WEDNESDAY COLUMN BY USSIJU MEDANER
Last week, I began a series that dissected the atrocities committed against the commonwealth of the Nigeria nation and its people and the absolute loss of shame by the same party, PDP or rather the unconcerned attitude that makes the party concludes it could return to the same power they literarily abused not too long ago. It remains rationally unexplainable, the audacity of PDP and its handlers, to mull the possibility of a return to Aso Rock. It all comes down to the fact that PDP and its leadership all along, while in power, and even till now, take all of us for granted and have concluded they could have their way around our mentality to decide what is acceptable to us or not.
For sixteen years, in the hands of PDP as a party, and individuals who used the front of the party to usurp power and created a new and worse level of non-patriotism and a national abuse of our common heritage; consequently, a dilapidated country began to emerge. Running through, cumulatively and increasingly in magnitude till 2015, was an excessive abuse of state power, an unprecedented financial and social corruption overtook the country’s capacity for sanity and righteousness, until, like in the words of Chinua Achebe “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” And things actually did fall apart for Nigeria; we lost rational capacity to be a growing and developing country because for sixteen years, administratively, the nation was absolutely denied real and trustworthy leadership.
I am set to substantiate this submission with facts of provable acts and doings of PDP, its members and leadership over the period that literally makes them unworthy to ever desire to ask again for our support to return to the same position of power. Since PDP thought all Nigerians suffer shared loss of memory, I will take it upon myself to help joggle their memory back. The atrocities of PDP against the Nigeria people and the commonwealth of the country are enormous and cannot be easily exhausted, but I will attempt to remind us of a few of such gross disregard for decorum and sanctity of governance during the reign of PDP.
We knew all along how badly they had treated the country and its people but the non-availability of systems to bring them to justice made us powerless and unable to access the truth and the extent of the atrocities they committed against us for long; but the truth began to surface thereafter. In the build up to the 2015 elections, in an attempt to apparently demarket his former deputy, the vice-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo spoke loudly about his Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president in his two term presidency. In his words boldly engraved in his book “My Watch” he, perhaps, painstakingly wrote: “What I did not know, which came out glaringly later, was his parental background which was somewhat shadowy; His propensity to corruption; His tendency to disloyalty; His inability to say and stick to the truth all the time; a propensity for poor judgement; his belief and reliance on marabouts; his lack of transparency. His trust in money to buy his way out on all issues and his readiness to sacrifice morality, integrity, propriety, truth and national interest for self and selfish interest.” Much later, some months to the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Mr. Obasanjo in an interview further reiterated his conviction and position on Atiku Abubakar when he said “How can I be on the same side with Atiku?” Mr. Obasanjo asked. “To do what?” “If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support,” he added “I do not have personal grudges with anyone,” Mr. Obasanjo said. “If you do not do well for Nigeria, you do not do well for all of us.” “It is not a question of working with or not working with an individual,” he said. “If you are working for the good of Nigeria, I am working with you. If you are not working for the good of Nigeria it does not matter who you are, I am not working with you.” “I know Atiku very well. And I have mentioned my position with Atiku. My position has not changed,” he said. But “on political ground, my position has not changed. If I support Atiku for a political office other than the one I supported him in the past when I did not know him,” maybe, but not “now that I know him, God will not forgive me.”
The Obasanjo outburst speaks volume of the hurt done to the Nigerian economy and the extent of corruption the party and members were engaged in during their time in office under the banner of PDP. Atiku was not alone in the atrocities, it was an act that became a norm during that period in our political history.
Unfortunately, immediately after the 2019 primary election, Mr. Obansajo made a surprising turnaround and boldly told Nigerians to vote for Atiku Abubakar. He told us Atiku is a saint and the president Nigeria needs in 2019. He said for his errors of the past, he, Obasanjo had forgiven him on behalf of Nigerians! As usual, we are all taken for a fool; but we were able to stand our grounds and said a bold ‘NO’ to what we did not want during the 2019 presidential election.
The same Atiku, attempting to fly the banner of the same PDP and to return the profligate party to the presidency, was very bold some days ago in a public broadcast, telling Nigerians nobody would steal from Nigeria during his tenure if elected President of Nigeria. What an insult on our shared sanity; they want us to just forget the past as if it does not happen.
It was the same party that foistered Allison Diezani on Nigeria for eight years as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and watched her linking the NNPC vaults via numerous financial pipelines to her personal accounts and those of her cronies and allies. The realities and chronicles of her acts and deeds as the Minister of Petroleum Resources are not hidden as they are well captured by the various litigation, both local and international, and much more, by her dastard approach to escape arrest, repatriation and continuous litigation when she ‘bought’ the citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominican Republic and got appointed as the Trade and Investment Commissioner of the country, all in the bid to secure immunity from continuous prosecution. PDP stayed mum on the magnitude of stolen national resources traced to this particular woman and the entire cascading development that trailed the Diezani saga.
While the entire country dilapidated on all fronts by the insurgent attacks, Col. Dasuki (Rtd), a staunch PDP man and the Security Adviser to former President Jonathan, in the guise of fighting the national insecurity, took a whopping $2.1 billion and distributed the same among members of the profligate party. I am sure we remember the cases of accusations of N100 million against Bode George, N2.1 billion against Raymond Dokpesi, N4.6 against Attahiru Bafarawa for spiritual purposes, N350 million against Dr. Iyorcha AYU, the current national chairman of party, N650 million against Thisday’s Obaigbena, N10 billion against PDP as distribution to its delegates. The list is endless including Olisah Metuh, Ayo Fayose, Musiliu Obanikoro, Olu Falae, Tony Anenih, and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
It is a national reality that the party, PDP left behind only what they could not carry or were unable to lay their hands on. They looted the country and took away from all of us the chance to enjoy our God-given resources; and now, they are back, projecting the profligate party and the same actors who administered the philandering of the country for political offices again.
The people, Nigerians, deserve better. PDP cannot and must never again be allowed to happen to Nigeria.
GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!
To be continued.