IS NIGERIA DYING?-II
The Two main parties in Nigeria’s General Elections
There are only TWO political parties in Nigeria: #APC and #PDP.
With a conservative estimated population of 184million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. The extent of Nigeria’s size can only be imagined from the description by Mokwugo Okoye”…it can contain Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy within its territorial boundaries or nearly FOUR times the size of Great Britain..”(Storms On The Niger, Mokwugo Okoye, 1981) In fact, without doubt, it is one of the most vibrant nations of the world. Even though a tiny percentage will disagree with me, I want to say that Nigeria possesses the MOST beautiful – by whatever indices used – people. And, truthfully, the largest collection of geniuses! The most elegant and alluring women. Remember, in trying to argue, that Nigeria is the only country in the world that has “fattening rooms”-where young girls, brides to be are trained in the being perfect housewives – and sorceresses in “the other room”. If John Gunther ,the American journalist/ writer, as far back as 1953,can in his great book, Inside Africa, described Nigeria, as ”the most exciting country I have ever seen in my life” and ‘; extravagantly colossal and turbulent and its politics are incandescent” .And then, we were just starting. O! If he could see us now! But, beg your pardon, I digress. I do sometimes get carried away.
Nigeria’s imminent General Elections will fulfill Mr Gunther’s qualifications and more. Nigeria repeatedly sets world records: With the registration and certification of 97 political parties, we out rightly negatived the popular saying, ”the more the merrier”. The scene the present Nigerian political canvas paints, will humble our imagined picture of the building of The Tower of Babel. UNMANAGEABLE. A Rabble. A very hungry rabble. As I wrote in the first part of this article, all is not lost: We have only TWO political parties in Nigeria – #PDP and #APC. Disregard any postulations to the contrary. Nigerians are quick learners. When we copy, you will throw away the original, two examples: When we learned that all our posturings are facades and we heard the word “coup”, we threw caution into the winds. Since January 15, 1966, we have had over 10 coups and countercoups; and many others completely smouldered. That we will never know. A second example is that since Professor Yakubu Mahmood, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC),decided to register more political parties, he and his fellow Commissioners decided that all and any political grouping with more than two members, was qualified to partake at the dinner table. And what a Dinner and what a Table. I honestly believe INEC has lost count of the political parties. Apparently, those claiming to have presidential candidates are about 68.BUT,WE WONT KNOW till 16 Feb, when the doors of the merger, surrender or by whatever name this chicanery manifests. These parties exist in posters, billboards, in INEC files and in the pocket of the speculator/trader and coincidentally, membership card carrying of one of the two .Which again are splinters of the larger PDP family. So, we aren’t straying TOO FAR from home. These parties neither have the base, the reach nor any discernable following except, of course on FB or Twitter .Disregard them. None of the 88 can win a ward, in even their “stronghold”. A ward is made up of polling units. Each polling unit has 500 voters. I assure you that none of these lesser parties can win 5000 votes nationwide. All they are looking for are mergers and buy offs. As I write this article, it has just been announced that the Social Democratic Party(SDP) which had hitherto been burning the airwaves, as the “right alternative” to the Big Two has formally “adopted” President Buhari as its Presidential candidate .This is in spite of the fact that Professor Jerry Gana, a former PDP strongman and erstwhile Minister of Information(under President Obasanjo) and Donald Duke ,a former Governor of Cross River State are at the Appeal Court, over who is Presidential candidate. You see what I mean – traders or fronts.
THE mighty PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP).
At one point in its unfettered run of 16 years in power, the mighty PDP, boasted that it was not only Africa’s largest political party, but, that it would rule Nigeria for 50 years( over 50 of our prophets, marabouts, babalawo, imams and other lesser known evils, corroborated).As well it might have been and also stayed that long. With control of 28 states, out of 36 and with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), And the Federal Wallet, it could have, but for a fatal flaw: The suicidal weakness of President Goodluck Jonathan. In its 16 years in power, the PDP HAD A CHOKEHOLD ON Nigeria befitting of a WWE Royal Rumble bout .In the years 1999 -2015, the price of oil spiraled angrily upwards And CORRUPTION, with new sobriquets dance along merrily. Billionaires – in whatever currency of the world bloomed; and if you were well connected to top PDP chieftains, not to talk of either the President or his Vice President, you were booed in a gathering of your cronies, if you still counted your pennies. I swear half of the golden city was built with Nigerian money; and half of the buildings are owned by Nigerians. On a head to head, there are more private jets in Nigeria than in the United States. While most Americans who own jets do so for ease of movement to make more money, the Nigerian saw it as his status symbol. .
What is wealth without titles? So, the PDP from 1999 – 2015,trivialized,bastardized and toilet paperized the Nigerian National Honours .It was an insult to be a State Governor and conferred with Officer of the Order of the Niger(OON).’To hear that a Civil Servant was AWARDED a higher honour was in Nigerian parlance” adding insult to injury”. I was told that a state governor found out that his Deputy had OON after his name. In justified outrage, he stormed Abuja. The next Honours List saw him conferred with the fourth highest honour in the land: CON (Commander of the Order of the Niger).Beat that if you can. If you were lucky to be smiled on by either the President or the Incomparable FIRST LADIES –Stella Obasanjo, Ture Yar’Adua or Patience, who added the title Dame, then a National Honour was on its way. Congrats. DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMEN. Death comes in different ways. We are not priviledged to know how the Boko Haram got fully started. We can only conjecture that desperate politicians courted the Boko Haram people. We believe also that at a certain point they lost control of the GROUP. Unsubstantiated rumours abound that not only politicians, but certain Nigerian commanders bargained to sell their fighting men. The PDP Central Government did nothing, until rumours emerged from the North East that a group of soldiers held the General Officer Commanding (GOC) hostage; and actually fired at his car. Here is an object lesson in Public Relations. Well, the Army paraded some of them, (and in murmurs, the Army announced death sentences on 44 of the soldiers, who had been standing trial for mutiny. It makes extraordinary reading from Google. Just Google it. But, perhaps, in my opinion, the lowest point of the PDP hegemony, was the heartless, bestial and criminal desertion of the 274 girls of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. Bornu State. THE girls were abducted by the Boko Haram. The rumours were rife that the girls were to be political pawns, to be used by the GEJ Government, to win admiration and support, in the face of the onrushing tornado called Buhari. Whatever, the permutations, the girls were abandoned, Meanwhile, the top echelon of the Army, in connivance with every known Government Agency, had truly and smartly deserted the Army they were leading. We heard of dud bombs, dud ammunition, promises of reinforcement – threats of courts martial, for every crime from cowardice to non-feeding of the men. Five years after the CHIBOK Abduction, (14-15 April, 2014 – April, 2019), over 100 0f the girls are yet to be FOUND. And, we have the “clear conscience” to be be campaigning, without a single mention of the TRAGEDY. And I am a Father and GRANDPA, to a lovely daughter, All these girls ARE lovely daughters to parents. DESCENT INTO BESTIALITY AND THE RISE OF POWER. As a retired soldier of the Nigerian Army and for one who loved the job dearly, I wept uncontrollably as I read the sordidness of the Arms Procurement Scandal, derisively called DASUKIGATE. It must have been so bad that the Presidential Committee On Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP -2007 -2015), I do not know the yardstick for the period! The Committee headed by Air Vice Marshal Jon Ode,(retired fighter pilot) former Deputy Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), A fine gentleman, whom I felt should have ended his stellar, illustrious career, as the Chief of the Air STAFF (CAS).The Committee submitted three Interim Reports, before the final Report. It was that sinful. I decline to use the kind word, ”bad”. That a group of human beings could descend to the level of bestiality, for the sake of being called rich. Justifiably, “filthy rich”-to condemn a whole Army to death and to forfeit the right to be called parents. The criminality is indescribable. One of President Buhari’s comments. on the wickedness, was “could not understand how people could just sit down and share $2.1 billion (the money meant for Arms Procurement, to fight the home grown Boko Haram terror group in the North East/North West of the country) as if the going to have lunch while people were sitting in IDP Camps across the country with the means to cater to (for) them ” The brazen cruelty and evil is still breathtaking and frighteningly fresh. How can a human being, who has children or has control of the lives of other human beings entrusted to him, stand in front of them, knowing that he had ordered obsolete guns, knowing that they would all soon be dead .AND HE STRUTTING!
ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)
The APC is a richer and healthier off shoot of the PDP. Apart from Buhari, every member of APC, had been a staunch flag carrying member of the PDP.A brief mention of PDP’s notorious off springs, whose nimble footwork moved them swiftly from, to abandon their mother ship and hop into largest raft: Nasir el- Rufai, former head, Bureau for Privatisation and at one point, self-appointed spokesman, for PDP. He notoriously said that Buhari, is the only Nigerian military officer who never passed any staff college. It must have given his listeners a good laugh. But, this is such unbelievable ignorance masking as arrogance. Nasir has no idea of any Staff College curriculum. Quite laughable. Almost all the perpetrators of the PDP horrors are now in APC .And, if the National CHAIRMAN of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, is to be understood, all who carry criminal burden, from all other parties, are automatically forgiven, then, we might as well bid EFCC bye-bye. For, what’s the point of fighting corruption with sabers, machetes and only to cuddle those we are supposed to fight in the day time? Oh! Oshiomole! Are we fighting corruption with BABA or are we side-blinding him, now we, wonder, the orphans, who are we fighting? The Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly ELECTIONS will now hold on the 23 FEB or later? Or never? For I find this strange that the Logistics that INEC could not put together in three months, it has put together in hours. Note our comment earlier, that INEC is not ready. The Adhoc Staff are barely ready.

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