Less than a month ago, Nigerians, in their millions, staged unprecedented protests that shook the foundations of the Nigerian establishment. They were angry with the insensitivity of the PDP-led federal government. And then last Saturday, a gubernatorial election was conducted in Adamawa state, Northern Nigeria, and PDP won. How do we explain that?
But that’s not the end of the puzzle. The man who won the election, Murtala Nyako, was reportedly owing workers in the state as a sitting governor. And on the Election Day, he was returned by the same workers. Again, how do we explain this?
And you may not need to remind me that PDP rigged the election. I don’t rule that out. I know rigging is to PDP what water is to a fish. Yet we must take a look at the figures from INEC:
• PDP – 302986 votes
• ACN – 260405 votes
• CPC – 107564 votes
If we sum up the votes recorded by the two opposition parties, we have a total of 367,969; which bests the PDP number.
Yet again, that doesn’t end the analysis. The election elicited my interest in many ways. The party which took second in that election is ACN, largely considered a Southern based party. By a very wide margin, they overtook the CPC which many analysts, including this writer, had expected to win the election. And as I heard, and saw from his name, the ACN candidate is a Christian, not a Muslim. He had more votes than a party considered North-dominated.
Now I see an area of interest in the whole election. They people seem to have become more conscious. The electorate seems ready. The voting pattern tells me so. They voted PDP out. Those against were more than those for PDP. The real unfortunate scenario is that those to whom the electorate look up for salvation aren’t ready. If they are, then we won’t have PDP winning an election after three weeks of PDP-stirred rage and eruptions.
So what’s the next step? The opposition goes to court. Which court? Nigerian courts. And what do they intend to get from the courts? I don’t know, really.
People were probably given money to vote PDP. It can’t be ruled out. There probably were cases of irregularities. Again, I don’t know. But even if there were, the votes against PDP still were more. Does that tell us anything? The opposition, not our people’s poverty or ignorance, handed down that victory to PDP.
Now let’s even ask: who really owns PDP? I can’t successfully hazard any guess. I could begin by naming up to a hundred people. Before I get done with that, I’ll remember another hundred, and then another hundred and more hundred. I will remember the governors, the ministers, Senators, Commissioners, and thousands of others I don’t know. There are the Local Government chieftains who aren’t even in government. There are the state heavyweights and the national big men in PDP. The party is owned by nobody in particular. It is owned by everybody. It is a gathering of those whose major interest is to lay their hands on Nigeria’s wealth and corner it to themselves, families and friends. PDP is bound by a desire to perpetually feast on whatever Nigeria can cook and bring to the dining table. PDP is a world-class rigging machine. But it is one party where almost everybody has a chance.
On the contrary, who own the other parties trying to take over power from the PDP? In a minute, I can run you through four or five of the opposition parties and the ogas or madams who own them. Each of the other parties have the seal of their owners stamped all over their plans and aspirations. Political parties have become private enterprises of their “owners” who seem very comfortable with PDP’s determination to run Nigeria aground. It does seem as though people are just comfortable with being called the owners of political parties than actually getting into government to offer Nigerians good governance.
Last year, during the elections, millions of Nigerians who didn’t believe in the power of shoes –or lack of them – to provide good governance for any country wished, begged and even prayed for a fruitful alliance or merger between the ACN and CPC. They wished that the leading opposition parties present a common front to confront the PDP rigging machine. What did we get? We got nothing. And why did it not work? They must have loved something else more than they loved Nigeria. And Nigeria could go to blazes so long as that which they loved remained. Well, they got it. But today, we see where that has kept us.
After disappointing their admirers and supporters all over the world, we had expected that some of these parties would, immediately after the elections, commence talks on how to form a formidable opposition using their regional strengths. But that has to be only in the imaginations of naive ones like us who know nothing. I may not be wrong to assume that the parties were probably formed for the sake of anything other than Nigeria. The Adamawa election has passed a clear message to us: in the opposition camp, ego is more important than Nigeria!
Before and during the protests, President Jonathan knew that all he had of the presidency was his first four years in office. His party’s image was brutally battered. The message was clear to him: just do one term and get out. Nobody will consider you for re-election. But with the Adamawa magic, and the fact that PDP will still win (I am certain of this!) in the remaining three of the five states where the governors were sacked, the president might start considering a second term in office. And the opposition, with their “ownership mentality” will lose it again!
We cannot continue with the same strategy and then expect a different result. PDP is evil, we all complain: yet to dislodge them, we set up minor ego-boosting groups and brand them political parties. If we do not latently nurse the ambition of being like PDP in government – or even worse, why haven’t we made the bold step of uniting as the opposition? If we do not feel sincerely that Nigeria’s pathetic situation demands that we bridle our egos and form an invincible coalition, we will remain with a PDP government for as long as Nigeria tarries.
And they’ll say it’s an ideology thing. That’s their alibi. How many people in opposition weren’t once in PDP? And even if there is indeed anything like party ideology in this clime, why don’t we make the rescue of Nigeria the real ideology and then work around it?
The PDP might be evil, but the opposition has to seek tutorials from them on how to not claim “ownership” of anything designed to have a national spread.
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