By James Ibechi
Among the things that mostly define the character of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the 16 years that it has held sway at the centre and in many states of the federation, apart from widespread high corrupt practices among the government top shots, is what can be termed the broad daylight rape and rob of Nigerians of their common oil money by the few opportunists in PDP’s cocoon, who never get punished.
That is one of the many sins that plagued the party at all levels of leadership especially local government level but unfortunately considered as normal and inconsequential. Little wonder a chairman of a state chapter of the PDP in Benue could throw caution, decorum, etiquette, idealism and civility to the wind and despite the respect accorded the office he occupies, wields shameless boldness as to have once publicly tasked a chairman of local government to share grants and allocations meant for development of the locality to party men and women, as to do otherwise is to violate the PDP’s norm. As an ordinary person, you would wonder what becomes of the infrastructure and other areas of the grassroots that daily beg for development if the monies meant to lift them should be shared the PDP boss’ way.
The party boss was acting based on the complaints he received from the PDP local politicians that the local government boss was either “enjoying the local government monies alone” or was pumping too much money into certain developmental projects he was executing to the utter detriment of the vicious interest of the party men and women. The idea of grassroots development is completely lost on these party men and women who are largely stark illiterates, to borrow a description from Andyson Iji Egbodo, or so to speak.
As if the PDP boss’ shameless urge for the LG boss to do the wrong thing was not embarrassing enough to any first time visitor to Nigeria who had not yet acclimatized to the PDP environment and tradition, the PDP chair morphed from that low level of shocking utterances to something else, by even drawing example of a former governor of Bauchi State reputed to be once best performing governor in Nigeria but failed in his bid to clinch Senatorial ticket of the PDP during primary election because all along the ex- governor, according to the the PDP boss, was busy developing infrastructure in his state and could not share monies to the party men and women. In other words, the ex- governor failed in the area of stomach infrastructure development. And so the PDP delegate voters also refused him their votes. For the delegates, the infrastructure and institutions which the ex-governor developed should vote for him.
The story goes on and on, and just like I have always said that many things are as monumentally ugly as are oozing out of the food basket state, it won’t serve us any good to continue to latch back or brood over the disaster that PDP and the men at the driving seat of power at the presidency, State House and at the local government have been to this nation. Since a new era is finally dawn after a long rocky journey what this short piece can do now is to impress it on Ortom and Buhari and of course APC all over Nigeria to draw lessons from PDP failure and take a radical departure from the norm in all its approaches.
For instance, one of the things many people no longer want to see happen is those criminals who milk this country dry of its collective patrimony and task payers’ monies, majestically parade themselves as free men and women, after all the rots their successors like Buhari to Jonathan and Ortom to Suswam will soon come to unearth in all sectors of Nigeria, a ruined legacy that the successors are sure to inherit from their predecessors.
If the new crop of leaders under a fresh party that APC is, needs to be cracking, it may have no choice but to so be. They will have the support of Nigeria. For it is a good cause they will be fighting. Hit the ground running, get cracking no matter whose ox is gored.