BY SIMON REEF MUSA
When the present is devoid of hope, the mind gets entangled with the future, with the hope of getting inspiration in surviving the prevailing gloom. Dwelling on the future could serve as a consolation for an oppressive present that is enmeshed in darkness barren of any hope of overwhelming present dangers.
When people perpetually look forward to the future, instead of dwelling on current achievements, then, it becomes obvious that the contemporary is enshrouded in despair. Such is the present state of affairs Nigerians find the country’s politics and those that have seized it for their pecuniary interests. Both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are broken cisterns that have failed to deliver on their electoral promises as malnourished citizens continue to hope even against hope.
Over five years since the former ruling party was thrown out of power, the PDP has commendably demonstrated a poor profile in discharging its mandate as an opposition party. Apart from the usual press statements and other several media outings, the PDP is today one of the severely divided parties and incoherent opposition platforms ever seen in the history of Nigeria. An opposition party that knows its onions should have taken the APC to tatters and ride its way back to power. However, because the PDP is not founded on any genuine ideological principles, the exigency of the times has reduced the PDP into a megaphone for the protection of highly-rated political figures.
Perhaps, the lackadaisical attitude of the PDP may not be unconnected with its long years in the corridors of power which has robbed it of learning the new ropes of evolving opposition strategies. After vowing to stick to power for a minimum of six decades, it easily got crumbled in the face of propaganda foisted by the APC ahead of the 2015 polls. Despite promises by the APC to change the woes of electorates, the party has delivered its mandates in the air, as the people are yet to see the ‘change’ they voted for.
Even when people complained that the ‘change’ has been replaced with ‘chain’, the APC has not grown weary in telling impoverished citizens that it has commenced the journey to the ‘Next Level’.
For the ruling party, the incapacity by various strange bedfellows to forge into a common vision for effective leadership has thrown the APC into a conundrum of confusion. Their multiplicity of interests has contributed in weakening the party and rendering it an embarrassing weakling. When both the ruling party and the opposition refuse to unite to discharge their mandates, democracy suffers irretrievably.
It’s been a year since President Muhammadu Buhari secured his re-election and the battle over who takes control of the party’s machinery has just commenced. Against the backdrop of fireworks that trailed attempts by Governor Godwin Obaseki to secure the APC’s ticket to contest the next governorship election slated to hold in September, the fragile underbelly of the ruling party is being exposed to the outside world to see what has become of a party that once held out great hope for a despondent nation.
The PDP that is presently battling to recapture Edo state has not been spared of the mud associated with the Obaseki storm. The strong man of the PDP and governor of Rivers state, Barr Nyesom Wike, recently declared he would not be involved in the Edo state palaver, following accusations from some quarters that he was pushing for a personal interest. Through his media spokesman, the Rivers state Governor has since off washed his hands on the matter.
In a last attempt to save the situation, the APC governors some few days made moves to see President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve issues. However, the governors were met by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. The inability by the governors to see the president speaks volumes of the battle ahead. If governors who are critical stakeholders of the party can’t see the President, many are wondering who, then, can see him. Politics in Nigeria throws up a lot of possibilities and those knowledgeable in the game are quick to insist that forces engaged in shaping the future are ever-changing. Just when you think you have reached a final bus stop on a matter, then, something strange appears to upset the cart.
It is on this note that the race to Benin Government House is still open and both parties have equal chances to win the race. More than anything, even before the drumbeats of 2023 gathered momentum, there was a strong prediction that both the APC and PDP would be destroyed by no one but their members. We have witnessed a situation where the PDP cannot unite to push for a rainbow coalition against the APC.
The inability of APC governors to have an audience with the President is a clear indication that the party is just a step to implosion. The PDP is also facing its own stern challenges, as many years outside the corridors of power have rendered the party ineffectual. On this basis, it is clear that both parties are headed for tough days ahead that may lead to self-destruction.
Since the dawn of this unbroken democracy in the past 21 years, those who are the greatest beneficiaries of this constitutional government are the same people threatening its survival. While yours sincerely believes that democracy remains the foundation of a representative government, our present democracy, as presently practised in the country, remains a debauchery of democracy.
I once said that if both the APC, PDP were humans, I would have not wasted time to send them to the great beyond. Unfortunately, these are parties built by systems. No matter how lofty one’s vision is, once you join them, you are either swallowed by the system or you adopt the ‘siddon look’ approach. These parties are not founded on any ideological beliefs but are united by greed for power and wealth.
The implosion of both parties can open a new vista of opportunities to start looking at the country from a fresh perspective and rally men and women to work in unison towards attaining national goals and aspirations through evolving new political platforms.
With Adams Oshiomhole gasping for breath and Senator Bola Tinubu being thrown under the bus, the fate of the former Lagos State governor is yet to be known.It is not in doubt that these parties will soon implode. What is in doubt is the time. The earlier these implosions begin, the better for a nation that is still entrapped in the backwaters of development.