Sometimes everything about Nigeria just tires you. I am talking about those moments when you wish that you had some kind of insulation from the shenanigans of our leaders and the incurable naivety of our people. Nigerians often leave the more serious proverbial leprosy and congregate to treat ringworm because our reactions to issues totally tell of our lack of interest in the attainment of sustainable development as a people.
This past week, there was a row over the confirmation of former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, first on the floor of the Senate and then on blogosphere regarding the appropriateness of the action. Ordinarily, the fact that citizens engage in such debates should be exciting, but when you notice that most of the discussions centered around worn out party and ethnic sentiments, you wonder if there is anyone really thinking about this country.
Given legal precedence in Nigeria, the Senate did nothing wrong in the confirmation of Ameachi as minister. By virtue of the Supreme Court decisions in Abubakar Audu V Kogi State and FRN & Ors V Atiku Abubakar, only a court of competent jurisdiction and not any panel of inquiry can pronounce a guilty verdict on anyone in Nigeria. As a result, arguments about not considering Ameachi’s nomination are without merit.
On the flip side, however, questions can be asked about the appropriateness of his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari given that there are petitions against him before the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
Of course the argument that these are mere allegations could be raised by his supporters but one could extend that argument by asking its proponents how allegations against Ameachi are different from those against former Petroleum Minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke and some other people that Nigerians would not mind an opportunity to stone to death as we speak.
But then, if the President chooses to slacken his avowed commitment to probity by appointing people who have questions to answer, I guess it would be his prerogative, at least until such people are convicted of the alleged crimes. What worries me is the refusal of Nigerians to discuss issues without sentiment and put the country ahead of our personal proclivities.
Even the media has descended into the fray. The Nigerian media is currently deprived of the kind of objectivity and creativity that times like these demand of the Fourth Estate of the realm. Somehow, everyone has found some sort of alliance or the other.
Even more unfortunate is the inability of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to prepare itself to take up the responsibility of championing the rights of the people in the event that the ruling party gets swollen headed.
I do not see the point in the drama of the Ameachi confirmation. After the walk out staged by the PDP on Thursday, I asked myself if a number of those who walked out won’t be in the same room with Ameachi later that day amusing themselves at the expense of their compatriots who tear each other apart while fighting on behalf of these partisans whose major interest is survival.
I think the PDP needs to properly organize it and prepare to constructively keep the PMB government on its toes during its four years tenure. It is not a crime for a party to lose elections like it happened to the PDP. It is also not unusual for a party which suffered unexpected electoral defeat to be disoriented for a while. The Democratic Party in the United States had its troubles after Jimmy Carter’s loss in the 1980 presidential elections, but the party soon got its act together and has been stronger for it.
As we speak, the PDP cannot be said to have a position on the development of the country. Governors on the platform of the party are disunited and but for the occasional press releases by spokesperson Olisa Metuh and Senate Minority leader, Godwill Akpabio, it can hardly be said that there is any party ready to tackle the largely predictable excesses that we might see from the ruling party in coming days. The PDP should seize the opportunity to market itself to Nigeria again as a credible alternative
We do not currently have this because politics in Nigeria is not about ideas. It is not about organising and planning for years to make things better for the people, it is about winning at all costs. This is the only reason why as soon as politicians lose elections in one party, they jump into the other train like a prostitute whose god is money. This is why even before forming a government; the ruling party has found itself in disarray.
Unfortunately, we have all been dragged into this bread and butter hustle. When we talk politics, we hardly ever think Nigeria, but this needs to stop. The subsistence essence of our politics is why there is so much strife and why Nigeria has stagnated so much. We all must make a demand for principled based politics from our leaders.