5th April, 2018
PDP’S APOLOGY: GIVE US A BREAK PLEASE!
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Uche Secondus, recently apologized to Nigerians for mistakes made by the party while in power.
The Central Think-Tank (CTT) of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) met immediately after the monthly general meeting held at the weekend and PDP’s apology was among the issues discussed. CTT critically X-rayed the apology and unanimously rejected it. It found the apology half-hearted, deceitful and misplaced.
It is half-hearted because it is not comprehensive. Secondus said he apologized to Nigerians for “impunity, the imposition of candidates and other mistakes made in the past.” Just like that? Nothing was mentioned about the humongous amounts of money stolen by the PDP and whether or not the stolen funds will be returned. Nothing was said about widespread corruption during PDP’s reign. There was no mention of infrastructural negligence. Does Secondus expect Nigerians to swallow that dry apology hook, line and sinker? No, the tides have turned. Nigerians are now wiser.
Who is the PDP trying to deceive? For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians did not sack PDP because its governors could not agree among themselves. Nigerians sent PDP packing because of its kleptomania and its flair for sharing money meant for building roads, electricity, education, etc, among its leaders. Before PDP can think of coming back, the party must tell us that it has agreed that stealing is corruption. Not only that, it must offer unreserved apology to the Nigerian hoi polloi for making that sweeping and misleading statement. Until they change that erroneous ideology, we will not touch PDP with a long pole.
PDP’s apology is deceitful because even its megaphones do not believe that any apology should be offered. They are still arrogant and unrepentant. Femi Fani-Kayode, a PDP chieftain and firebrand megaphone lambasted Uche Secondus for apologizing. Femi Fani-Kayode’s body language, coupled with Fayose’s hateful comportment and utterances since PDP fell from grace to grass are indubitable evidence of lack of remorse and unmitigated impunity. He who must come to equity must come with clean hands. PDP must be kept at bay.
How can PDP’s megaphones still have the temerity to bark at Nigerians after the party’s colossal vandalisation of our common patrimony? Nigeria remained underdeveloped for the 16 years of PDP’s misrule. Electricity was epileptic. The education sector was comatose. PDP over-pampered lawmakers and allowed them to allocate scandalous amounts to themselves. It is now difficult to tame them.
PDP is responsible for our plight today. The average Nigerian still lives on less than $2 per day. Per capita income is less than $300. Nigerian roads are the best for suicide drivers. Our hospitals are only suitable for getting rid of business rivals, unwanted relations and confirmed enemies. Young and talented Nigerians seek greener pasture abroad and the unfortunate ones end up as slaves and prostitutes in foreign lands. More than 80% Nigerians live under poverty level. 11 million Nigerians are malnourished. Worse still, only 1% of the Nigerian population has arrogated 85% of the commonwealth to themselves leaving only 15% to the remaining vast majority of 99%. As a result, the life span of the average Nigerian which was 70 years before independence is now 47.
The thieves are now confessing. Let us have more confessions. Even those who vehemently denied stealing are begging for bargaining. Election riggers are admitting their atrocities a la Mantu. They are begging Nigerians for forgiveness but they are unwilling to return stolen funds. Yet they want to control our destiny come 2019. They told us stealing is not corruption so they want to come back to steal. Are we so gullible? Why is it so easy to manipulate us? Napoleon said men are ruled by toys but here Nigerians are being ruled by nothingness. They are being ruled by emptiness, hunger, starvation, disease and sheer mirage. Who did this to Nigeria?
MURIC’s CTT also noted that PDP’s apology was misplaced. If PDP thinks it can maradonise Nigerians with a deceitful apology, the party must be told that there are Nigerians who are capable of analyzing every statement, every phrase and every word uttered by the party. The apology ostensibly offered to Nigerians was actually meant for governors and other influential chieftains who decamped from the PDP. It was not meant for poor people like us. It was not for the electorate, but for big politicians whom they have always used to deceive the electorate.
This fact became glaring from the speech of Chief Bode George at the same occasion where the ‘apology’ was offered. He said PDP was apologizing to party stalwarts who left the party “to return from the wilderness”. It is therefore clear that PDP did not really apologise to Nigerians, rather it apologized to its former chieftains. T o the PDP, traumatized and dehumanized masses deserve no apology.
Without being partisan, it is only fair to give all parties equal chances. PDP had a field day and that party cannot deny it. We gave PDP 16 good years but like the proverbial prodigal son, it wasted our resources. Objectivity demands that now that another party is in power and that ruling party has embarked on various construction projects, we should allow the party to prove its mettle.
Allow the projects of the ruling party to mature. Then we can compare and contrast. If it is true that PDP was in power for 16 good years, it stands to reason that we cannot fully assess the ruling party, in just four years. The All Progressives Congress (APC) needs at least another four years for its projects to mature and for Nigerians to fully assess it. Corruption is a highly contagious disease. PDP should just remain in quarantine.
As we round up, we urge PDP to give us a break. What the party should do if it really means well for this country is to offer a holistic apology, admit its wrongs (including massive and unprecedented corruption) return stolen funds, announce a moratorium of at least four more years before thinking of returning to power and identify a credible presidential candidate, possibly for 2027. In the interregnum, PDP can plan ahead for a corruption-free Nigerian environment in future. 2019 is not on the table.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)