By Sunday Osanyintuyi (@SundayOs)
I was one of those who took President Muhammadu Buhari’s assistant on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, practically to the cross when he referred to the Nigeria main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as wailing wailers in May this year. I took that position for many reasons; one of which is that name calling has no place in decent democracy. In very sane climes, oppositions are meant to put ruling administration on its toes towards viable and tangible developments. But same appears not the story here.
The PDP had the honour to lead (if you like rule) our nation for 16 years without interference. The party held sway with a stamp of being the strongest political party in Africa. During this period, needless to remind you that there were opposition parties among which the current All Progressive Congress (APC) emerged. So, there was never a time any PDP member referred to opposition party members as wailing wailers. I stood against Adesina for these and other reasons meant for another day.
But recent events are making me think Adesina may be right after all for referring to his arch enemies as wailing wailers. Femi took over the media assistant job from yet another competent, vibrant and dogged media warlord, Dr. Reuben Abati. His touch of professionalism to presidency’s activities will be reported on this page another day.
Opposition, like I said earlier, is meant to be an alternative government in waiting. Hence, providing quality and well thought out directions on policies would be positive moves. Sad to say that just less than four months as a leading opposition in Nigeria, the PDP has failed to maintain decency. From internal rumblings to national show of shame, the recent news from its Wadata Plaza headquarters confirms the party has been injurious to us collectively in the last 16 years. Or please how do you explain a party in power for almost two decades unable to pay staff salaries under four months of losing power? An allegation of internal corruption is disheartening. It amounts to pure charade having such jokers running the affairs of our country for so long.
The wailing wailers now have an academy with a serving governor in the south west as provost. The same guy picked issues with President Muhammadu Buhari during the last electioneering campaign. He was bold wishing him dead. Like Japheth Omojuwa puts it “The governor cursed and abused Muhammadu Buhari during the campaign, Buhari said nothing. He has been on PMB’s neck since he became president. Again, silence. I am sure when Buhari begins to bully him, let no small wailers wail”.
Up till now, the funny governor has not relented. Hear him: “If President Muhammadu Buhari knows exactly where the stolen funds are kept and who looted the funds, he does not need all these public announcements. Rather, he should make public names of the looters and bring back the purported stolen funds, location of which he has identified. It is when he is able to bring back the money that he should make announcements of recovered funds.
“You don’t announce a process to the public; rather, you announce the results because that is what is of interest to the people. It is like you are announcing that you know where armed robbers reside, won’t they change their location?
“What the All Progressives Congress spin-doctors and their collaborators in the Presidency are doing is simple. It is such that when there is nothing to tell the people as per the rising Boko Haram attacks, dollar and other foreign currencies exchange rates, petrol pump price and other seeming failed promises of the APC Federal Government, they will accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan and his men of corruption, insult Peoples Democratic Party and make noise about fighting corruption.” If this not wailing, what is it?
Surprisingly, the governor with almost a year in the office without any tangible, concrete and visible achievement in his state takes pleasure in attacking the president. He started by begging the president to allow him nominate a minister from his state when in actual sense such was not the story under his immediate past “hero”. I sincerely think the people of his state have to rethink him as a governor or they will live with the consequences of their decision pending his exit.
While I speak not for the presidency, the body language of Buhari towards corruption is clear. He had said both members of his party and any other party will face the music if found guilty of corruption. Was this the same under the immediate past administration? Can this provost point to one case of corruption fought by his boss to a logical end? Why shouldn’t this man be patient to allow President Buhari fail on his promise? Can the elite in his state call him to order to save the state from these national embarrassments? I think as a forward looking governor, he should find some alignments with the federal government for the overall benefit of his state rather than standing as a clog on the state’s wheel of progress.
Just today ( August 10th) the same governor has lashed out on President Muhammadu Buhari over the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that her appointment does not conform with the 1999 Constitution. When did his man become a lawyer leaving his state crucial matters to suffer? He further stated that Zakari’s appointment “was dangerous to democracy” because she is an in-law to the president. How low can a state executive go to stay relevant? Leaving state matters to address non-essential matters speaks volume of the governor’s priorities.
Yet another wailer worth mentioning is the embattled National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh. From the visit of PMB to the USA and yet to be appointed ministers, this spokesman has defiled every sense talk. He sees nothing right in the administration. Little wonder why he lamented recently on an online TV show: “It is cold out here. It is cold because people that have been with you for the past 10 years now decided to change because we are no longer in power. It is cold out here because people allowed themselves to be used against the party. It is cold our here because you are subject to the machination and conspiracy of the ruling party. But in terms of service, being in the opposition renews your commitment.
“The week that we lost the presidential election, some members changed. They are no longer committed and even the staff of the party are no more disciplined because there is no benefit to get. This has, however, separated those who came to reap from the PDP and those who want to really serve. Politics is about service. Those who want to serve will remain.” Wailing on the anti-corruption programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari, Metuh maintained that the government was selective. He described recent probes embarked upon by the government as political lynching. It is clear that most Nigeria politicians feed fat on the people. They barely can make a living outside government. Other wailing wailers are rife on social media parading ignorance.
To the presidency, it needs to be restated that power belongs to the people. The power that brought this set of men there will be invoked and deplored accordingly if the right things are left undone. The quality of lives must improve. Our decayed educational system must be revived with needed speed. Just today, West African Examination Council (WAEC) released May/ June 2015 results with almost 70% failed core subjects. For a thinking government, this should not only call for immediate action but declaring emergency in the sector while reprioritising our curriculum better. It appears the current academic curriculum in our schools does not reflect the realities. With the current trends in our educational system, the future is bleak for Nigeria. Governments, at all levels, must give a clear stand on this.
Our politicians should get it straight that the era of stealing us dry is forever over. Accountability is the word. Every citizen is alive and sensitive to government policies and programmes. Every policy not beneficial to the entire citizenry will be resisted, refused and rejected. The current shenanigan at the National Assembly must be halted as soon as possible for proper administration to begin. It is rather dishearten to hear some elements are already scheming ahead of the 2019 elections as if they hold their lives.
The mission to rebuild Nigeria has started and must increase in speed. The train of progress has no party affiliation. The idea of new Nigeria should be inculcated into our school curriculum for the sake of our children as this old structure cannot sustain the house called Nigeria. The question will be when will these wailing wailers stop? I am sure the answer is until President Muhammadu Buhari stops to do the right things and join the band wagon of how politicians and corrupt civil servants used to do things for the past 16 years. Until then, I wish the Wailing Wailers Academy of Nigeria (WWAN) “Ijeoma”.