African Outlook Online

Dayo's Standpoint

PDP is not Nigeria`s Problem, Nigerian Politicians are!

PDP is not Nigeria`s Problem, Nigerian Politicians are!

 

By Dayo Balogun

You must by now have heard or read that a merger is being planned by four of Nigeria`s registered political parties, namely, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.

All Progressive Congress, APC, the name proposed for the new merger is said to have been borne out of the need to have a meaningful opposition to the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the next election in 2015. A statement released by the four parties when the merger was announced stated that, "At no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent." The statement further added that the four parties have announced starting to merge to form a political party because they are determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, to grow Nigeria`s economy and create jobs in their millions thereby stopping the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among Nigerians.

 

The big question, is, will the merger bring an end to endemic corruption and insecurity in Nigeria? Will the creation of All Progressive Congress (APC) be the turning point in Nigeria and welcome real growth in Nigeria`s economy, immediate urgent development of ailing infrastructures with millions of jobs created in the process? The simple answer is, I don’t think so! Call me whatever name you like; negative, pessimist etc, I just cannot agree that APC is the solution to the country's glaring and very complicated problems. In fact, I am prepared to go on record to state that Nigeria's problem will be compounded with the formation of the All Progressives Congress. I hope I am proved wrong in years to come because I am one of the Nigerians passionate for change in a new Nigeria.

 

Four political parties that have presumably been originally formed on different ideologies and philosophies are planning to come together. I wonder how they are going to compromise on those ideologies, philosophies and vision if truly they had any at their various inceptions. As it is now customary in Nigeria, while these four political parties continue their parleys on modalities of forming the All Progressives Congress (APC) another group who are reported to have been sponsored by the ruling PDP have come up with another political party called African People's Congress (APC) to add to the confusion!

 

Nigeria's problem is not the PDP but extremely corrupt Nigerian politicians of all the currently registered political parties most especially the so called “god-fathers.” Yes, I mean ALL presently registered political parties. I firmly and unequivocally believe that the present crop of mostly corrupt politicians with very dark and corrupt past cannot and will never help Nigeria. It’s not rocket science, the legendary leopard doesn't change its spots. If you disagree with me, all you need do is check to see who the main players in these political parties trying to form the alliance are. It won’t take long to discover that the main players, those who pay the piper and dictate the tunes in these parties are those who have been intricately linked to corruption and or those who have held on to power in one way or the other since the country`s independence.

 

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clearly rules the roost with their massive across the nation majority of 263 members in the lower house out of 360, 85 senators in the senate out of 109 and 23 state governors out of 36, not to mention hundreds of local government chairmen. But what difference does the coming together of these four parties to form APC make for Nigerians? Aren’t these parties coming together only to wrestle power from the PDP? And then what? If they are successful in doing so, what difference will it make for an average Nigerian?

 

The answers to these questions lie in the states and constituencies controlled by these four political parties. It’s a shame that in view of lacking examples of good governance or better still politicians serving the people that elected them, Nigerians are now easily satisfied by the mediocrity of those in power. That is mainly the reason why I feel some ACN, APGA, ANPP and CPC governors, House of Representatives Members and Senators get showered with praises by unsuspecting Nigerians. How many Nigerians and constituents of these so-called “performing” politicians ask appropriate and relevant questions on how much or value for money of the projects or programs executed by the corrupt politicians? It’s not uncommon for those benefiting from the status-quo to keep quiet until they no longer get served what they refer to as their own share of “the national cake!”

 

Nigerians need to start asking questions about how much projects such as, independence celebrations, supposed health projects, education projects, Flower planting and beautification projects have cost so far, how many times various road constructions, drainage, street lighting projects have been awarded and how much these various projects have cost treasuries of states in question. Governors in the states controlled by these four political parties preaching moral high ground and planning to come together to fight the PDP have illegally dissolved local government administrations in their states and in some instances failed to conduct primaries or local government elections proper. I wonder what they will do if they seize power at the centre from the ruling party.

 

Gone are those days when these thieving politicians were discreet about their corruption. Nowadays, they rub their corrupt practises on the faces of Nigerians. It is not uncommon to lavish state funds to celebrate birthdays, buy expensive gifts on behalf of the state for their political friends and associates or pay for Kim Kardashian to spend 24 hrs in Lagos Nigeria for a reported $500,000.00 while their electorates wallow in abject poverty.

 

It is true that at no time in the history of Nigeria has radical change become more urgent; however these set of politicians are not the ones Nigerians can rely on to bring about that much needed and desired change. The way forward for Nigeria is emergence of a new set of politicians, and an infinitesimal number amongst the present set who have skeletons in their cupboards. The only set of politicians we can rely on are those whose hands have not been caught in the tills of state treasuries and new set of young, brilliant, God fearing and honest politicians that are prepared to serve the country at this critical time. Trust me, we definitely can do without these present dishonorable, power-drunk, blood-thirsty greedy, win at-all-cost, selfish career politicians.

 

It’s not compulsory to be an MSc or PhD holder to be an excellent politician of the federal republic. Neither is it mandatory for those willing to sacrifice themselves for the Herculean task of nation building to have attended Cambridge, Oxford or Harvard. It is however extremely essential for our politicians to have integrity, be truthful, be honest, reliable, forthright and be ready to serve. These are qualities a greater proportion of the present crop of politicians of various political parties at all government levels in Nigeria doesn’t have, especially those in the process of forming All Progressives Congress (APC). One thing is sure, they are not progressives at all.