By Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
If anyone still harboured any doubts about PDP and APC being one and the same group of unprincipled ?lootocrats? and gangster politicians with essentially the same attributes, that doubt should now be dispelled by the recent decamping of the speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal from PDP to the APC. This is a man who for the past four years has been the speaker of the House of Representatives and thus the number four man under the platform of the PDP. With such a powerful post he could have initiated a lot of progressive legislation and reforms particularly in the areas of corruption, security, education, youth unemployment, social welfare amongst others if he was truly an agent of change. He could also have unilaterally and symbolically given up much of the scandalous salary and allowances that he and other legislators unjustifiably collect when much of the nation is reeking in damnable poverty and lack of infrastructure.
But a look at the legislative record of Aminu Tambuwal would show that there is not a single legislation to his name, neither has he directly or indirectly initiated any social change. Indeed when?? Farouk Lawan a member of the House of Representatives was caught on camera in a bribery scam, Aminu Tambuwal was one of those who supported him and ensured that he remained in the house.? In four years, not only did Aminu Tambuwal fail to use his powerful position to initiate any change, he was studiously on the side of corruption and the status quo. ?The same man who as number four man has no achievement to his name has now decamped to the APC and is busy blaming the PDP for the ills of the nation. How can such an individual be taken seriously by any right thinking person? If Aminu Tambuwal who held the number four position under the platform of the PDP neither initiated any change nor achieved anything, is it by joining the APC that he will suddenly become an agent of change?
Aminu Tambuwal is a poster child of the ultimate hypocrisy, deceit and dilemma that the APC represents as about 70 percent of their members come from the same PDP that they routinely blame for the nations ills. The fact that the APC which pretends to stand for change is willing to recruit predominantly from the same group of PDP misrulers that have held the nation hostage is reflective of how much they share the same fundamental values and character that is defined only by lack of principles, opportunism, looting and insensitivity to the poor. Charity should ideally begin at home and for a party like the APC that claims they are all about bringing change and ending the agony of the beleaguered masses, problem is; there is nothing in their programme/ideology, antecedents in the states they control and character of the individuals who make-up the party to suggest such change.
The APC governors have not demonstrated any fundamental difference in the states they govern, nor demonstrated any interest in the impoverished masses; not in the least with characters like Kayode Fayemi the former APC governor of Ekiti state who built a luxurious governor?s mansion in excess of a whopping 3 billion naira and bought individual foams for more than 50 million naira each while the masses sunk deeper into poverty. PDP governors who like Aminu Tambuwal decamped to the APC have nothing to show in their respective states that indicates any difference. From Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state who also happens to be a bigot to the undiplomatic, irrational and power drunk Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers state, all there is; is absolute failure. How then can governors who in the past eight years failed to make any meaningful impact in the states they governed suddenly shed their true colours just because they joined APC? The APC must have ascribed unquantifiable stupidity to Nigerians to believe that they can engage in such sheer hypocrisy/ deceit and still expect to be taken seriously.
There is hardly any Nigerian who is not aghast at the nation?s rapacious leadership and misrule, this should ordinarily make it easier for a platform that genuinely represents change to galvanise the masses against the ruling party and score an electoral victory. But alas, for all the noise about change the APC has done just the opposite of what is expected from a real agent of change. Beyond criticising President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling party, the APC has never managed to produce any practical, comprehensive and inspiring manifesto that proffers solutions that breaks radically from the status quo. In the national assembly, APC members have never proposed any progressive laws to combat corruption and other vices as a strategy to distinguish themselves. The states under their control have yet to demonstrate any collective ideology, curb corruption nor show any exceptionalism in good governance as a prototype for the larger society. Indeed some APC states have furthered tribalism and targeted the poor through the deportation of? poor non-natives? from Lagos state and? the public rebuke of a wretched? widow who was asked to ?go and die? by governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo state just because her poverty consigned her to trading on the streets.
Apart from harbouring known bigots like Rabiu Kwankwanso, Muhammadu Buhari et all ?whose ethno-religious fundamentalism? are well known and other Boko Haram sympathisers in their fold, how can a party that broke the record of deporting Nigerians from Lagos state and elsewhere bring progress to a nation that already suffers from considerable ethnic and religious divisions? ?In the area of corruption, Bola Tinubu (the godfather) who happens to be the leader of a significant bloc of APC is widely considered one of the most corrupt Nigerians. Not only does he control much of the finances of whole states, he is reputed to be the owner of a construction firm that built a tolled bridge that is ripping off Lagosians travelling to and from Lekki. ?Allegations that he was a drug baron also hang in his skin. ?All around us the consequence of corruption is self evident, because of it Nigeria lacks even the most basic infrastructure, while tribalism has widened ethnic divisions and ensured that becoming a true nation remains a pipe dream. In light of these realities how can the APC that not only agglomerates established looters but also assembles well known bigots bring any change to Nigeria?
A party that has an ideal for change would not only show a radical difference in governance in the jurisdictions they control but would also strive to recruit only honest and proven individuals into their fold. But the closer you scrutinise the APC, the more you see an assemblage of thieves, bigots and rabid self serving opportunists. Change is always a product of sacrifice which can never be given by those who put their self interest above the common good. The APC has proven so far to be driven by the personal ambitions of those who seek power for self serving purposes. There is thus no fundamental difference between the APC and the PDP as both are two sides of the same bad coin made-up of self serving opportunistic politicians seeking relevance and power for the purposes of personal aggrandizement. A Leopard cannot change its colours, in the same vein a Nigerian politician will not and cannot shed his or her essential attributes and character just because he or she changed party. Whilst the Nigerian masses genuinely seek change, I doubt if they will choose such change from an opportunistic crowd that offers nothing but a continuation of the status quo and maybe even worse. Replacing a thief with a thief is just not an option. The nation needs a genuine vehicle of change with nation builders and selfless leaders; neither the PDP nor the APC is that vehicle!
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu