Sunday, 22 June 2014

PDP's Victory in Ekiti as Model for Jonathan 2015?

Congratulations to Dr Ayodele Fayose, the governor-elect of Ekiti. We hope that the latest Excellency in town would see his victory as the signature of a people determined to alter the direction of events. 

We have in the last 15 years, since the birth of the PDP, see all kinds of economic and political rabble-rousers clad under multifarious philosophies: the results are broken promises to the people. Dr Fayose himself has tasted power and powerlessness thereafter. He should therefore not take the people for granted: serve them, you’ve got a second chance! With Fayose’s victory, the tornado of political change may have begun, but it is too early to argue this any further.

President Jonathan may have, through this election, secure a positive number ahead of the opposition in the run-up to 2015. Further, the decision of the people of the State of Osun may further inch Dr Jonathan to the widely perceived dream of returning to the Villa in 2015 or reverse the gains if Omisore is defeated. Mr President should be far from this notion. Albeit, the southwest in a microcosm of the Nigerian State. Somehow, results from these elections can be used to extrapolate the outcome from other states or could be used to model what the president should hope for in the months ahead. If these views are in tandem with those of the President's strategists, then he should take early measures like sacking them. Reason, the Southwest, given her political history, is not an ideal model for predicting the success of a sitting president, at least in the medium term political dynamics of Nigeria. His road to the Villa in 2015 is characterised by innumerable maladies like Our Girls who are still in the hands of Shekau and his terror group. Mr President will also find it hard to rejuvenate the pre-2011 innate love that the masses had for him until he began driving himself against the people through the poverty development policies in the PDP cruise ship.

For the opposition, it is sad that we wasted huge amount of efforts panel-beating their personalities before the masses even when the characters in the movie are not better than those in the PDP. What then shall we say; who should we run to for help when those who are supposed to help us decide to hurt us. A damaging politicoeconomic mistake from the opposition is that their democratic gains were not well consolidated before embarking on poisonous policies against the people, e.g. the school reclassification/uniformication theory in Osun and the puerile Lagos State University tuition. The question maybe asked: Are those in the PDP of higher moral standards than the APC gladiators? Whatever the answer, we note form intuition that the common man is yet to see a political party built around Nigeria as a State; what we have now are sectional and parochial groups of politicians who have the power to work on our psychic and decide the direction of our thinking.

Finally, to the new governor, I am too little a commoner to inform you that you need to born again in view of your past political ordeals which you said were politically motivated. So, enjoy your stay in office and watch over your shoulders.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Atiku's Spots

The wave of political tornadoes that have hit the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) got to its climax on Sunday 2 February 2014 with the exit of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the Party. Mr Abubakar who described the PDP as irredeemable had in the past left the party and returned to it after loosing his bid to become Nigeria's president through another political platform in 2007. In this political time such moves are not dramatic considering recent political happenings that saw the exit of five PDP rebel governors that left the party after failed attempts at reconciling them with the old PDP.

What does the exit of Mr Abubakar mean for the ruling PDP's fortunes. It remains to be seen how the next political moves by the former VP would turn out to be in the months ahead. His home state of Adamawa in northern Nigeria is under his new political party the APC. The governor of the state, an old archnemesis of Atiku, is a strong man in the APC and he is likely not to oppose the former VP in his next political strategy, say wanting to become the presidential flagbearer of the APC. In the past, the VP had contested under the umbrella of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and lost the election to the late President Umar Musa Yar'Adua.  VP Abubakar's supporters are not in the majority in the PDP and his exit alone will not spring a headache for the ruling elite. As a matter of fact, the former veepee's allies are mostly now within the APC and he has no option other than to leave Dr Jonathan's party, the PDP. His continuous political flip-flop will certainly remind many of the nature and complexity of the skin of a leopard.

Many watchers of the Nigerian political scene will trace Atiku's political troubles to his former boss Mr Obasanjo.  It was in 2003 when speculations emerged that the then VP Abubakar will challenge his boss Obasanjo in the presidential primary of the then all-powerful PDP. This move angered President Obasanjo and the battle line was drawn later in the run-up to the dying days of Chief Obasanjo's administration. So, Atiku's political grave may have been dug by himself when he insinuated challenging his boss.

The object of this many ship-jumping to escape drowning under a weak captain may be a spoof as many have opined: that, it is not about how the opposition will do something differently like stamping out corruption, provision of portable water and other basic amenities that are key to survival. The old ways of doing things may not be affected by this cross-carpeting even after the 2015 elections because of the kind of people involved in the political game. We will continue to remember the old wine new bottle philosophy.