igeria is fighting corruption, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan knows the corrupt individuals in the society, both public and private, and he is REFUSING to mention names so as not to be attacked. The G7 earlier expressed disappointment with the way President Jonathan waved aside their request, which whimsically he has accepted by refusing to reveal the corrupt individuals. Is that one of the deals he stuck with the PDP Rebels to stop the EFCC from investigating their activities?
Jonathan as the Nigeria Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces is scares of attack. It is like a General would retrieve from the battle ground when the enemies merely blow the trumpet from a far distance that they would going to destroy all their enemies in seconds.
Who protects an ordinary Nigerian who is continuously attacking corruption in the society? How is Jonathan fighting corruption if those who committed the atrocities against humanity were set free, or spared from facing the wrath of the Law? The President, as the Custodian of the Nigerian Constitution, refusal to name the corrupt individuals in the country, when the country is among the most corrupt countries on the world, is of major concern to most Nigerians. Where is the country's salvation or redemption?
Nigerians are tired of the rhetoric on the corrupt public officers like Ribadu would state that Ibori stole 50% of Delta revenue within his eight years in office; Atiku is the most corrupt Vice President courtesy of Obasanjo; even to the point of stating that Waziri was not qualified to be the EFCC Chairperson; and Waziri would warn Obasanjo to respect his age if he does not want her to open up on him.
Corruption, as some scholars would put it, is a Nigerian Factor. Ibori is in London jail for thieving; Atiku's case could not be proved. The Nigerians concern now is the status of those that are still walking on the streets that Jonathan is refusing to reveal to the public, who might have stolen more than Ibori, Atiku; turned around donating the money to Mission Schools, and no one dare touch them. Those that are supposed to be processed through the law and they have the guts to tell the President to get off their cases.
Nigeria is fighting corruption, and G7 has successfully convinced the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to discourage EFCC from performing its responsibilities. The G7 demand is a dimension to why a school of thought believes that an average Nigerian is potentially and dangerously corrupt.
With President Jonathan succumbing to the termites that are devouring Nigerian community; would that amount to the fact that Executive Governors could do whatever they pleased while in office with the public money, to the endorsement of the Nigerian President, and get away without evoking the letters of the law on them.
Another school of thought is of the opinion that 'an average Nigeria is not corrupt', however, 'the country operates a corrupt system'. In a country where the operators, executives, embezzled the resources meant for development; and individuals entrusted with the resources are not accountable to those who elected them, is of great concern to an average Nigerian. Possibly, they are responsible for the lapses in the civil service. In a way, they encourage the civil servants in their corrupt practices against the ethics of their respective professions. Ironically, Nigeria's corruption rating has taken a leap for the worse as Transparency International (TI) has said that Nigerian civil servants alone took bribes worth over N450 billion ($3b) in 2011.
The report of a World Bank study (conducted in 26 states) released in 2012 indicated that about 80 per cent of businesses in Nigeria paid bribes to government officials in 2011 to stay in business. One-third of micro-enterprises agreed that "informal payments or gifts to government officials" were common occurrences, suggesting that registered firms deal more with such requests for bribes. How do you expect an Executive of a State to clear this up in their respective States if, and when, they are asking the President to grant them life immunity to mismanage the meagre resources in their States and not to be accountable to the public?
President Jonathan yielding to this singular request from the G7 should get Nigerians worried that the current corps of PDP politicians has unabashedly demonstrated to Nigerians that they cannot fight corruption in the country. It is a way of endorsing the Corruption Perception Index, through Transparency International, placing Nigeria among the most corrupt countries in the World, which some scholars have baptized as 'Nigerian Factor'.
To the embarrassment of the country, the United Nations stated that despite Nigeria's vast resources, it ranks among the most unequal countries in the world. The refineries were poorly maintained, other related industries are crippled, and Nigeria has been turned into a consumer country; importing energy with the abundant oil and gas; shoes are imported in the midst of plenty of hides and skins; importing starch in the abundance of cassava; and importation of textiles with the large acres of arable cotton belt. Definitely, the EFCC and ICPC are finding it very difficult to rid Nigeria of corruption, as these executives continue to put pressure on the President to stop investigating their activities.
Unfortunately, the PDP's soul is ravaged by corruption, its structure weakened by cronyism occasioned by subversion of the democratic principles of rational choice by the whims and caprices of the party's leadership. The nation's salvation cannot be entrusted in the hands of this band of mendacious self-seekers. No index of positive continuity, let alone a transformation agenda that can emanate from such thought of the G7 for them to be above law of the land. As a matter of fact, most Nigerians celebrate corruption.
The turn of events which saw the ruling PDP broke into two factions at its mini-convention in Abuja August 24, 2013, is discomfiture to the party that claims to be the biggest in Africa, which has monopolized power at the center since 1999. It is an appalling failure of the PDP to meet the very basic requirements of internal discipline, unity of thought and action, and democratic management. It was a display of low level of political maturity under an individual, its Chairman, who lacks sombre skills in managing human behaviors. It is more embarrassing for the disgraceful conduct of some delegates, resulting into physical confrontations between Anambra and Kano delegates, at the Eagles Square.
All the boxing and shouting matches took place in the full glare of television cameras. It's a shame! To say that PDP lacks discipline may well be the least that could be said of the party that has ruled Nigeria for 14 years, with very little to show for it.
The splinter has turned out to be just another incremental and rapacious devaluation of internal democracy. Many expected that the PDP leadership would use the Eagles Square event to showcase its potential and for that matter, the party's capacity for democratic deepening, particularly at the grassroots. It has left the PDP in a huge democratic deficit. The sermon of some PDP leaders about the principle of fairness, justice, and rule of law is laughable, when indeed the convention made those principles its principal casualties.
The fragmentation was displayed as the House of Rascals was turned into a brawl when the defector leader of G7, Alhaji Mohammed Kawu Baraje was apologetically invited to the House of Representatives, Tuesday, September 17, 2013, regretfully behaved like a tout, as confirmed by the Video and the picture.
Members of the House of Representatives in a rowdy session, during Baraje-led PDP's visit to the National Assembly Tuesday, September 17, 2013. & a Female Heavy weight Champion
Watch the shameless Nigeria Lawmakers brawl video in the Nigeria House of Rascals, Tuesday, September 17, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7O5z6GJSIo
PDP members' disruption to democracy started with the fight for a position like chicken fighting for pieces of grains on the ground, as if there is no other available debris, sand, stones to feed on.
It started with the ambition of an individual to be in a higher position in his political career, which is normal: Gone to an individual who wants to keep his job by all means necessary; to the personalities asserting their powers and authority that would be over very soon; through dubiously redirecting the normal system; to setting a bull-dog after those who do not agree with his direction; to the point of walking away from the official gathering, hence the break-away group; using the same old house utensils for dinner; adding table knife to fork and spoon for dinner; and to the removal of some disloyal members or friends of the dissidents. Wow, what a child play of the PDP that were brought together through all means necessary, and asking a prisoner of retribution to lead them. What a shameful act of the PDP.
Ironically, the emergence of the New Peoples Democratic Party highlights Nigeria's north-south dichotomy since most of its members are northerners and Muslims. Six of the seven governors are from the north or the Middle Belt. Only Rotimi Amaechi of oil rich Rivers State, is from the south; he and President Jonathan are political enemies.
The splinter group included Governors Alhaji Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers). They also include prominent members of the newly registered Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) also led by Atiku; who claimed to have bought a house for his mother at the age of 14; as the type of house he bought for his Mother is subject to analysis, slinking from the thatched hut, to the high-rise building. . Regrettably, like other political parties in Nigeria, PDP is not a political party, judging by the Western conventional sense, because it has neither distinctive political platform nor ideology. It has been the venue where Nigeria's competing and cooperating elite resolve their political differences or issues.
As expected in any organization, most especially in the Nigeria, experimental Democracy of American styled Presidential system of Government; Nigerians are not as worried about the PDP break up, most especially for someone following closely the developments within the party. Possibly the break-up was expected following the developments within PDP, heightened by the Nigerian Governors Forum leadership; to the free for all fight at the Rivers State House of Assembly; coupled with the agenda for each of the splinter Governors, most of who are actually sympathisers of once disgraced VP of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who has failed in his bid for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The real fractionizing Nigerian Governors Forum is Amaechi's Ambition to be the VP under Lamido, as scripted by Chief 'Confucius' Obasanjo. We are of the opinion to believe in the 'Hands of Esau and the Voice of Jacob' on any of the PDP issues, as we can easily guess the break away of New PDP members are loyalists of two powerful members of PDP, who do not want Jonathan on the 2015 ballot paper.
The peace maker in-between the PDP and the G7, once an executive has been accused that his administration, 1999-2007, was the most corrupt in the country, as revealed by the individuals who worked with the administration. It was further revealed that the Executive branch cushioned and manipulated contracts for personal and political gains. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher once stated that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world as corruption permeates all facets of the country's life.
Under normal circumstances, we expect to see the New PDP forming its own political party, as Voice of the People, legally registered with INEC, like Atiku's PDM, as prescribed by the Nigeria 1999 Constitution, as amended, get a new logo, manifesto and reach out to the electorates to test its water against the 2015 elections, which is only 18 months away. Definitely, the Community would determine its relevance to the needs of the Society at the polls. Nigerians were expecting the emergence of three major Nigerian political firmaments, PDP, APC, and NPDP, to test Nigeria real democracy, waiting who would prevent Jonathan, as a Nigerian, from contesting in 2015.
Ironically, as it is today, September 2013, Atiku political relevance is over, while Nigerians have to accommodate Obasanjo's cancerous political liability. We sympathise with Atiku as Obasanjo would continue to fight him directly or otherwise; like a Solider would focus on demolishing his enemy till his last breath. Obasanjo does not belong to the School of thought that, 'if you pursue your enemies for a while and unable to catch up, you need to recede'.
It is a good thing for the President to reshuffle his cabinet by eliminating six ministers. He is in the best position to select eminently qualified Nigerians, from different parts of the country to function in different organs under his supervision. In the cabinet reshuffle, four failed to live up to the Presidency's expectations. Three of the ministers were yet to understand their mandate after being in office for two and a half years. One of the ministers had more than twenty agencies under him but his performance fell below standard.
Importantly, we cannot rule out the alleged 'Nigerian Factors' acts against some of the Ministers, and also the needless industrial strike by workers under the supervision of one of the ministers. It was reported that one of the Ministers, forced the parastatals under the ministry to buy a N17million Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, for personal use. The money-spinning parastatals were unhappy but they had to do it. It also got to a ridiculous extent that the minister was always asking for remittance of interest accruable from funds kept in some banks by parastatals under the ministry. Another minister had problems with award of contracts, some of which were rated as inferior. The agencies supervised by the minister made a joint demand for change. These are the names the President is refusing to reveal to safe him from any attack.
Nigerians mindset change would give the direction on how to fight corruption in the country to the barest minimum, in addition to the activities of EFCC and ICPC. Much is expected from the G7 than its demand of getting off EFCC from them, to reconcile with the main PDP.
Given the prevalence of anti-democratic violence within Nigerian politics, the greatest lesson that can be learned from the PDP convention is that it marks another noxious reflection of the collapse of governance in the country. The awful deterioration of political morality and rascally demeanour displayed by persons, who, by authority and common trust are supposed to lead by example, is tremendously disturbing. This feeling is heightened by the culture of impunity, which gives vent to incessant high level official rascality culminating in the inbreeding of mediocre politicians, who, naughtily or boorishly, lack the requisite knowledge, capacity, or temperament for governance.
Politicians owe themselves the duty of being wary of the verdicts of posterity. Without reversing this negative politics, the judgment of history will be harsh on PDP. Nigeria needs peace and all leaders, from the President downwards, owe Nigerians the important duty of ensuring this. However, Machiavellian tactics that keep the people asunder in order for certain persons to remain in power can never achieve it. There is no better way to work one's name into the book of notoriety.
Going forward, Nigerians should be watchful over the quality of persons who seek their votes at all levels of government. They should be wary of sinecures without provable leadership capacity; self-seeking vermin whose only quest is to feast on the common wealth; little minds in high places who have no patience or respect for democracy.
What, in any case, is Nigeria doing with a plethora of parties, with fissiparous tendencies? Mr. President should go ahead and roll out the names of the corrupt Nigerians, courageous of someone attacking him as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces; and as the Number One Nigerian Citizen.
Disappointedly PDP is a disgrace to Democracy in all ramifications.
Femi Ajayi is a Professor of Policy, Management & Conflict Resolution, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State