I am pleased to be here in Nigeria in the run-up to next year’s elections. It is an incredibly important time for the country, and I have seen the passion of the people first hand during my visit. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest, and one of its most vibrant democracies. It has made huge progress in…
Like Nigeria that always bounces back from the precipice, redemption last midweek came the way of the People’s Democratic Party that had been entrapped in a leadership cul-de-sac since its 2015 loss of a 16-year monopoly of the presidency. The nick-of-time rescue by the highest court in the land came via a verdict saluted nationally and internationally for its timely moral, commonsense and political correctness. With that decisive judicial intervention, the best and last bastion of justice offered the PDP a 3R licence and chance: to reconcile, restructure, and reconstruct. The party that brought Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, 1999-2007; Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, 2007-2010 (Allah bless his soul); and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015), now has renewed energy and moral authority to right its many wrongs as well as perform the checks-and-balances watchdog oversight on ‘the governing All-Progressives Congress’.
Navigating what remains of Africa’s largest political party back to its pride-of-place status is a task that is herculean, not impossible. This is not PDP’s time to play politics, nor be carried away its victory. No, this is the time to work. PDP should retrace its flight route to where it strayed off the radar. True soul-searching would throw up its thousand and one horrible errors, notably ingratitude (to God, founders and members), imposition, impunity, hijack, injustice and arrogance not to mention the untold wastage of opportunities and resources. After this self-examination, the party should be in good standing not only to draw up a new roadmap but also to review 2011-2015 humongous corruption revelations that tend to impugn its trustworthiness.
Sen. Ahmed Makarfi has re-begun well by remaining himself and humble in victory, even going ahead immediately to announce national convention for October in addition to calling three strategic preparatory meetings. He should not dissipate too much energy nor expend too much time on celebration, of which the party should be tired; considering that in the decade and six it held the yam and the knife in Abuja and across the country, Nigerians saw fanfare redefined. What he should rather do is nicodemusly visit former President Obasanjo, other elder statesmen plus sundry ‘PDP divorcees’ who were frustrated or angered out; reconcile with them and revalidate their membership. Thereafter, a thanksgiving service could hold to celebrate the solomonic judgment and grand reunion. This holy event should be devoid of the unholy nigerianisation that has invaded the church and mosque. The National Executive Committee should name a Sunday and a Friday on which all organs of the party mobilise members for simultaneous Christian and Islamic thanksgiving, nationwide.
Sen. Makarfi and his team must ignore tantrums by, but seek to integrate, purveyors of events that the Supreme Court has buried for good. No need to join issues with Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, who should himself be smart enough to raise the bar of his politics going forward. On the conspiracy theory that APC hired the Borno former governor to enervate PDP, the Kaduna former governor must play the Nelson Mandela card of forgiving and forgetting, totally. Former governors should enjoy some esprit de corps! The Supreme Court-certified caretaker chief who now holds all the aces should realise that his deft handling of Sheriff and company could accelerate or accentuate PDP’s resurgence.
The party must be goodhearted this time round. It must utilise the supreme closure to open up several channels and interfaces that could generate ideas to restart engines of the party; hit the sky flying and ultimately steady it a la autopilot until it lands at the moon, figuratively speaking. Sen. Makarfi reaching out and bending over backwards is key to this phase. He should engage every PDP stakeholder, past and present; apologise where and when the need arises; poach here and there to strengthen the party in some states; and above all, restructure the party to enshrine transparency, justice and inclusion.
It is only a PDP this restructured, strengthened and reconciled which can change the narrative that the Supreme Court saw through and exterminated. Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, his team and successors must forever ensure that Wadatta Plaza sleeping dogs never wake up. Unlike the country that perpetually blows her golden opportunity, the party must get this one right, as it might not be three times lucky. Its badly depleted troops should be strategic, inclusive, and reasonably amenable. That way, with a popular northern presidential standard-bearer in 2019, PDP could retaliate by inoculating APC the same anti-continuation vaccine the latter used in 2015 to abort the former’s four-year pregnancy. God bless Nigeria!
It just feels good to hear that our president is fine
This report from recent London trips by Mrs. Aisha Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo excites me to no end. Of course, in a country of chronic governmental doublespeak and incorrigible mendacity, one believes anything at one’s peril. This case is different though, because the wife of the president and the Acting President are two of the very few persons in this administration left with strands of believability. One cannot but take their word for it: sorry, FFK.
But, would our lion king move against the hyenas, jackals, foxes and sundry lesser animals even before he returns?
The dancing senator of the federal republic
How old is Sen. Ademola Adeleke? Who knows? It seems his dance video, that has further distinguished the Osun West man as an internet sensation, was shot before his epochal election? If he danced that arrestingly when he hadn’t won, part two of the video should show us his post-landslide victory displays.
But, seriously, Nigeria should watch out for that man. He might be around for a while in our lives. Dancers are happy people. Imagine where we would be with happy leaders!