Where Are Candidates, Manifestoes Or Alternatives to President Obasanjo?

by Paul I. Adujie

What is worse, these band of illogical political hacks never manage to explain why these so-called prosecutions, that they call persecutions and political vendetta could therefore have applied to former inspector general, and now ex-jailbird Barrister Tafa Balogun?

Instead, we were first told that Tafa Balogun is above the law, he is friend of the president, and oh, he is a Yoruba. And then, we were told that he is the brain of PDP rigging in 2003 and that an arrest or jailing of Tafa Balogun, will be a death wish or suicide for President Obasanjo, as Tafa Balogun was bound to tell-all about the PDP shenanigans of 2003 elections.

Tafa Balogun was dismissed from Nigeria’s Police, arrested and jailed. And some of us are still waiting for apologies, from those who told us, pointedly and boastfully, that the eventual waterloo that Tafa Balogun met, were impossible in Nigeria, particularly, under President Obasanjo. Oh, when was the last time in Nigeria, nay Africa that such had happened? It would never happen, they swore cock-surely. We are all wiser now?

I want to believe that Nigerians are all agreed on the all-important matters of making all our public officials accountable, transparent and corruption-free. The rule is: If you are running for public office, you must declare your assets, prove that the sources were crime and corruption-free and genuine. Establish that you have had honest business and profited from hard work; Otherwise, you are disqualified.

But why is it then a surprise to any Nigerian that the EFCC, the ICPC or the Nigerian Police and all of Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies want to know or determine the sources of wealth of potential public office holders? Who are the financiers of your political campaigns? Are your donor foreign interests that are inconsistent with Nigeria’s national interests? Are you campaign donor domestic and local criminal gangs and crooks? Are you the candidate an erstwhile public official who corruptly enriched himself and now wishes to use your loot as a means and vehicle to public office? Why should all Nigerians not want to know these things for the sake of accountability, probity and transparency?

In the United States for instance, political candidates have to go through rigorous checks, criminal background, even previous engagements in immorality or even simple inappropriate conducts or behaviors are quick to become campaign issues! Did you kick a dog or cat or some other domestic pet in your previous life, Americans want to know, now that you are running for public office. Did you park in a parking space reserved for disabled or the physically challenged or did you engage in drunk driving? And did you smoke Marijuana when you attended college or university? Americans want to know the most microscopic details of your entire life, to determine your suitableness for office. But in Nigeria, some will call an EFCC or ICPC investigations to determine these, a vendetta, a vindictive and a selective pursuit of political enemies by President Obasanjo and the PDP! Haba! President Obasanjo and the PDP are damned if they do and if they don’t?

I personally want to know what the poor excuse is, for the dearth of presidential aspirants or presidential candidates for Nigeria’s 2007 presidential elections. What are the excuses?

If the real reasons, sorry, excuses, are those that have been adduced by political opponents, and opposing political parties is just limited to their timorous timidities, of fear of death, fear of probe, fear of intimidation, fear of vendetta by President Obasanjo and the PDP operatives? I will say to them, have some balls! Have some guts!

How is it that the nearly thirty other political parties in Nigeria, other than the PDP, are not ready for prime time? What are their excuses for not selecting or announcing their selection of presidential candidates or aspirants? I am not a member of any political party in Nigeria, but if I were, I would be feeling colossal and monumental slew of embarrassments at the present time. How could anyone explain the lack of boldness and courage on the part of these numerous political parties? I am sure there a persons of courage in all these parties. President Obasanjo and PDP are the only ones with courage or sturdiness? Are members of the opposition just lazy or lacking in strategies?

Is it really a matter of lacking in courage or, is it that these other political parties are bereft of ideas? Are they suffering from collective bankruptcies of ideas? Is it the case that these other political parties have nothing to sell to the Nigerian electorate? Is that they have no manifestoes that will surpass President Obasanjo’s and PDP’s economic and political reforms agenda; President Obasanjo reforms that includes his prodigious efforts to rid Nigeria of billions of dollars of foreign debts?

Is it equally, possibly because President Obasanjo and the PDP, with all their faults, have empanelled EFCC and ICPC and such other Nigerian government organs, agencies and machineries to fight and eliminate corruption from Nigeria public space?

Some Nigerians have not be bitten by the reform bugs. These institutionalized reforms are eliminating old habits and negative old ways of easy-riches, easy money or illicit wealth. The president is hated for closing some of the old ways of doing things. He is resented for closing old negative avenues, hence the anger among the lazy-easy-money class of old?

I do believe that a vigorous and vibrant opposition are essential ingredients to a true democracy. This is so, just as free and fair elections; right to dissent, robust and vibrant opposition are to a democracy and strengthens it. But where is the Nigerian political opposition to the PDP? Imagine if the PDP actually had party discipline and internal cohesion? Imagine if the PDP did not suffer from self-inflicted wounds in Bayelsa, Anambra, Oyo and Plateau States etc? All other political parties in Nigeria would have been extinct by now!

It has become increasingly tempting to conclude that the opposing political parties in Nigeria, tens of them, lack ideas, lack men and women of substance, character and integrity. And so, they rely on distractions as cover for their bankruptcies of ideas!

Or could someone tell me why these several tens of other political parties in Nigeria have not announced their presidential aspirant-candidates? Where are the nominees for state governorships and other potential candidates for sundry public offices across Nigeria?

Nigerian political opponents are so afraid of President Obasanjo and the vicious PDP apparatuses, machineries and instruments when it comes to promoting their own candidates and manifestoes? But these same political parties, opponents of President Obasanjo and the PDP, seem to have no fear and no qualms in calling the president unprintable names as they ridicule his person, his family and the PDP?

The current vacuum left by Nigerian opposition political parties constitutes the best argument or reason for a third term, if indeed, President Obasanjo needed one. The vacuum by the opposition, the dearth of their vigor and the bankruptcies of their ideas, the absence of their candidates and manifestoes, in sum, should emboldens President Obasanjo and the PDP as they angles for the opportunities to anchor, consolidate and have their policies completely embedded in strong institutions and streamlined processes.

The opposition political parties claim they are fearful of advocating and agitating their economic and political positions in manifestoes, they say they are afraid of President Obasanjo and the PDP, sufficiently to be cowered? They are afraid to stand for what is right,

legal and proper? But they are quick to engage in useless personal insults, useless personal attacks as they engage in the equally useless and completely distracting talk about third term!

The opposition political parties in Nigeria must show us their candidates and their manifestoes and what they will do better, better than President Obasanjo and the PDP, or the opposing political parties should forever hold their peace.

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David Uzosike April 13, 2006 - 5:56 pm


Nigeria need people like you 'JARE'

The Truth is that there is no alternative out there at the moment. No one to step in OBJ shoes. No one to deliver. Dont get me wrong, am not saying that there are no messaiahs in Nigerian, what am saying is that amongst all the sycophants parading themselve as presidential hopeful at present, none of them has the decency to answer MR PRESIDENT.

Orji Kalu is strugling with Abia state, we need a break from him.

Anonymous April 7, 2006 - 8:04 pm

OBJ is not an alternative to himself. The only two official candidates are Atiku and Kalu why are u campaigning for him?!

Anonymous April 7, 2006 - 10:04 am

Paul, my brother, common now, you know the deal. Most of the parties including the governing PDP have no political idiologies. Some of them are political outfits resulting from fallouts among friends or same bedfellows. One does not fall out from an idiology held seriously dear to the heart even when in disagreement with friends, in this case political friends if it was not selfishly (as in economics) motivated in the first place.

How else can one explain Dicky Cheney being sympathetic to the Democratic Party ideals when he is the number two person in his own party leadership with a different strong opposing ideals. What we have in Nigeria today are mostly Parties of convenance.


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