APC AND PDP: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN4
By: Egbuna Amuta
It s absolutely shameful that some Nigerians are happy that a former vice president of the country, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has emerged as the presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the contest for the 2019 general elections. They believe that he would defeat the incumbent helmsman of the country, retired General Mohammadu Buhari.
Yes, in the estimation of this writer Buhari, has performed below the expectations of many Nigerian citizens vis-a-vis the promises made by him and his party, for which they were given the mandate by the electorate in 2015. But Atiku Abubakar is definitely not the Messiah we are expecting. This is because he has a lot of baggage trailing his past performance as the vice president the country under the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration which lasted for eight years, from 1999 to 2007. Atiku’s life style is also not wonderful. He is married to four wives and probably has innumerable concubines. Many of us are at a loss why he is reluctant to visit the United States of America, after one of his business partners, Congressman Jefferson was jailed over a dubious business deal in which Atiku was allegedly involved. I wonder why he is avoiding the US, if he does not have skeletons in his cupboard.
There is no gainsaying the fact that his party, the PDP looted Nigeria blind in the sixteen years they held sway in the country. Many of their members who are implicated in corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have not convincingly defended themselves. They at least admitted that they illegally and immorally collected billions of dollars and naira from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki for matters not related to security. They are unfortunately rationalising their thievery by arguing that some APC members are equally corrupt but are not being prosecuted by the EFCC. Yes, they may be right but two wrongs do not make a right. Yes, PDP and APC are grossly peopled by very corrupt politicians who do not deserve to govern our country again. Even though they are denying it, a lot of eye witnesses and participants in the recent PDP convention at Port Harcourt say that billions of dollars were shared to the delegates to elect the party’s presidential standard bearer as was the case in convention of the former Social Democratic Party, SDP, ahead of the annulled 1993 presidential poll in the aborted Third Republic. Atiku also participated as a presidential aspirant in that convention at Port Harcourt. His running mate in the forthcoming general elections is alleged to have played a crucial role in the inducement of delegates to recent PDP convention in the Rivers state capital. He is one of those said to have personally doled out the dollars to delegates. His hypocrisy is legendary. Those who know him very well say that he is self centered and does not really practice what he preaches.
One of Atiku’s wives was also linked to a bribery scandal in the US, a saga that has tended to taint his image. Yes, Atiku is a businessman and former customs officer. Like his running mate, he is an unscrupulous capitalist whose modus operandi of doing business is more often than not machiavellian. They believe so much in private enterprise to the extent that some people are afraid that they would sell off the country’s assets and commanding heights to themselves and their cronies just as was the case during the Obasanjo administration’s privatisation policy.
Even though economic recession set in with the Buhari administration, the plain truth is that the governments of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successor, former President Goodluck Jonathan laid the foundation for the debilitating condition. There regimes were obviously corrupt and profligate. Sadly, the present APC government despite making fight against corruption one of its cardinal policies, has failed woefully in that wise. It has equally performed below expectations in its fight against insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria. Little wonder terrorists in the guise of Fulani herdsmen are rampaging many parts of the country killing and bombing life out of thousands of innocent and hapless people including women and children. The Boko Haram insurgents in Northeast Nigeria are still making waves to the chagrin of the citizenry. Instead of providing jobs as they promised, millions of Nigerians have lost their jobs under the APC led federal government. There are so many unemployed youths in the country today. Regrettably, our country is said to have the largest number of poor persons in the world today. The level of poverty in Nigeria is akin to a time bomb soon to explode. Perhaps the worst sin of President Buhari is his nepotic attitude to running the affairs of a country made up of many ethnic nationalities and different religious persuasions. President Buhari’s style of governance is obviously threatening the peace and unity of Nigeria.
Due to lack of education of the masses and greed on the part of many members of the elite class, the PDP and APC are still being taken serious. One of them might unfortunately win the 2019 presidential election. Their victory would not be as a result of their good intentions or plans for the country. Their victory would be predicated on their ability to either out spend, out maneovre and/or intimidate their opponents during the elections. The PDP, APC and past military regimes in Nigeria have regrettably corrupted the system to the extent that it has become a way of life of our people.
How I wish that Nigerians would be wiser in the forthcoming general elections and reject the two parties. How I also wish that the Nigerian electorate would refuse to be bribed by politicians during the elections. How I wish the electorate would protect their votes from poll riggers. How I wish, how I wish… The plain truth remains that a people beget the type government they deserve. The only thing I am sure of doing is that I would not vote for the Presidential candidates of PDP and APC. I still vividly remember that it was the PDP government that wreaked so much havocs in Anambra, my home state between 1999 and 2006. Their bad governance led to introduction of the murderous Bakassi boys, burning of public property, illegal impeachment of a democratically elected governor(who has unconscionably joined the party), among many other atrocities committed against Ndi Anambra. All these evil were committed against us when Obasanjo and Atiku ruled Nigeria. Late Professor Chinua Achebe deprecated the connivance of the regime with the masterminds of the heinous crimes and bluntly refused to accept national honours award given to him by the Obasanjo/Atiku administration. The PDP and APC are peopled by the same characters who are unscrupulously taking Ndi Anambra and other Nigerians for a ride since 1999. Both parties of chronic defectors, chameleons and wheeler dealers are definitely not worthy of our Trust. We are not impressed with the position of running mate or vice president. What Ndigbo want Restructuring or the office of the president. The offices of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF and Chief of Staff, COS are at times more powerful and influential than that of the VP which is often referred to in our clime as mere Spare Tyre. The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA is a preferred alternative to the two ruthless political parties. This is because its government in Anambra state under the watch of Governor Willie Obiano, who is the national leader and Board of Trustees chairman of the party is unarguably the most people oriented administration in Nigeria today#
EGBUNA AMUTA, a Political Analyst writes from Onitsha