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Of Olisa Metuh in Handcuffs Et Al

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I read online today a prophecy by Bola Tinubu that PMB may be a one term president and that the various PDP scattered elements may coalesce in 2019 to boot PMB out. – Author

There’s been such furore on the social media with the sad pictures of Olisa Metuh splashed all over the place, in handcuffs. As usual, many commentators have taken sides over the propriety or otherwise of this state of affairs depending on where their sympathies lie: PDP or APC. There is no doubt that corruption has dealt us a deadly blow, for decades, and must be confronted brutally and frontally if we are to harbour any chance of making speedy progress. 

I have no sympathy for the PDP or the APC for that matter. I have often opined that the PDP was no different from the NPN: an agglomeration of the most opportunistic of our nation’s political class with no vision and no interest for Nigeria’s future and her development. They may have begun as G34 0r G60 with a mixed multitude of some good and bad characters. One remembers some decent founding members like the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi and Audu Ogbeh.

But once push came to shove at the Jos presidential primaries of 1998 & the perennial ‘power brokers’ contrived to foist OBJ on the party and the nation, the downward spiral began. With time, instead of the cream coming to the top, the most vile and despicable elbowed out the more visionary and humane members (that is the ones they couldn’t kill) until the soul was viciously ripped out of the Party. I remember that they once had a Publicity Secretary called Emmanuel Ibeshi. But it was clear to anyone who ventured near the PDP establishment that proper humans were not to be tolerated within their ranks. 

When Orubebe commenced his show of shame at the venue of INEC’s announcement of the results of the April 2015 Presidential polls, and Obanikoro & Femi Fani Kayode were exchanging emails promising Nigerians that the ‘real’ results was about to appear, they were simply manifesting the essential DNA of that political order which was inexorably heading Nigeria into the abyss. But thank God for the power of prayer. And for GEJ. 

Today, it is clear that the PDP wasted its 16 years of power by failing to build a veritable political movement with a clear vision and ideology. If it had chosen the path of inclusive political development it would have a large army of adherents today to fight its corner. Ordinary Nnamdi Kanu of yesterday has his. Unfortunately, all the PDP has are a few stinkingly, dubiously rich individuals, name recognition and a chequered history of spectacularly inept rulership. The more notable beneficiaries of that epoch are in for a torrid time yet. But that is not the lesson here.

The APC is in worse straits. I read online today a prophecy by Bola Tinubu that PMB may be a one term president and that the various PDP elements scattered everywhere may coalesce in 2019 to boot PMB out of office. I concur. The case of APC today is that of monkey worked and baboon is chopping. The vehement northernisation of the Federal space is suffocating and seems like a painful throw back to the Abacha days. 

All shades of characters are emanating from every nook and cranny to dominate the President’s immediate concourse and the fault lines are beginning to appear in the APC. Additionally, GEJ’s utter subservience as President has played into PMB’s hands to play the one role he truly relishes, that of tough guy. Hence, it matters little when our stock market is graded as the 3rd worst performing globally in the last 6 months, after Egypt and the Ukraine. 

It also matters little that over 100 billion USD of FDI may have been withdrawn from Nigeria in the past 8 months. I don’t know how many people watched Pastor Bakare’s State of the Nation broadcast 3 weeks back. This is someone who has regular access to president. That he chose to deploy his pulpit to canvass such mundane issues as imploring the president to adopt GEJ’s Constitutional Conference Report speaks volumes, and shows how much mileage, in critical governance, we are about to lose in this dispensation. 

By all means, fight corruption to a standstill. But the entire nation must not be reduced to mere spectators in the process. We must factor in and take on board the gains of the last administration. At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nigeria was unanimously adjudged the most promising new frontier in the developing world. Such global goodwill cannot be frittered away on the altar of primitive approach to a common problem. Surely, the president can multi – task. 

For the records, PMB is not expected to do just better than GEJ; he is to aim to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the Nigerian people. Recently, Paris was caught in the throes of multiple brutal terror attacks sponsored by ISIS. The nature and extent of the attack was gruesome. The President’s response was ultra-competent; he captured the mood of the nation and the European continent and orchestrated the most incisive and decisive response. 

The result is clear for all to see. He channeled his pain and anger & matched that with the nation’s resources to move his country & Europe aggressively past that setback to give new teeth to the war against ISIS. 

Likewise, our president needs to employ all his faculties to push Nigeria forward. Not the north, not the north east, but Nigeria. Any other inferior agenda will only amount to a waste of precious time.

Kingsley uluocha


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