation and a stakeholder in PDP family business that has yielded him as it did for other PDP buccaneers, dividends in hundred folds, it is time for sober reflection. For him, “Going by all that has happened in the 14-year history of our current democracy… Nigeria is a sick nation, suffering and bleeding under the weight of corruption, ethnicity, nepotism, crimes and religious fundamentalism.”

But PDP men and their contractors, who are the main beneficiaries of the current anarchy, resplendent in their flowing agbadas and babarigas, gathered in Abuja last week. Without restraint, Okonjo-Iweala, the minister for finance celebrated government transformation agenda and growth in the country economy when in fact two weeks earlier, both the president and his CBN governor had lamented about growth without development which left in its trails a sea of unemployed youths and an impoverished society.

A day later, there was to be further assault on Nigerians as PDP members along with others they had ‘invited to come and chop’ gathered at the banquet hall of the presidential palace for “PDP family dinner.” There men of ‘all seasons’ who believe in nothing, and doing what they know how to do best- reassuring Jonathan that he has no opposition for the 2015 race. Just as they had urged Babangida, ‘the prince of the Niger’ to hold on to power, just as they had earnestly urged Abacha to hold on to power with swag song ‘Abacha today, Abacha tomorrow and Abacha for ever’; and just as they raised billions to support Obasanjo’s failed third term agenda, one after the other, PDP leaders and the tribe of ‘any government in power’ like Tony Anenih, Ebenezer Babatope, Iwuanyanwu, Jerry Gana tried to persuade an apparent reluctant Jonathan.

The Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak set the ball rolling: “As long as the people who are gathered at the banquet hall of the presidential Villa were alive, we will not let governance slip out of our hand in our life time. The foot soldiers are ready to work for you”. Concluding, he urged the president to ignore the allegations of the opposition because “Nigerians are satisfied with his performance”.

As for Tony Anenih, who says ‘PDP will do what it knows how to do best when it is time for election’, his proposal is for an automatic second term ticket for incumbent president and governors who perform well in office. To Mr. ‘Fixer’, it counts for little that the former vice-president had said that ‘the rulings of the courts stated that the policy was alien to the PDP and the Nigerian constitutions’.

Ebenezer Babatope, who claim ‘for politicians, two plus two could be four and could be 40 thousand, speaking for the South-west said, “My own leader Papa Obafemi Awolowo exactly 31 years after predicting in Bonny during a campaign tour that an Ijaw man would one day become president of Nigeria, Jonathan is now president. He combines all the heroes of our country into himself. We voted for you last time, we will repeat it again because you have been a very very good president”.

I am sure Awo’s body would be protesting in his grave to see how an apostate is doing a great damage to his memory. Awo stood for justice, fairness, competence, and democracy. If Awo had made such a prediction, he didn’t make it as a prophet but as an avowed federalist. He wanted the Ijaw as well as other minority nationalities to be partakers in the Nigerian project. He was during the 1959 constitutional debate in London, the only man among our founding fathers, left standing for the minority’s right to self determination within the greater Nigerian nation.

Speaking for the South-east, Chief Iwuanyanwu said: “We gave the highest vote to President Jonathan last time, we are very happy, we are not disappointed, and Jonathan is doing very well. He has given us our own share”. Iwuanyanwu might be right. ‘Getting our own share’ ideology of the Igbo elite seems to have been the bane of Igbo quest for the presidency. But now, PDP heavy investor like Uzor Kalu, currently a non partaker in the Igbo share, is presenting himself as a more authentic Igbo presidential candidate than Jonathan whose only claim to Igbo is his Azikiwe middle name and his marriage to Dame Patience Jonathan.

Other hurrah men at the carnival that are worth not much attention include Professor Jerry Gana, who has been part of all governments since Babangida era. He, on behalf of North-central zone, told the president “I … salute you for the restoration of democracy and its sustenance for 14 years .The problem with Gana is not just that he is deficit in credibility, it is that the more credible Arewa Consultative Forum has accused the same President Jonathan of redefining democracy by his endorsement of Jonah Jang who lost the NGF chairmanship election.

Ambassador Aminu Wali, who spoke on behalf of the North-west wanted the president to go for 2015 because of the attraction of unprecedented volume of direct foreign investment from China even after the president had said growth arising from such foreign investment had not positively impacted on the lives of Nigerians. In summary, all the hurrah men and women including Hajia Zeinab Maina, who spoke for the North-east and Senator Stella Omu who spoke for the South-south, the president must proceed in earnest to seek and another term.

But there is an assurance we are all not suffering from delusion. The consensus of Mohammed Kudu Abubakar’s NTA panel of experts consisting of Basil Odilim , Lanre Adebayo and Abu Hamisu was that the midterm report was not only a sham but that the current route being traversed by government economic team cannot lead to economic salvation.

0 views0 comments