PDP provocation and APC irritation

By their last week assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians, both the PDP and its nemesis- APC displayed only instincts of factions with divergent tendencies, who are only interested in power as distinct from true political parties, the 17th century ingenious creation of intellectual elite to espouse vision and mobilize people for development. The president and his party on their part once again demonstrated their contempt for Nigerians by choosing Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum to celebrate what they consider giants steps made in the energy sector at a period most part of the country was in darkness as a result of alleged sudden drop from about 4600MW to 3600MW.

Then as if such display of contempt for Nigerians was not enough, five months after the president dropped 10 ministers nominated by his estranged PDP family members out of his unwieldy cabinet of about 40 compared to less than 20 of advanced economies like USA, Germany and Britain, he is sending 11 nominees as replacement for those whose absence nor contributions were never missed. In the list, the president seems to have special attraction for the enemies of his political adversaries.

And without giving a damn about how we feel, the president followed this up with the appointment of Bamanga Tukur as chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). And just as none of the president’s advisers was able to tell him Tukur had outlived his usefulness the moment it became obvious, he was prepared to pull down the party along with himself, no one obviously told the president such an insensitive appointment cast doubt about his decision-making process.

If the name ‘Tukur’ is the president magic wand for 2013, the president could just as well go for Tukur junior and allow the old Tukur observe a well-deserved rest after two years tango and thorough pummelling by a gang of seven aggrieved PDP governors, some of whom are not much older than some of Tukur’s children.

On the choice of Adamu Mu’azu, as the new PDP chairman, a group of Human Rights Writers’ Association, HURIWA, has reminded us of his investigation by EFCC for allegedly ‘stealing billions of naira belonging to Bauchi State during his tenure’. But does this grumbling body expect PDP to wait without leadership long after the president has complained he is not to be held responsible for the slow pace at which the wheel of justice grinds in our nation?

And besides those picked on the basis of what appears a strange policy of ‘estranged friends of my political adversary is my friend’ such as Dr Tammy Danagogo, a former loyalist and two times commissioner under Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, Hajia Jamilla Salik, a one-time associate of Kano Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, and Boni Haruna , a former protégé of Atiku Abubakar, whose renunciation of support for him coincided with his being let off by EFCC that had drilled him in court for seven years over 28 counts charge . It took his lawyers only three days to file a ‘no case’ submission, argue their case and obtain a ‘not guilty verdict’. The icing on the cake was the appearance of his name among the ministerial nominees few days after his court victory. Is there anyone out there who disagrees with the president who like Pontius Pilate insists the wheel of justice which grinds slowly in Nigeria cannot be blamed on him?

Of the nominees, Gusau is the most intriguing. Only the president knows why he wants Gusau so desperately. He has for over 10 months reserved for him the Defence ministry portfolio, a post he resigned from in 2010 when it became apparent the only office eyed by Gusau was the presidency, which he contested for in 2006 and 2010. I am sure the man must be wondering how many security advisers they want to make out of him after holding the position of Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and acting Director-General of the NSO from September 1985 to August 1986, the coordinator on National Security from August 1986 to December 1989 and security adviser during most of Obasanjo’s presidency.

What is apparent from the president obsession with Gusau who has been unable to reproduce himself within the state security apparatus after 40 years, and Jonathan decision to lure on to his fold, the estranged godsons of his political opponents is probably a desire to serve self and PDP and not Nigerians. Their confirmation which I am sure APC cannot stop will add nothing to good governance.

It is for the above reason I see APC grandstanding as merely playing the PDP game. And they are doing this by advertising their strategy to give enough ammunition to desperate enemies who fight rough with scant regards for rule of engagement, those who swore they would never allow power to slip from their hands, and those who swore their party would rule for 60 years. If APC is interested in good governance, I think they should show more seriousness than playing PDP game. And if they have chosen to play PDP game even as the nation looks up to them for rescue from 14 years of clueless PDP reign, there are softer areas to unsettle the president apart from the serious issues of budget and defence in an era of economic down turn when the nation is also at war.

Such soft areas include mundane talk about gluttonous consumption of food at the presidency which is costing the nation’s taxpayers billions, diesel for presidential generators when the nation is in darkness, kerosene for the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) of 10 aircrafts when poor people don’t have access to the product in spite of government’s claim of allocation of billions as subsidy. These are the things that will resonate with the people if APC has opted not to rise above PDP in the popularity test and battle for the minds of the uninformed.

Gbajabiamila’s theatrics at the floor of the house were in my view unnecessary. One only repeats the obvious when one is not sure. APC should act its numerical strength if it exists beyond mere declaration when vital decisions that require partisanship unfold on the floor of the house. These include state police which everyone except those manipulating the police for political ends know is the answer to some of our intractable security problems, the rescue of the EFCC from the abuse it is being subjected to by PDP and the presidency and engaging the president in psychological warfare by passing a resolution calling for the dismissal of the IGP for using a dead law to abridge the freedom of Nigerians for peaceful assembly and protest.

Femi Falana only recently reminded us the law was long dead and buried by the appeal court. This perhaps will prick the conscience of the president who couldn’t have forgotten so soon that it was not too many seasons ago that the ‘save Nigeria Group’ saved his job of acting President by demonstrating in Lagos and Abuja without being stopped through illegal application of police permit.

But APC must note we are at war. Ordinary poor people bear the brunt of war. Only last Sunday, over 50 innocent people were murdered by enemies of our nation in Borno State said to be under emergency. We have a patriotic duty to support the president. What contributed to Democrats victory in America after incompetent George Bush took America to two avoidable wars was the party’s commitment to America.

And for attempting to rival PDP in its game of perfidy, APC from whom much is expected, has opened the people to further assault by insolent men who have no respect for us. We now have the rosy-cheeked PDP men – sworn enemies of the people, those who presided over the theft of N1.7 trillion, who sold unto themselves the patrimony bequeathed onto us by our selfless nationalists and which we are in turn expected to bequeath onto our children, those who with the military wrecked the aviation, pharmaceutical, textile industries, and who built private universities after destroying the world class institutions they inherited, all now talking of patriotism on national television.

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