Thereport in the Punch newspaper of February 12, 2014 which revealed that the ruling PDP and the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) are still at logger heads over the defection of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar several days after the latter, had moved on in search of soul mates to liberate the country from the misrule of the PDP, made interesting reading.
The above means that the PDP is sulking for the loss of a prominent citizen, politician and a principled man of Atiku’s calibre even when it made light and a joke of his defection initially, the way it puts a bold face on all its shortcomings and misdeeds.
When a number of its governors also left the party before Atiku made his move, the leadership of the party, and its arrogant Presidency, was also dismissive of those gentlemen, literally insulting them and saying that the PDP would be better without them! Pray, what manner of men would insult and make light the exit of those who were its pillars simply because the party is rigid and unwilling to listen to its members and mend its ways! It’s only a party whose days are numbered and whose members worth very little in the eyes of its leaders.
However, it is only those Nigerians who do not remember the days when the PDP prided itself as a garrison party that would be surprised at the arrogance and condescending attitude of the present crop of leaders of the party, whose actions have also estranged one of its top members, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has served notice that he would no longer participate in the activities of the party. It is thus clear that the ruling party never was a democratic party in the real sense of the word and existed on the whims and caprices of its corrupt leadership.
Contrary to the description of Atiku Abubakar as a political wanderer by the likes of Chief Edwin Clarke and other acolytes of President Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku’s political activities and actions have always been measured, strategic and democratic. As a founder and leader of the PDP, Atiku like those other leading politicians who left the party recently, loved the party and worked hard to save it from the opportunists who hijacked it, all to no avail. Rather than putting in place a level- playing field for all its members for democracy and fair play to thrive, it talks of automatic ticket for some people in position, thereby turning the rest members to mere onlookers and passengers. A political party which behaves like a military formation have no place in a true or aspiring democratic society.
As Alhaji Atiku put it, he was forced out of the party he helped to build by attitude towards him by the leadership of the party, which failed to recognise his contributions and the role he has played and can still play. And when he realised like others who left the party before him that the once darling party of Nigerians have also abandoned the people of Nigeria, he knew it was time to leave. The APC came in handy bearing in mind that the latter is committed to get the PDP out of power and stop its systematic pauperisation of the Nigerian people through unbridled corruption, impunity, insensitivity and arrogance of its leaders. The PDP is so disdainful of the intelligence of the Nigerian people that its leaders have at various occasions boasted that they would rule forever, whether Nigerians liked it or not!
Atiku, by his humility, democratic credentials and his belief in wide consultations has endeared himself to most Nigerians. He is gradually becoming the issue in Nigeria politics as his maltreatment at the hands of the brigands in the PDP is similar to the disregard suffered by the Nigerian people in the hands of the ruling party and its arrogant and wasteful Presidency.
The PDP Presidency and its hordes of lying officials reel out false statistics about how the country is being transformed with the connivance of their lackeys in the World Bank. All however is one huge fraud. The party and its government in the present dispensation are looting the country blind, spreading poverty and destitution and weakening the people through manipulation of ethnicity and religion which are now instruments of governance.
Atiku’s movement was timely and courageous as it was the outcome of laborious and painstaking consultation across the country.
The former Vice President is not a stranger to the progressive APC, whose nationwide registration of members is the most important event in the country todayand which is causing discomfort for the Poverty Development Party (PDP). Alhaji Atiku was a foundation member of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria which is an original member of the three main parties that formed the opposition APC.
As Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the APC, declared jubilantly in Yola, Adamawa State, during a recent rally to formally welcome Atiku back to the fold,and into the party, ‘the coming of Atiku is a manifestation that the APC would succeed in dispensing with the rubbish that the PDP has become and free Nigerians once again to live in dignity.
Alhassan wrote from Maitama, Abuja