Since the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the automatic reversal of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) into the back seat, the quality of performance of the former ruling party has been nothing but questionable. I seek the indulgence of every reader that has been motivated by my in-born spirit of patriotism, to crave for objective understanding of my claim – that the performance of PDP, since May 29, 2015 has been debatable. Political parties are not supposed to be a platform for the promotion and protection of the selfish interests of its members, since their collective motive for leadership contest ought to be the advancement of the general good – national interests. There lies the simple explanation of the fate of the PDP in the 2015 elections when Nigerians, in our overwhelming number, declared that we no longer had faith and trust in the capacity of the former President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the PDP, to lead us. A nation whose collective interest of coming together under a government to generate the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of citizens has been elusive since our 1960 independence. A nation whose status as a giant-sized entity of abundant resources has been dwarfed, historically, by hordes of lilliputian nations of yesterday. A nation whose ill fate has always been known to the world as being rooted more in corruption than any other source. Given these general and specific backgrounds, I feel that the stance of the PDP leadership on most issues arising in the polity, since its 2015 exit from the centre of power, has been anything but patriotic. What has really exposed the party has been the issue of corruption. Its albatross, in my own estimation, has not been the commonplace view that its sixteen-year leadership witnessed alleged large scale of national wealth looting.
Truth is that public stealing is a global practice typically committed by those who are naturally tempted and empowered by their position to do it. Public stealing is essentially an individual thing, a tendency that has its root in the natural proclivity of mankind to acquire more and more at all times–a tendency which socialization, law and order mechanisms are configured to control and checkmate. It is not a group behaviour.
No political party is ordinarily founded on a mission to steal but each, anywhere in the world, has a membership made of the good, the bad and the ugly. But, the party, as a corporate being, must essentially be good. It is against this background that the corporate interests of a party which must necessarily align with those of the nation should reflect through patriotic and dispassionate words and actions at all times. With regards to PDP, it appears that what matter to it, at any point in time, are the interests of its individual members and not those of Nigeria. Judging by its official reactions to issues, the party has always proven that whatever is likely to or actually hurts its individual members launches it into some corporate pain and agony. More than any other thing, issues relating to corruption characteristically brings out the best in PDP, as it seems to have mastered the arts of defending and exonerating, by the book, any of its members accused of looting. In some sense, it appears better in this parochial interest advocacy than it has ever been in articulating its corporate plans for our dear country. What actually makes the ever-belligerent mien of the PDP distasteful to the discerning is the self-contradictory and self-confusing dimension inherent in its apparent doublespeak and chameleonic acts. Or, is it not true that the PDP actually tendered a public apology to Nigerians with regards to the realities of widespread corruption during its sixteen-year rule?
We all know that the same party has, thus, conferred a general affirmation and confirmation on what would have remained a general allegation through its public expression of remorse. Perhaps, its current spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan and the Fani-Kayodes of this world need be told that even the least intelligent amongst us, as Nigerians, now can guess, with precision, the shape of the fire their party’s mouth will always spit towards their perceived accusing enemies, the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, when the issue is corruption. To be sincere, it will be illogical and unpatriotic to ascribe perfection to the APC, the current drivers of our national destiny, particularly with regards to corruption over which it currently scarecrows its predecessors at the centre of power. Just like the PDP or any other political party formed with the intent of controlling the levers of government in any context, the APC is also a mixed-bag. In fact, being a hurried contraption necessitated by the pre-2015 election desperation of Nigeria and Nigerians for an alternative to the PDP, the APC is really a bag which bad content may be said to out-number their good counterparts.
Strange bedfellows? Yes! The APC is white, black, yellow, green and red in colouration. But, one thing is clear and different, but its advertised interest fully aligns with Nigerian national interests. Foremost of such is the dire need to rid the nation of corruption or to, at least minimize the rate at which it thrives with impunity. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account policy (TSA) which was actually conceived by the PDP and the latest introduction of an anti-corruption travel ban, the Executive Order 6, are developments that require selfless and dispassionate assessment and attitudes from all supposed lovers of the Nigerian project. It is definitely anti-Nigerian for the PDP to blatantly insult our individual and collective mentality, on a continuous basis, by openly manipulating logic to make white look black in its constant error of elevating its membership interests over and above the Nigerian interests, as manifest in its current outrage over Order 6. –Olokode is a Lagos-based public affairs commentator