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On the confessions of PDP, APC

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Buhari with APC governors

As if it was a planned event, the separate acts of confession, by which the national chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, and the national head of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, acknowledged and expressed the mistakes and tardiness of their parties in moving Nigeria to loftier heights, are very surprising self-accusation.

This is contrary to the usual practice of over-exaggerating routine duties of government as heroic gesture of excellence and leadership.

Though belated, the actions of the parties seem, at face value, to be laudable gestures that suggest a resolve to turn a new leaf.

Secondus, who made his plea at a public discussion convened by the PDP in Abuja, was quoted as stating: “We have to stand before the people and apologise. We made mistakes.

Unlike APC that will lie and use and use another lie to cover it, we will apologise for our past mistakes… I use this opportunity to apologise to Nigerians unequivocally for the several shortcomings of our party in the near and far past…”

President Buhari, on his part, disclosed that “Nigeria’s journey in the last three years has been a very turbulent one.” He made this known at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during the inauguration of the National Food Security Council.

Although it might be difficult to ascertain the kind of temperament that spurred such statements, it has to be understood that confession and a plea for forgiveness, as sentimentally appealing as they seem, are neither political performance act nor ejaculatory excuses to obviate responsibility. Like the true moral category which they are, confession and forgiveness are deep spiritual and moral exercises.

They are reflexive and reflective actions emanating from intense scrutiny of past misdeeds and injustice as well as an expression of remorse.

They also express the conviction of the penitent one to refrain from carrying out these misdeeds in future, and also make reparation for the moral imbalance.

Is this what the APC and PDP leaders had in mind when they reviewed the lack-lustre score-cards of their parties? Is the self-blame expressed by the PDP a demonstration of remorse and restitution?

For many years in Nigeria’s renascent democracy, sacred cows have been shielded and lip service has been paid to prosecution of economic and financial crimes.

Even the fight against corruption, which was shamelessly touted as the selling point of the ruling APC, has now become the disgraceful testimonial of its woeful performance.

In terms of security, the ruling party has not fared better, but instead has witnessed a prolonged war against insurgency and the emergence of perilous communal violence perpetrated by herdsmen.

This is because odious politicking and ethno-religious patronages have turned the fight against insurgency and communal clashes into a flourishing business for state contractors.

By admitting to mistakes, the party leaders have laid bare the misguided leadership that has plunged this country into the embattled state in which it presently finds itself.

In the same vein, APC’s lamentation, as captured by President Buhari’s statement, is also a confirmation of a country whose soul is adrift.

What this means is that Nigeria is truly at a crossroad. If past performances of the then ruling PDP have been laden with mistakes, and the current situation, under the leadership of APC, is bedeviled by turbulence, then it would be impossible for Nigerians to tell which parties to choose from.

This is very unfortunate; one that is made more unfortunate by the perceptible apathy that has enveloped the political atmosphere.

While public officers carry on with scandalous impunity, and the masses, on their part, justify the ‘man eat man’ situation in a most audacious manner, there is nonchalance and disgraceful indifference put up by the elite.

The consequence is a country on auto-pilot and heading for the precipice.

If there is any value in the confessions made by both Buhari and Secondus, it is in the fact that Nigeria must be made the primary focus of a party’s vision.

The genuine political party should never lose sight of the fact that its value is judged by the positive effects it has on the country.

Alas, Nigeria’s national experience has shown a country run by a lax political class that is self-seeking, impervious to knowledge and bereft of understanding.

Driven more by coalitions of ethnicity and personality cults, the two major political parties seem not to have any ideological orientation by which to move the country forward.

Both of them neither understand the principles by which they were formed nor possess strategies through which to realise the provisions in their respective manifestoes.

Beside the fact that the two parties have also disappointed Nigerians in terms of promises made, their administrative machineries subsist on anti-democratic practices.

If the two major political parties are guilty of not having internal democracy in their structure, what then can they offer a country in distress?

It is for this reason that Nigerians must rise up and shake themselves out of the apathy and indifference that promotes political laxity.

Just as they must continuously point out the crassness of this administration and remind APC of its failed promises, they should also put the PDP to task.

Much as the opposition party has promised to retrace its step to take the country to some glorious height, Nigerians should query its potential for achieving any modicum of greatness by asking critical questions.

Beyond vague and nebulous political statements, what is PDP’s specific agenda?

What effective and tested strategies does it have to address the problems of widespread insecurity? What specific homegrown result-oriented policies does it have for the economy?

What is PDP going to do that is different?

As Nigerians gear up for the 2019 election, another auspicious moment offers itself as a privilege and a second chance for both PDP and the ruling APC to redeem their sullied image.

The election year also offers itself as an opportune moment for every injustice to be atoned for by an anti-thesis that restores the moral balance upset by wrong-doing.

Hence, it is not enough to confess mistakes and ask for forgiveness; the moral imbalance caused by the deliberate mistakes and obstruction of the political destiny has to be negated by atonement and restitution.

The implication is that wrongs have to be made right, criminals have to be punished, willful and unlawful enrichment by public office holders have to be prosecuted, misappropriation and contracts/projects budgeted for but not implemented must be made known and culprits should offer themselves for prosecution.

Those who were wrongly put into office would have to pay for their injustice as well as for the suffering inflicted on the people.

Anything short of this is just mere political statement, a charade that should not be taken seriously.


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