Image: Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala
For those who have sentenced themselves to inconsolable wailing since President Buhari and APC defeated former President Jonathan and the PDP in the epic, March 28 presidential election, the last few weeks were like weeks of second death.
For those who have embraced witless and headless opposition to every action taken thus far by President Buhari to mend the ship-wrecked Nigerian state that was writhing on the throes of death before March 28, as a way of advertising their anger and shock for that epochal defeat, the spate of recant their apex leaders in the fight to sustain the Jonathan regime did last week added to the open sores of March 28. For those who have become popularly known in the Nigerian media as the Wailing Wailers, the shock is so comprehensive that they have become suddenly speechless.
First was the Godfather of former President Jonathan who could pass for the patron saint of PDP, Edwin Clark. He was the lodestar for the battle to re-elect Jonathan and was a clearing house of sorts to the converging tendencies that coalesced to sustain Jonathan in power after what was generally seen as a dismal six years in power.
For the re-election of Jonathan, Edwin Clark fretted and threatened with so much force that nothing and nobody, not even former President Obasanjo was spared of his bile. He fell short of levying war against whosoever never saw the wisdom in voting Jonathan in March and he was privy to gathering a motley crowd of elderly PDP sympathizers in the South to form a Southern Elders Forum that unabashedly campaigned for Jonathan and the PDP.
But it was another Edwin Clark who, last week not only disclaimed the PDP but threw wholehearted support for President Buhari especially in his war against corruption. Clark not only dismissed the charge of selective prosecution of the anti-corruption war, which the hirelings of the PDP have made their daily catena but fell short of describing his godson, Jonathan as a derelict that has no guts to fight corruption. Were the rabid anti-Buharists shocked? No, they were shellacked! They were beaten flat for here is their godfather, a general of the battle they are prolonging by their syndicated hysteria, throwing them so pitiably under the bus and also damning the man for whom they have so exerted themselves to support. It was a red day for the Wailing Wailers.
If there is any woman that fits the feminine equivalent of Edwin Clark in the order of reverence by the Wailing Wailers, it was the immediate past Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the economy under Jonathan. Even when most Nigerians feel this woman’s long stay as our economic manager rubbed off very negatively in the lives of Nigerians, the Jonathanians and PDP apologists; in fact the a wailing Wailers, deify her as the next best thing God imbued on Nigerians after pure water.
To them, she is omniscient, beyond sin and reproach. They worship her every footstep and she was dubbed the Prime Minister of the Jonathan regime. Last week, and from nowhere, Okonjo Iweala was to pour encomiums on President Buhari government like a nubile maiden serenading her newfound lover. She not only praised Buhari’s conduct of statecraft but said her decision to work under Jonathan might have been a mistake! She was speaking on September 30 as a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, United States,
Next was Stella Oduah, one of the poster girls of the Jonathan regime who was implicated in a swathe if scandals as Minister of Aviation under Jonathan but who was, nonetheless sponsored by the PDP to emerge senator in Anambra State. In a recent interview, Oduah not only hailed what she called the clear policy direction of the Buhari regime. Her points of excitement were the firm intervention by the Buhari regime that ended the coup in Burkina Faso and the plan of the regime to restore the national carrier.
Then entered Godswill Akpabio, the guy who had an a-rating appearance in all the shenanigans and intrigues launched to ensure PDP remains in perpetual power. If Edwin Clark was the Commander in chief of the futile PDP/Jonathan entrenchment efforts, Akpabio was the Chief of Staff. He was the enforcer of the PDP will amongst PDP members and manned the gate of the party, deciding who entered, who stays and who leaves.
He was known to leverage his state’s resources to the fight for the re-election of Jonathan, among many other illegal fonts of funding that whetted that ill-fated battle. On the day he returned from hospitalization abroad after a road accident in Abuja (many wonder why he did not patronize the so-called world class hospital he lousily boasts of building in Akwa Ibom), this enfant terrible of the Jonathanian PDP was to address his people, given high marks to the Buhari regime’s government and policies do far.
For the Wailing Wailers, these are blasphemies issuing forth from the very epicenter of their temple. They are crest-fallen. They are heart broken. They are still simmering in great shock that their leaders could so leave them in the lurch; in the scorching sun and bolt. They are devastated that those that led them to an embarrassing position where they have even become embarrassing to themselves, struggling with the truth and his best ways to deface it, have left them so high and dry- on the very crossroads.
They are still trying to gather their broken selves together to string rabid responses to these earth-shaking disappointments. Gradually, they are gathering violent words and abuses for Clark, Okonjo Iweala and Oduah. They are bitter. They are frustrated and they are confused on who else to follow.
For the avoidance of doubts, I had never been a fan of the four and will never be despite their gallant efforts to admit the truth their marooned followers will like them to hush. God so kind, we have a President who is so indifferent to flattery and humour; a President that can smell jesting and fawning from several miles off, a President that can never ever be found to fund and reward flattery so trying to curry his favor through such curtsying that is implied in the confessions of the pole leaders of the PDP is an effort that in futility But I don’t think that in admitting the truth, these and many other PDP leaders that have been wrestling with their consciences since the well-applauded change in the polity happened, were out for favor hunting. Theirs is such relief when after struggling with the truth; you turn around to surrender for no one wins a war against truth.
But in all these, the great pity is the withering club of Wailing Wailers who pose as commissioned newspaper columnists, stranded politicians, errant passengers in public buses, the ready-to-snap layabout, the ubiquitous Facebook politicians and their ilk who have ran themselves into the uncomfortable position where they are condemned to wail on every move taken by President Buhari. The distraught, desolate, hurting and inconsolable scoffers that have made a life business of scoffing at every move by Buhari to cleanse the stable of rot he inherited on May 28 are the worst hit by the gale of confessions hitting apex leaders of PDP lately.
Those that have forged ready-made wailing points on every issue since March 28 because they lost their fonts of corrupt enrichment are the most badly beaten in the ensuing political development that is emerging. They have become distraught and confused orphans that are robbed of their parentage by the battle with truth. They are presently hanging precariously on the very alleyways of our politics as they try feverishly to decipher what has hit their camps so early in the days of a regime that has so inflicted deep gashes on them.
Peter Claver Oparah, Ikeja, Lagos. E-mail: email@example.com