By Charles Ofoji
So it was not a surprise to me when the press acquiesced to the construction „The New PDP“ to refer to the disgruntled power sharers, who are re-scheming for resurgent relevance and deeper bite at the national cake. I had expected them to tell Nigerians that the old and “new PDP” are the same group of people, who have held the Nation hostage since 1999.
Democracy can not gain roots in Nigeria without an independent and vigilant media – not one that is for the highest bidder. We need pressmen and women, who will educate and sensitize Nigerians on their rights and issues that affect their daily lives. We need journalists, who would scoop and report scandals and keep it on the front-burner until justice is served. Is the Nigeria press still talking about the Halliburton scandal? Otedolagate or Lawangate? The Dana crash? Or has the media ever bothered to tell Nigerians why the country is broke as the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said? The same people who are saying that the country is broke are the same people who made it broke. Certainly, not ordinary Nigerians who toil day and night to eke out a decent meal.
Of course, the media has been commissioned to sell those who are in fact responsible for our country's problems under a new umbrella- The New PDP- as patriots and progressives, who are distraught with the direction President Goodluck Jonathan is taking the country.
Recently, some People's Democratic Party (PDP) members, mainly northern politicians, "rebelled" against the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP when they walked away from the party’s convention to elect new leaders for the party held at the Eagle Square. Reports had it that they went to the Shehu Yar’Adua centre to hold a parallel convention. That move split the party into two – a factional PDP and the so-called New PDP.
It would appear to me that the PDP , like a monster unleashed by its creator to bring mass destruction on the Nigerian State, has gone full circle. And like all agents of destruction that has completed its task, only one thing is certain: the monster is next for destruction. Since the return to democratic rule, the PDP has ensured that ordinary Nigerians are denied the dividends of democracy.
Nigerians are so disillusioned with the PDP that there is a broad belief that nothing good can come out of the party. The PDP party members attempting to sell themselves now as the “New PDP” are akin to wolves pretending to be sheep.
I would have been pleased if genuine progressives emerged in Nigerian politics. Unfortunately, those parading themselves under the new PDP are actually those who damaged the country. They are those who shared the wealth of this country among themselves, while Nigeria children died of hunger, preventable and curable diseases. These are no patriots. Rather people who think that Nigeria belongs to them. Most times, I wonder what they still want from this country. It is high time they stepped aside so that the rebuilding of the nation they have destroyed due to legendary greed and selfishness can take place.
The whole thing typifies the arrogance of the North. It is a kind of rejection of the right of the South and the minority to rule. This writer is an unrepentant critic of President Goodluck Jonathan. He has failed on his promise to Nigerians and I don’t think that before 2015 anything will change. Is he a bad president? yes. But who among the crowd in the "new PDP“ is better? Certainly, there is no difference between a black kettle and a black pot.
Except former African President, Nelson Mandela, who voluntarily said that he does not want a second term, I have not seen any sitting president who did not seek second term. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo did and in fact inordinately and unlawfully sought a third term.
As I have said on this platform before, based on the achievements of Jonathan so far, only an insane person will present himself for reelection. In any case, those who think that they can intimate an incumbent president to swallow his second term ambition, certainly want to cause trouble in the country. Democracy is mainly about accountability. Since the signs are such that Jonathan has decided to seek reelection, let the party delegates and the electorate decide, based on his stewardship, if his mandate will be renewed or not. This is the beauty of democracy.
If late President Umaru Yar' Àdua were alive and still in power, won’t he have sought reelection? Would there have been this same strong opposition coming from the North? I fail to fathom why the North cannot wait for another four years (if it is even their turn to rule again), at least for the interest of our country. The Igbos have been waiting since the civil war. New PDP, my foot!