Monday, 21 June 2010

PDP: a highly coveted party?

Joachim Ezeji

When I read and watch what obtains in the Nigerian political arena, particularly events in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I can’t help, but shudder. Often, I wonder if our present day politicians would have even had the opportunity if the past had been just like this. Would they have even have had the chance in the first place? Why on earth are PDP politicians behaving as it Nigeria started today, and as if it will end with just them?

Nigeria was never as bad as it is has turned out recently. In years past, such as years as far back as 20, 30, and even 40 years ago, Nigeria was working. Politicians to a very relative extent knew their limits and of course stopped at such limits. But these days, not anymore these days. Today, politicians especially those in PDP have a larger than life idea about themselves and the capacity of their intents. To them, limits exist no more or could be infinitely manipulated. In their penchant to achieve such notorious ends the rest of us can go to hell.

I have a Nigerian friend who has lived in Germany for well over 25 years, and of course a German now. As at today, Charles hates everything Nigeria and sees Nigeria is being beyond remedy. He sees PDP as Nigeria’s present day major ailment. To him, PDP amplifies everything that have gone berserk or that is utterly wrong about Nigeria.

Whenever we discuss, he happily tells me that he is proud to be a German and ashamed to be a Nigerian. He says he is proud to be a German because he has now outgrown the overhang of international resentment of everything Nigerian; ranging from the world’s airports and daily interaction with foreigners. He says that he is so excited that his four children, all boys, are now born Germans and would benefit from the many opportunities that exist for citizens of Europeans and the entire western world instead of the massive opprobrium and drawbacks that afflict Nigerians.

In his words; ‘’Nigeria is the only country in the world where elected officials, especially state governors and local government chairmen can easily decide to pocket state allocations or funds, using same to uplift themselves, secure their future via personal investments and do all sorts of private concerns at the expense of the citizens and the heaven will not fall’’. He says that they are so devilishly daring that any opposition to their ways is crushed. They never bother to bath an eyelid. These politicians are no doubt in other parties, but they are more in the PDP, and the party know that and gives them optimum cover.

Is not amazing that a whopping 49 candidates are currently vying to become governor of Anambra state on the PDP ticket? What does this imply? Simply put, this implies rot that must be exploited by all those interested. If the ground is level, why should all contenders agglutinate in just one political party while more than 50 political parties exist?

It is most interesting to ponder what the manifesto of each of these contenders looks like. I can bet you that most of them do not even have a manifesto and may also not even have a basic ideological school upon which to situate their interest or ambition to become a state governor.

In Nigeria of this era, professional coup plotters (who retired from the military), failed business men, unsuccessful contractors, unemployment wrecked applicants, fizzling out conmen and laid back and crude individuals dominate the political space. These also include educated but morally depraved persons who see politics as the only lifeline to success. To them it is a do or die matter, and everything formal must be dismantled once it stands on their way.

Why on earth should every politician want to belong to the PDP? From the bizarre state of affairs, I doubt if there are still well meaning politician left in the PDP mainstream. Everybody in the PDP of today either wants to be manipulated into office or to be appointed into positions of immense authority and influence. To them Nigeria is a bazaar that must be plundered without any spares. To them the future exists only for them and their households, and not for the rest of us; the side watchers!

The motley crowd of 49 angling to secure the PDP’s gubernatorial ticket for Anambra State and the quagmire the party now finds itself speaks volume about the mentality of the average Nigerian politician. Why sale forms at that scale? The propensity to raise funds from form sales at such massive scale without an introspection of the backlash even when the party knows that it was not going to provide a level playing field to all the candidates smacks of treachery. A party that does that deserves to die, and PDP deserves nothing less.

This brings me to the three state governors who recently abandoned their party platforms on which they were initially elected for PDP. What on earth were they thinking? Are they hoping to reap from the evil tendencies of the PDP? Yes, evil tendencies here means, the ability of PDP to use state institutions such as the police, the military and INEC to its favour? I want somebody to help explain to me what they really hope to achieve from their new found love in the PDP.

The driving motive behind the rush to join the PDP is simply insane. Politician rushing to join the PDP are simply doing so for selfish reasons. None of them is yet to adduce any convincing reasons for such action. No, not even one. But, why? The reasons as I earlier pointed out are not far fetched and are overtly selfish. This derives from the principal factor of the ability of the party to manipulate and bulldoze its way through the polity. Politicians are not performing, and are simply in politics to amass wealth and prosperity which their years outside politics have failed to achieve. The only sure pathway to achieving that is to go to that party that unfairly manipulates the polity to its favour irrespective of the consequences.

Also, most of the politicians dying for the PDP have negligible intrinsic worth or credibility. They absolutely lack faith on their personal ability to convince and mobilize popular opinion hence the resort to a willing machine that easily rides roughshod over the people and the law. So, the only assurance to achieving their ambition is to join and remain in PDP.

As at today, though keen and interested in party politics, I am not a card carrying member of any Nigerian political party and certainly do not admire any of them yet. However, if I am to choose, the PDP would not even make my selection list as I would like to prove my mettle by winning election from a party whose ideological leaning tallies with mine and which obeys and follows the rule of law in all sincerity.

But then, will such a party ever get a fair and equal playing field? Perhaps, till Nigeria attains that level, the insane agglutination to the PDP will continue and Nigerians would remain worse off for it. But, Nigerians still have a chance to salvage the situation as Americans and Europeans cannot do that for us. We need to shine our eyes as events to the next general elections unfold. The country belongs to us and the people oppressing us did not come from the moon. We can stop them, and safeguard our future and save our upcoming generations from crying so much.

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