We Are In The PDP, But The PDP Is Not In Us – By Jude @Egbas
Published:14 Jan, 2013
“He whom the gods have purposed for extinction, they first make irrelevant.”
“All PDP members are Nigerians”
“Nigerians are bad”
“Therefore the PDP is bad.”
The above fallacy was the premise upon which Ohimai Amaize’s piece titled: “Like it or not, we are all PDP”, rested. It was flawed logic at its asinine best.
I will begin with a caveat: I am a closet fan of Messrs Godwin Ohimai Amaize, the young man who straddles the moniker of ‘Mr -Fix- Nigeria’, everywhere he goes. It takes admirable guts for a young man still shy of his 30th birthday to run a Presidential campaign for an opposition candidate in one minute and plunge headlong into the coven of graft the next minute; while declaring with unrestrained pride that his new found political party is his ‘greatest’ discovery since Mohammed Ali.
Here’s another caveat: I am not holding any brief for the Opposition in this rejoinder. In a piece captioned: “Will the real opposition, please stand up” and published in this column, I had challenged Nigeria’s rag tag opposition political parties to prove to Nigeria’s longsuffering masses that they represent the answer to the country’s mounting woes rather than the question. Thus far, I had noted, they were yet to do so in clear, unmistakable terms.
In handing ‘Mr-Fix-Nigeria’ his just desserts, we may have to lend a paragraph or two from his expletive laden ‘satanic verses’….
“The current fad is how well you can demonize the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I have seen young people on Twitter curse PDP like our problems as a nation begin and end with the PDP. But what really is the PDP? The PDP is not a collection of aliens who just dropped from the skies? The PDP is a group of human beings who are Nigerian citizens. They were raised in this same country in Nigerian homes by Nigerian parents just like the rest of us. They grew up in our neighborhoods and were taught how to read and write in Nigerian schools. They worship in our churches and pray in the same mosques we know. Without doubt, the PDP is an assemblage of the good, the bad and the ugly. But ironically, so is our country Nigeria and every other nation in the world”.
Nigerians did not just wake up one morning to begin raining insults on the PDP, like Ohimai will want everyone to believe. The PDP has morphed into a serial offender over the course of time. The party has been calling the shots at the center since Nigeria’s fledgling democracy began its tortuous march to nowhere, thirteen odd years ago. Ohimai’s infamous party controls a chunk of the State’s resources. If, like Ohimai posited above, the much maligned PDP draws its membership from within the Nigerian populace; does that inhibit the PDP from championing people centered policies once at the helm? Which political party should the people vent their spleen on when roads become deathtraps and public infrastructure remains the stuff of dreams? Should Chris Okotie’s Fresh Democratic Party, for instance, be blamed for the high level corruption that reigns supreme at the Federal level? Which political party, pray Ohimai, boasts the majority of its members in the National Assembly? Which political party surreptitiously meddles in the affairs of the Judiciary while subverting the course of justice for many? Which political party subverts the will of the people the most at the polls?
When you pride yourself as ‘Africa’s biggest political party’, you just learn to live with the attendant ‘curses’ that comes with being monstrous. It is one of the perks of the status. Ohimai also fired broadsides the way of Nigeria’s teeming young population in the social media when he wrongly averred:
“We hate politics because we think politics is dirty. We despise politicians in government because we believe they are all rogues. We perch on our moral high grounds on social media and abuse them. We castigate them and blame them for everything. We are saints and politicians are devils.”
How churlish and utterly simplistic! If these people hate politics as much as Ohimai suggested, why are they ranting everyday in the new media and vociferously demanding for a change in the way the affairs of their country is being run? Why do these groups of ‘noisy Nigerians’ follow all the happenings in the political terrain closely on social media, while making sure they are also part of the discourse? If their voices do not count for anything and their opinions have become ‘rants’, why is Ohimai worried? Shouldn’t the PDP dismiss these ‘collective children of anger’ with a wave of the hand and move on with running the State aground? These young men and women may not have the financial war-chest the PDP possesses ( no thanks to grand State theft) to float political parties and rig elections, but that in no way suggests that they do not care about politics.
Mr Ohimai may not admit it, but the PDP is very wary of the growing political awareness amongst Nigeria’s young population. It is all too easy to sit down in the comfort of the Federal Capital Territory and assume that young Nigerians do not care about politics. Yes, they may rant annoyingly sometimes and veer off course with their carping criticisms, but the fact that they are beginning to engage the process a lot more, cannot be glossed over. Are they card carrying members of political parties? While some of them may be, others will align with progressive political parties as soon as the opposition gets its act together.
Nigerians are no longer as gullible and politically naive as Ohimai will want us to believe in his article. I agree with him that we probably have shown ample nonchalance in the past as it regards getting politically involved, but across the Nation, a 20 million strong young army is being raised to turn back the clock and set Nigeria on the path of recovery again—a task the PDP has been loath to get around to, since 1999. Several young groups are sprouting across the land with the singular aim of galvanizing Nigerians to not only get politically active, but to also make informed choices at all levels of governance in the next general elections. I have heard some ill-informed folks condemn Nigerians for ranting incessantly on social media. Our country is where it is today because we have kept mum for far too long. We shouldn’t condemn those who care to make their displeasure felt because those ‘rants’ are unwittingly shaping policies everyday within the corridors of power.
So, are we all members of the PDP at heart? That is baloney writ large! Are they young Nigerians out there who are ready to roll their sleeves and give the PDP a run for its sleazy money by the time the next elections come around? You can bet they number in their thousands.
The danger in allowing the likes of Ohimai Amaize get away with articles like his latest offering is that syllogistic hogwash may just gain traction as the norm. It is a clear and present danger all men of sound mind should immediately rebuff. The PDP may well be made up of Nigerians, but it hasn’t represented the best Nigeria has to offer in all of 13 years. The next gale sweeping across the political landscape could well be taking ‘Africa’s biggest political party’ along with it.
The writer is on Twitter as @egbas