by Yomi Kazeem
Last week, Ohimai Amaize who is Special Assitant to Minister of Sports Bolaji Abdullahi penned what he thought was a critique of the All Progressives Congress. Unbeknownst to him, most of his points against the APC can also be argued to be valid against his PDP.
‘What is the core ideology of this new contrivance? What is its blueprint for Nigeria’s regeneration? An existing manifesto or some consultants are still working on it? When will it be ready? Perhaps, a few months to the next general elections!’
I agree with Ohimai that the APC merger seems a wee bit too hurried. Perhaps focus was on making an immediate statement rather than getting all the pieces together.
Regardless, it is often said that those who live in glass houses neeed not throw stones. The PDP’s manifesto of embezzlement has not done anyone much good, has it? I will not ignorantly deny the ongoing works in the power sector but in the same vein I will not, like Reno Omokri is paid to do, praise the PDP for what it is not. A proper Manifesto is something that both parties lack.
Ohimai also mentions ideology which frankly speaking is alien to all political parties in Nigeria. In countries like UK and USA, the clear ideologies of parties is ostensible. The ideology of the party permeates through all strata and all members, no matter how highly placed.
Political ideologies are foreign to Nigeria and will remain so for a while hence Ohimai’s jab at the APC for a lack of ideology is a jab at the PDP as well. If any at all, the ideology of the PDP is to maintain a stranglehold on power, resist accountability and celebrate corruption. The ideology of the APC on the other hand appears to center around kicking the PDP out of office – everything else is secondary.
‘We will lose the opportunity to engage candidates on serious policy-focused debates before the elections while they get their acts together; PDP will do its homework well, campaigning and penetrating the grassroots. At the end of the day, someone will cry foul that PDP has cheated!’
Simple question: how many ‘serious policy-focused debates’ did the President show up for in the build-up to the last elections? Even Ohimai criticised the president over this in 2011, when his own candidate then, Dele Momodu of the NCP, showed up for the youth-organised presidential debate while President Jonathan, Ohimai’s new love, was missing in action.
How did the Presidency respond to Madam Oby Ezekwesili’s challenge to engage in a ‘serious policy-focused debate’?
You see, the PDP seemingly abhors accountability hence Ohimai’s point is null. As for doing its homework well (loosely translated into influencing electoral processes) and penetrating grassroots, the PDP’s antics are legendary and thus cannot be competed against.
‘Permit me a question: When this new opposition party was being formed, what was its agenda for the youth? Is there any or will it hurriedly cook up one within the next few days? Which of the pro-APC youth activists on Twitter can confidently tell us the youth agenda of their new party? How many of my fellow Twitter busybodies were consulted to share their ideas for this merger before it was hatched?
Permit me a question: What is the PDP’s agenda for the youth? How many young, smart and intelligent people did the PDP consult before its formation was, in Ohimai’s words, ‘hatched’? It is fantastic that several young people within the PDP are hoping to change the party ‘from the inside’- it is commendable but who are we fooling when the leader of the youth group in PDP is closer to 80 than he is to 30? Will the PDP be changed ‘from the inside by these smart young people? It is hard to believe so. Not only because too much is at stake but (in Ohimai’s exact words about APC leaders acknowledgement of their youth) also ‘because as far as they are concerned, you are not important in the scheme of things and do not exist’.
The PDP is not a model party; they have tons of faults and failings. They have failed for 13 straight years and do not look like succeeding anytime soon. Their dominance in Nigerian politics may be admirable but their corresponding track record is saddening.The APC, in their very short life-span, have not reflected perfection but if anything the hastiness and desire of the constituent members to set aside their different belief systems and ideas can be credited to them as selflessness and can be classified as an indictment on how terrible the PDP regimes have been.