“First get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive” – Jim Collins
It was Jim Collins quotes that Nigerians followed in 2015 when they voted against People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Goodluck Jonathan. They went with a candidate considered to be the chosen one from the most High, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The slogan “change” and many others were used to campaign for “Sai baba” and to rubbish PDP administration of 16 years.
Unfortunately, five years after – nothing has changed. Nigerians find no difference between the scattered broom of the APC and the tattered umbrella of the PDP. For political analysts, the two movements are filled with unrepentant failures who have put Nigeria’s democracy under siege since 1999 following corruption and other maladministration. So, when it comes to governance, the two parties are identical twins.
Unarguably, all Nigerian politicians often tagged themselves ‘progressive’ once they make efforts to dig boreholes and patch potholes on the roads. That’s not all, they also exhibit the act “give away” when they visit their communities by throwing N200 notes out of the illicit windfall pilfered from government coffers to buy crowd hailing him.
For some blind followers, any politician with all of the aforementioned attributes is qualified to be a hero. Soon, the fellow is compared to Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello among others.
But sane Nigerians who understand what governance means would agree that governance is beyond a mere joke and mediocre. It is the formation of reasonable policy for generations to come that matters and neither the PDP nor the APC have pioneered that.
From Dasuki gate to Ganguje and now Magu’s gate, it has become clearer to the masses that we have just a tiny line between the two parties. While the PDP were brazen looters during their days in government, the APC chieftains are looters with pretence.
This reminds us of what Okot p’Bitek, the Ugandan poet wrote in Song of Lawino that the ‘graceful giraffe cannot become a monkey.’ So, APC and PDP mode of governance is different but the end means remain the same just like we cannot ask, whether figuratively or otherwise ‘what is the difference between a Rolls Royce and a Beetle car;’ they are both cars but cars in different categories, in terms of pricing, prestige and general construction. Both parties are different in terms of corruption, re-looting and failure but not in ideologies.
From economy to insecurity, nothing seems to have changed. Like kidnappers took away mother of then sitting finance minister and coordinating minister for economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, it also hits Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency when his ADC’s father-in-law was kidnapped in Daura, the President’s hometown.
We continue to have banditry like never before and many other irregularities. What then changed than the name of the ruling party? Going into the figures of those who have lost their lives in insurgency may render our readers eyes filled with blood as tears rather than water. Indeed, there’s fire on the mountain then and no one seems to have found a way forward till today.
Back then, Pa Awolowo promised free education at all levels and education became free in the western region. The NPN countered UPN with a ‘Qualitative education for All’ slogan. Yes, both parties played great roles in presenting ideas to be held accountable for. What will PDP or APC be held accountable for than the fact that corruption still thrives under the two leading parties due to a systemic problem?
President Buhari may not have been personally fingered in any stealing allegations, but are a few around him clean? No. We are discussing Magu today, who is next tomorrow?