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ANALYSIS: The Ruling PDP; Be Honest And Face Reality  

By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, African Examiner, Nigeria Bureau – After a critical assessment of its performance in the first four years in office (2003); the contradictions and so many misgivings that are associated with some of his members and leaders, my aversion and reservation for the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has not abated. My position is always hinged on one fundamental factor and it is the fact that, if a political party, claiming to be parading good number of prominent Nigerians of various callings; with rare opportunity to be in charge of the country’s affairs for almost 16 years, yet, fails to hold its head high and claims (unarguably) success on one serious capital project, power, as an example, such a party and its members do not merit occupying such an exalted seat!

The situation recently became worst, given the conflicting signals emanating from the party; its members and supporters of the PDP Presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan in the just concluded general elections as well as some of its leaders. Just consider after the ‘remotely-controlled’ concession of defeat by the outgoing President as well as the rumour within and outside the party over sharp practices against its National Working Committee (NWC). The President last week, joined in the fray when for the first time, publicly challenged the final result of the Presidential Poll on a rather weak and subjective grounds.

Another factor is about the raging verbal attacks launched by the reckless Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose who in his own wisdom, concluded and declared that the National Chairman of the PDP, “Mr. Game Changer”, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu was compromised; worked with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to zeal President Jonathan’s defeat.

I was pained over these resentments, as they suggested that it is either the party that crowns itself the biggest in Africa, despite being conscious of the bitter fact (failure), yet attempting devil advocacy – busy making spurious accusations; or very painfully, the PDP members have not yet learnt the deserving lessons from the loss at the recent Polls.

With respect to accusation of financial misconduct against some members of its NWC, I believe there is no better way to describe this than self-indictment. If at all, the argument is substantiated, it goes to justify that the PDP leaders who have been one way or the other appointed to be in charge of the National affairs are not credible, therefore cannot be trusted with sensitive national responsibilities.

President Jonathan’s input to the unfolding reactionary theories somewhat paved the way for the attack launched by Fayose this week. Recall, I mentioned last week, that Mr. President’s points with respect to votes recorded by his party in some Northern States were not well thought, especially when consider the violence that erupted; voting pattern and results from his region – the South East and South South.

On allegation of compromise against Mu’azu, Governor Fayose claimed he had evidence to support his position. Here, I make bold to state that a serious-minded fellow, who is not just seeking public attention and worthless admiration would not have threatened of making available proofs over a genuine evidence of a sensitive issue of this nature. Provided he still believes so, I believe his Chairman, had served him right, when he warned Wednesday via his tweets, that he hoped the proof claimed by Fayose would not go the same way with the London’s – when in January this year, he (Fayose) ruthlessly attempted to deceive the public that General Muhammadu Buhari (rted) was in the hospital, receiving treatment, whereas was engaged in a Public Lecture in Chatam House.

Fayose claimed the sum of N30 million allotted to his State and received by his State’s chapter from the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization was judiciously spent and this accounted for the party’s victory in the two polls. Well, Mr. Fayose can say that and continue to make point out of his self-conceited achievement. Still, the Governor who has been reputed for grandstanding should not be deceived he had a special or magic wand to have attained the acclaimed feat.

Mr. Fayose, your antecedent as an impeached Governor of Ekiti State confirmed you still have questions, regarding handling of your State’s resources to answer, therefore must desist from attempt to sound holier than the Pope. ‘Mr. Right’, please be informed that just as you claimed you spent the money handed over to your State’s chapter, the same happened to your counterparts in the South Western region to start with. Alas, the outcome of the elections did not favour your Presidential candidate and the party in general owing to lack of good records – credibility; good performance; trust and confidence.

On the victory claimed by Fayose in Ekiti, in the recent polls, (apology to cultured Ekiti indigenes if I sound rude here), that can be influenced and happen only in Ekiti. My reasons are that Fayose gives impression that he is an educated fellow, but given his past and the presence, he has failed to convince any saner mind that he is literate. Fayose claimed to be popular and rode on that, to the victory in June 21, 2014 Governorship election of the trifling South Western State; yet, the very poll has been unarguably linked to scam, now encapsulated and popularly referred to as Ekitigate – the plots by him, top government officials and the PDP members on how to rig the election. Except one of the suspects, others including Governor Fayose himself, had admitted the sinister and infamous meeting and their participation.

I insist on the point that Fayose could only win in a State like Ekiti in the politically sophisticated South West. He can never for instance, in my State (Ogun) with his resenting and very irritating character stand for, contest and win Governorship election. Lagos for him is even unthinkable! Of course, he and his supporters might not contest this, just as his ‘species’ in Lagos, who is equally a rabble rouser had contested in the past, but utterly defeated and failed. The last primary he contested was in January this year. I therefore wish to say with all sense of responsibility, that those who admire this man and who he governs are his replica. In other words, that Ekiti, despite being held in high esteem for being in the edge of higher education, ironically, deserves as Governor, a person of Fayose. It is indeed amazing!

Not done yet. I doubt if Fayose was really mindful of the fact that the PDP leader and its Presidential candidate (Jonathan) temporarily relocated to his region (South West); commissioned many window dressing projects; organized many resources-wasting fora; involved in so many political horse-trading; visited and lured many traditional and religion leaders in the region to support him and lavishly doled out dollars, even as both Federal and many State Governments were owing their workers backlog of salaries, yet lost. Is Mr. Fayose insinuating just as he did to Mu’azu, that the Chieftains of the PDP compromised and worked with the APC in the last general elections? What is Fayose’s special interest in the North and the party’s Chairman?

Again, why Fayose is clashing with everybody within and outside his party? I have established in one of my previous analyses that the Governor appears more at home with troubles. Which is the reason why his perception to issues is distinctly different from his PDP co-members and the general public. This is not funny at all. Can we therefore ask Mr. Fayose is everything normal?

On the PDP and President Jonathan’s loss, the party has not ceased to be contradicting and disappointing. Just as his National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh condemned in response to a question during a press conference this week, some elements within the ruling house for making inflammatory statements, while the electioneering campaigns lasted, admitted this error accounted for the party’s misfortune in the just concluded general elections. Without mincing words, the party’s National Publicist was referring to the same Fayose, Femi Fani-Kayode and Mama (what?) on their provocative and offensive utterances. I wonder why the admittance now – after the elections. Whereas, when Nigerians demanded for issues based campaign and picked holes in the PDP personality and character damage campaigns, those who needed to speak up then, kept mute and expected to reap the benefits of the diatribes, which unfortunately for the party further worked against it and its candidate chances!

Also in the week, the National Scribe of the PDP, Professor Wale Oladipo directed all warring factions/members in the party to sheath their swords; desist from accusations and counter accusations of one another, with respect to the last polls. He went to the extent of barring members from issuing press statements and commenting on the polls. A good decision, one could not but admit. Yet, the same party has gone ahead to constitute a post-election assessment committee to review and evaluate the party’s performance in the just concluded general elections.

Perhaps you might now agree with me why I lack confidence in the PDP, especially its unrepentant culture of chasing shadows and lacking in the political will to do things right and facing the reality. In the committee are controversial and questionable characters such as: the “uncommon” Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Minister of Internal Affairs Abba Moro; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives; Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, and Nyesom Wike, among other members within the Northern and Southern parts of the country.

Frankly, what moral right has Akpabios; Ihediohas; Wikes of this world, have to conduct a post-election findings, in Nigeria when in their States, the polls were turned to war and allegedly smuggled their ways (personal or party) to victory? Which audacity and what business does Moro who under his watch, many Nigerians were killed last year March, in search of scandalous appointments in the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have in such a serious committee (ordinarily) in the first place?

With respect to the assignment before the committee, the members should be conscious that already, one of its own (Metuh) has admitted faults on the part of some PDP members. Therefore, they should be careful in reversing that (as usual), rather, should go ahead and officially identify and name those bad eggs as well as recommend punishments for them, in case they have the livers or allowed to do so.

In actual fact, the group’s findings and recommendations do not really matter to me as I know the whole effort is more like looking for a rotten banana in the monkey jungles or attempting to run the horse through the eyes of a needle. In other words, what the PDP has done lately, is to show and reaffirm that it is a party that always avoids reality and takes comfort in painting black white.

Imagine, after massive but avoidable killings by the insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country; high level of corruption in the government circle, which directly and adversely responsible for the poor state of power despite the estimated $31.45 billion (about N5 trillion) expended on the sector; the ruined economy and widespread of hopelessness in the land; excessive political ambition of Mr. President that affected so many of his actions and decisions as well as his party, yet, the PDP hoped and expected to be victorious in the last general polls!

Two wrongs they say cannot be right. If the PDP, its members and leaders are shying away from the reality – pretend not to know why they failed, Nigerians cannot be the same fooled. However, some Nigerians were strongly convinced, considering the available indices, that the ruling house would not survive the ‘impending’ devastating pay back. Thus they collectively determined to vote against it (PDP) and many of its candidates across the country. This is the bitter truth and reality the ruling house is pretending to be ignorant about.

I wish to repeat today, that if the PDP and its leader are challenging the Presidential results at the State level, it is a no go area, as it cannot, in all honesty vouch for the results recorded for its candidate in States like Akwa Ibom, Imo, Rivers, Delta and Edo, if at all, the poll was rigged in some Northern States as tactically alleged by Mr. President last week.

However, the President or any interested party is free to approach court to seek redress on any contentious area, relating to the poll if they wished.

Finally, it is over a month after the Presidential Election was conducted and the winner declared. By this time, the ruling PDP ought to pre-occupy itself with efforts and tasks to correcting the grievous blunders and errors committed by its members; learn good lessons from them as well as be willing to constitute a vibrant and useful opposition party. The members and its leaders should be reminded again, that lashing out sentiments will not yield any good result, neither the ensuing fighting over a split-milk will do neither the members nor the party as a whole, any good in the short and long run. PDP family, face the reality and let Nigeria heave a sigh of relieve, please!

RE: News Analysis: SURE-P/FERMA Federal Task Force: An Appendage Of Impunity

The above headline was cast for my analysis posted on Friday, November 7, 2014. Recall, it was prompted by the friction and violent confrontation that broke out that week, between the so called Federal Task Force and the men of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA). The scuffle was not actually the first nor the second.

In the peace, I raised the issues relating to legality or otherwise of the Force; its strange and incessant clashes with the LASATMA officials and questionable motives of its masked handlers and sponsors, the officers’ reckless and crude manner of operations among many other points. Now, the die is cast; truth has eventually emerged and those who raised questions about the nonsense and dirty assignments the errant Para-military men were assigned have been finally vindicated.

Just last week, Lagos residents watched and read with surprise about the scam perpetrated by those who engaged the unsuspicious and able Nigerians for three years under the SURE-P and FERMA, with the promise of offering them gainful employment. They narrated agonized tale of how over N30000 was collected from each one of them for kitting and training, but in the end, were laid off (after general elections) with dashed hope!

If SURE-P and FERMA are the legacies of the PDP government, including the outgoing, and no denial of the Task force, rather, the previous failed attempts to justify it as an affiliate of another constitutionally recognized government agency – FERMA, can the PDP and the outgoing administration be absolved from this yet another employment sham? Think seriously about the past on the subject and decide in fairness on your own please.

Before now, not a few has concluded that nothing good would come out of SURE-P/FERMA Federal Task Force. Are they right or wrong with the unfolding drama and sorrowful narratives by the victims? And to worsen the situation, none of the SURE-P Coordinator (PDP members) in Lagos is available to attend to the issues/questions raised by those they have been using for personal political assignments. Such is the story of he who aspires for free runs after vanity!

Finally, I recall a reader angrily e-mail me over the piece, accusing me of indicting the government without having my facts. I do know what the present position of the gentleman is. He is however free as I put to him, then to share his experience, if in any way different from the unfortunate ones, just as ‘I to assume his story is different from his teeming colleagues’. Expect to hear from him or anyone willing to volunteer useful information.

E – Mail: tjaysuccess10@gmail.com; Facebook: Tajudeen Balogun; Twitter: @tajudeen balogun     



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