Since the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the political scene prior to the 2015 general elections and its subsequent winning of the poll till now, our ears have been deafened with jarring tales of corruption allegedly committed by the members of the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Let the APC spare us of these jarring tales by moonlight. We have heard enough of those folktales that are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing as the revered English bard, William Shakespeare would say in one of his best dramatic offerings, Macbeth.
Before APC won the election, one of its many promises was to fight corruption. Almost three years after, the party has succeeded in putting to trial only members of the PDP. It is yet to convict any of them of corruption. Those cases are still in court.
In its prosecution of the anti-graft war, the APC has given the impression that the only corrupt politicians or political office holders in Nigeria are those that belong to the PDP. Its corruption fight has been limited to members of the opposition PDP even when some Nigerians have pointed out that there are corrupt politicians in the APC family worthy of investigation and trial.
The APC could not hear any of such presentations. It still gloats with its own sense and version of sainthood and political correctness. The party still thinks and works with the thesis that Nigerians are still with it. The picture presented by APC is that it is a party of saints why the PDP is the direct opposite.
But Nigerians are discerning enough to know the difference. Nigerians have tried the two political parties and they are in a better position to decide which of them is better than the other. No amount of propaganda will put a veil on their eyes anymore. Let none of the parties ever think that Nigerians are dumb or short of memory.
None of them can deceive Nigerians again. That is why the party’s anti-graft war is seen as being selective and partisan. While the APC government beams its corruption war searchlight on the opposition, it pretends not to see corrupt APC members. The height of this blatant hypocrisy came to the fore with the recent naming of looters by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, even when none of the names published has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Those named are already warming up to sue the minister. Some have requested for a retraction from the honourable minister. Nigerians are watching how the entire drama will play out. In the list of looters, those named are members of the PDP and those that have one thing or the other to do with the PDP.
Since the list was made public, Nigerians were not persuaded that only PDP members made the list without any name coming from the ruling party when some of its members are being investigated for corruption charges. Nigerians are aware of the crass cutting saga and others under the watch of the change government.
Apart from the hurriedly released looters’ list, what do Nigerians expect from the two leading political parties come 2019 elections? Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed the two parties saying that they have failed and have nothing to offer Nigerians. In their place, Obasanjo has canvassed for a third force or a coalition of Nigerians that will take over from where the two behemoths stopped.
Obasanjo is calling on the youths to take the political control of Nigeria. He has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari advising him to retire and not contest the 2019 poll. Other retired generals have offered similar advice like Obasanjo but it appears Buhari will contest the election judging by his body language and the actions of his numerous APC supporters and praise singers.
The choice before Nigeria in 2019 will be a replica of the scenario in 2015. Most Nigerians are tired of both the APC and the PDP. To them, there is no difference between the two. They are like Siamese twins. They are two sides of the same coin. The two parties are ideologically deficient and anti-masses. But some Nigerians believe that since the APC and the PDP are the two dominant parties in the country now, the choice will be either of them.
They usually use the American system as a model. Without doubt, the American system is an ideal that we desire but have refused to imbibe its fundamental tenets. We have wrongly copied the American presidential model. The flaws in our version of the model are visible and have been the cause of our poor democratic development since 1999 it was introduced.
Nevertheless, those that think that the choice before us is between the two leading parties may be right. However, the tragedy of the Nigerian situation, especially with reference to the APC and the PDP, is like the tale of the two knives in the kitchen of an old woman. The knife that has head is not sharp while the one that is sharp has no head.
What can Nigerians do with this dilemma of having two knives that are quite opposite of each other? Will they go for the knife that is sharp and yet has no head or go for the knife that has head and is not sharp? This is where Obasanjo’s coalition or third force makes some sense.
But there is still a problem. The coalition is not one. They are divided. They are many with different names and perhaps objectives. What perhaps unites them is being an alternative platform, third force or a neutral voice outside the mainstream political parties.
The third force may soon hit a dead end to the alternative power source except they come together now and perhaps align with an existing political party. None of the third forces can go it alone. My advice to the ruling party is to stop deluding itself with the badge of sainthood it is arrogating to itself and face actual governance.
Its one-sided tale of corruption is monotonous, sour and will never persuade Nigerians to vote for it in the 2019 poll. Rather than regale Nigerians with tales of corruption and names of looters, the party should try to show Nigerians its list of promises fulfilled. Nigerians will be eager to see Lai Mohammed make such achievement list made public pretty soon. Nigerians are tired of APC litany of woes allegedly caused by the PDP. Tell us something else; enough of the blame game. APC was aware of the problems before it campaigned and won the poll with mouth-watering promises.
Let it fulfill those promises. It should stop telling us that there is heat in the kitchen. If it can’t bear the heat, let it leave the kitchen for others willing to bear the heat. To the opposition, let them be more focused, forceful and present a better alternative.