By Kaanayo Nwachukwu
In his “Handbook of Proverbs,” published in 1855, British publisher and rare book dealer Henry George Bohn wrote: “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.” If Bohn had written his book today, even the devil himself would be forgiven to assume he had Nigerian politicians in mind when he penned the proverb. In no other country in the world than Nigeria do politicians constantly keep their minds busy with evil thoughts and actively contemplating wicked ways and means of carrying out their evil plots against their country and compatriots.
A couple of weeks ago, Nigerians woke up to the news that some People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governors had defected to the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC. A section of the media, especially those that work in consonance with a United States based online news portal – notoriously well-known for fabricating and not fact-checking stories –cheered and played the news prominently. They were joined by idle minds who have been striving to penetrate the PDP machinery to go and steal billions of dollars but have not succeeded. Together, they played the news so high that some Nigerians thought the Messiah had actually come down from heaven above to save the Nigerian people from the criminals who have been lording over them for decades. Owing to pure selfish reasons, these insipid media and their “devil’s workshop” politician partners did not bother telling Nigerians the simple, basic truth about APC. In this lugubrious period of Nigerian history, distortion of reality and obfuscation of facts are the least of the things the people need to take back their country from those who have hijacked it.
While a credible opposition party is good for every democracy, APC is bad, very bad for Nigeria. It cannot act as a check and balance to PDP because it has no core democratic principle or mission statement. What it does not lack, though, is purpose: to compete with PDP in robbing Nigeria blind. And that’s the pure, unadulterated truth about APC. No more! No less! One doesn’t need to go any further than perusing the list of its leadership and membership to figure this out, regardless of how its media warriors try to tweak and twist the truth. They were sifted and selected on a criterion set out in advance: Members must be very corrupt.
Is Ahmed Bola Tinubu not a leader in APC? Is he not the very same man who shoved his wife Oluremi Tinubu down the throats of Lagosians as a senator representing them in Abuja? Did Tinubu not impose his son in-law Oyetunde Ojo on the good people of Ekiti State as a member representing them in the House of Representatives? Is he not the same Tinubu who superimposed his daughter Sade Tinubu as the representative of Agege people in the Lagos State House of Assembly, the same House he made his wife’s older sister a member? Who has forgotten so soon how Tinubu installed his daughter as the President General of the Market Men and Women of Nigeria this past October amidst protestations? Is Tinubu’s political modus operandi called democracy in the dictionary or “all in the family?”
On Tinubu’s right hand sits coupist and former Maximum Dictator Muhammadu Buhari – a man who murdered democracy and is hell-bent on being rewarded with a democratic dividend. He has contested for the presidency three times, failing woefully on each occasion in the elections. His foot soldiers say he didn’t steal money from Nigeria. Well, if he didn’t, how has he been financing his unending presidential campaigns? Who are his sponsors and what’s in it for them in a Buhari presidency? What about Nasir el-Rufai who has crowned himself APC spokesperson? Which of the defecting governors does not have one charge of corruption or the other hanging over him? Were they not all born and bred in PDP? They may have changed parties, but their new party is unlikely to change their DNA. And how come their media allies – within and outside of Nigeria – have nothing to write about them other than sing their praises?
Yes, PDP is bad. Its members are massively corrupt. Nigerians have every right to vent their anger and frustration at President Goodluck Jonathan’s very slow pace of addressing their problems. Truth be told, some of these APC members are the same people who took more than 50 years to create the mess Jonathan is struggling to mop up today. Yet, they are the ones now preaching revolution to Nigerians. APC members have set up the devil’s workshop in their brains due to idleness, fine-tuning strategies on how to take robbing Nigeria to the highest level. Nigerians might have gotten tired of PDP, but is APC really a better alternative?