PDP’s vicious war

Posted by: Jide Oluwajuyitan Posted date: January 17, 2013 In: Columnists, Jide Oluwajuyitan, Thursday

The on-going war of attrition among PDP leading light in the face of massive unemployment of our youths, infrastructural decay, 13 years of unfulfilled promises and monumental corruption by its members, is one more evidence that the party doesn’t give a damn about Nigeria. For the greed of its members, PDP that has continued to act as if it is answerable to no one is prepared to drag the nation down along with itself.

A distinguishing characteristic of any political party is a consensus of members on identified values and principles. But as we have seen in the last few years, there is nothing PDP ever agreed upon. Its leaders, like warlords fight vicious wars over everything, including sharing of our common wealth, but never on behalf of helpless Nigerians.

In case we have forgotten, it was their members that told us how, under the guise of privatization and commercialization, they shared the nation’s once thriving blue-chip companies among PDP members and its sympathisers using the BPE. They waged a vicious battle over the sharing of prime lands and properties the nation inherited from her colonial masters.

Lest we forget, it was Senator Bukola Saraki who became the whistle blower over the fuel subsidy scam of about N2 trillion for fuel neither imported nor delivered to Nigeria. The Farouk Lawal whose committee uncovered the scam was found to be like other many PDP men, a man with feet of clay.

While we have been christened as one of the most corrupt nations on earth, PDP leaders, because of greed cannot even agree on what constitutes a corrupt practice. Leading members of PDP openly accept gifts from contractors. Our lawmakers attribute allocating unmerited salary packages to their members in a nation that cannot pay a minimum wage of N18, 000 to the ‘Nigeria factor’.

While ex-President Obasanjo, who PDP leading members swore spent close to N10billion on his failed third term bid, claimed during a CNN interview programme last week that “the level of corruption in the country was rising, and Jonathan’s government was not doing enough to stem the tide”, President Jonathan claimed, “…most of these things we talk about corruption are not even corruption”. For him if there is corruption, since “Nigeria has more institutions that fight corruption than most other countries”, the government is also fighting corruption.”

It is obvious that the removal of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as PDP national secretary which has deepened the current crisis was self-inflicted. His removal was the outcome of a suit filed by a faction of the party’s Ogun State chapter. The court agreed with the faction that the former governor was not fit to hold the post of secretary of the party. Justice Abdul Kafarati also gave a helping hand when he declared “The plaintiff’s suit is not based on an intra-party dispute; rather it seeks to enforce the decision of the Lagos Federal High Court on the grounds that it violated an earlier FHC order of February 16, 2012.”

Then the question you ask yourself is why has South-west PDP opted to bite its nose in order to spite its face? Now while Oyinlola who has already told an appellate court in Abuja that Justice Abdul Kafarati who removed him from office erred in law by assuming ‘ jurisdiction over an intra party dispute’, Bamanga Tukur, the PDP chairman who like the South-west PDP saw the departure of Oyinlola as a way to get even with his tormenting PDP governors, has quickly planted his only loyalist in the National Working Committee, NWC, Solomon Onwe as acting national secretary leaving both the victorious and the vanquished South west PDP factions to lick their wounds.

The South-west PDP decision to throw away the baby with the bathwater which is no doubt a clear evidence of a house divided against itself, is a mere reflection of the war of attrition of a party embroiled in a web of intrigues at the national level.

Meanwhile, there is an alleged subtle threat by about 21 governors elected on the platform of PDP to quit the party unless its national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, resigns.

Tukur himself carries a moral burden as his son, along with other sons of leading lights of PDP are facing criminal charges for allegedly defrauding of government of billions of naira for fuel neither imported nor delivered to Nigeria.

President Jonathan and his godfather, Chief Obasanjo, are also said to be embroiled in a crisis of confidence over the choice of Tony Anenih, the master ‘fixer’ of 2003 and 2007 elections, and Ahmadu Alli former PDP chairman who as chairman of PPPRA presided over the appointment of about 140 independent petroleum marketers, some of whom are standing trial for alleged theft of about N2trillion, as BOT chairman. What more indignity can a people be subjected to?

And as the de facto leader of an embattled party, President Jonathan was alleged to have personally identified Bode George as member of those to reform the Board of Trustees (BOT) of PDP. Those close to him are saying the choice was informed by a desire to recoup some of the South-west goodwill the president squandered through some of his anti-South-west policies.

The choice has been widely criticized not just by South-west PDP faction opposed to the politics of Bode George, but also by legal practitioners, civil rights groups, Anti-Corruption Network and Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, all blaming PDP for its disrespect for the public.

While Dino Melaye, who became an anti-corruption crusader after falling out with PDP, claims Bode George’s choice was because “almost everybody in the party (PDP) is an ex-convict”, while, Debo Adeniran the Chairman of CACOL, said the “PDP’s decision was akin to legalising corruption”. Bode George, he said, “would infest others with criminal virus because he exemplifies corruption”.

Except that we are all victims, no one would have wept for PDP and the selection of George as a key player in the final lap of its war of self destruction. I however sympathise with President Jonathan principally because of his penchant for sticking out his neck for indicted South-west PDP leaders. I want to believe his choice is often borne out of lack of sufficient understanding of the culture of the Yoruba, his over-reliance on advice of self-serving advisers, or informed by what his political enemies describe as his “politics of perfidy”.

Jonathan who rose to become the president of Nigeria ought to have known that those who used constitutional means to dislodge Obasanjo from his stolen empire following the massively rigged 2007 election are products of a culture that produced those that ensured those who sowed the wind during the rigged 1965 western regional election, reaped the whirlwind. Their PDP kinsmen may share PDP world view, but are products of a culture that celebrates dissent in the face of arbitrariness and fraud.

In Yorubaland, it is said that Eniti o jale lerekan, ti o da aran bori, aso ole ni oda bora’ (literarily meaning that a man who had been indicted for stealing, who later turn out in expensive damask dress is wearing a stolen dress). In case the president doesn’t know, the dissent among the Yoruba when it comes to dealing with intra-cultural conflicts that borders on fraud and arbitrariness is more vicious than when PDP engages in squabbles over sharing of our resources


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