FEMI ADEOTI COLUMN
Spot the differences. And you would hardly find one. Strange? Surprised? That is possibly our greatest gain in this awkward clime.
Very absurd! They are shameful enough to christen it “home-grown” democracy. Whatever that means to them.
On our part, we are proud to rightly label it “demon-crazy.” Yes, it’s “dem-all-crazy.” Eternal apologies: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. That is exactly what it is.
For the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? Not even one single difference. All are the same and all corrupt! Nothing spectacular about the duo, nothing peculiar either.
Forget the nomenclature. They are just one party with two labels and one character. They are nomadic. They are made up of itinerant politicians. Roamers, rovers are they all.
These oddities are extremely easy-going. The cranks are of no fixed destination. Where their (“bread”) treasure is, there their hearts be also. It’s biblical.
So? There they jump fence without thinking twice, or even looking back. They neither care whose ox is gored nor bruised. They move back and forth with the speed of light.
Check them out. PDP and APC have been flocking together. Why? Because they are the same party without ideology. They only have one common deadly mission. They are out to destroy. Then they harvest the loot and ruins all alone. Two parties, same members. And they have been doing this for the past 21 odd years. Their members are in one accord, one vision for the wrong reason.
It has become seasonal migration for members of APC and PDP. Anytime the elections are approaching, there is always shifting of bases.
They fraudulently call it political alignment. They are liars. That is the appropriate time to exchange membership. For them, it is a lucrative occupation. And they do it with professional dexterity.
They are so daring with uncommon audacity. This movement was upgraded in the build-up to the 2015 elections. The PDP was deliberately depleted, decimated and bastardised. It was to pave way for that exodus.
Crises were intentionally fomented and precipitated in the PDP. Immediately, nomadic politicians began to jump ship. There was an unprecedented mass defection to the APC.
No one was spared. The PDP was brought down; “top to bottom.” Everyone fell flat for it. Governors, senators, representatives, ministers, commissioners, local government chairmen and councillors; name them, all became defectors.
They ridiculously cited the self-inflicted crises in the falling PDP as lame excuses. But all knew they were not even clever by half. We could read their lips well and accurately.
They were speaking from both sides of their wide and wild mouths. And the party became an abandoned child. Nobody wanted to deal with it. Not even with the longest pole.
Those who remained in PDP made matters worse. They feigned fake commitment. They pretended to forge ahead unperturbed. They too were liars, just like the “decampees.”
Their campaign morale was down and gone. The more it progressed, the more it became colourless. The electioneering was rapidly losing the needed steam.
No one needed any prophet on where the PDP was headed. Not so with the defectors’ newfound love. The APC was soaring like an eagle. They were conquering new territories. Their campaign was electrifying.
It was like a wildfire. Wherever it went, it razed the ruling party down. It literally burnt it to ashes. The PDP carried these serious injuries into the elections. And the rest is history today.
But, just look back at the defection. Reflect on the defectors. You see deceit, deception, fraud, duplicity, et al. These deceptive indexes are dangerously playing out again: Courtesy 2023 polls.
The pattern remains the same. The template is an apt replica of pre-2015 elections. With that model, they are back on the rough march again. That is what they know how to do best.
And may their road be terrible, hard and harsh. May they never find rest and comfort on the dangerous path they choose to tread. Those are the best wishes from us to them.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, belled that cat then. He was governor of Rivers State. He braved the odds, and others followed. He almost singlehandedly led the breakaway faction out of PDP.
Instantly, he became the toast, the rave of the moment. He was undisputedly one of the prominent faces of the APC. And he carried that face with ultimate arrogance.
Governor Dave Umahi performed that function this year, all for 2023. He still holds sway in Ebonyi State. He is doing his second round like Amaechi in 2015.
He told us in unclear terms he was dumping PDP to save the South East. How? He claimed his old party had no viable plan for his region. That the party would still give its 2023 presidential ticket to the North.
For Umahi, that was more than an insult. It was an abomination. He did not want none of that. He “opted” not to be a party to the shenanigans.
He then feigned a false impression. He vowed to secure the ticket of his APC for the South East. Tall dream.
Of course, the APC had a big catch in Umahi. And it celebrated it to high heavens. They coasted home. They feasted on him to the maximum.
That probably attracted Governor Ben Ayade in Cross River State. The message was not lost on him. He fell for it, just like that.
But his attraction was quite different from Umahi’s. That is what he pretended to claim. He is also on the second leg of his tenure.
His style of decamping was something else. It was awful. He hurriedly converted the PDP state office to APC. PDP workers were chased out because they no longer had a portion with Ayade.
He refused them access to their files and other documents. Pure vendetta, vengeance! And for no reasonable reason.
What he said made him to run to APC was equally hard to believe. He sang like a canary. He poured unsubstantiated encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari. He was uncontrollable in his outpouring.
That was strange. Ayade’s spokesman had, days before, denied the defection rumour. In one breath he said: “The governor is going nowhere. We have lived with this rumour from day one.”
In another breath, he gave himself out: “Cross River is in the South-South but does not produce oil and we have so many projects that we have embarked on that require federal approval. How do you get the approval, if you are not friendly with them?”
With that, it was certain the governor was a goner. He could not be saved from APC. Truly, he did not survive it. He caved in. Again, the APC rolled out the drums.
An elated party stalwart reflected the mood in APC: “Governor Ayade defected to our great party, APC, with all members of the State House of Assembly, including Speaker and Deputy Speaker, commissioners, elected local council chairmen, councillors and over 6,000 political appointees in the state.”
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara completed the trio of defector governors. That is how we are dastardly displaying our weird democracy.
Members of APC and PDP keep on recycling themselves forth and back. They do it with reckless abandon and in huge abundance. There is insanity in our politics and polity.
In sane climes, things don’t work out in such an absurd manner. The reason they keep on ascending progressively. Here, we elect to descend retrogressively. It’s a choice, our choice.
Amaechi is one perfect sample that APC and PDP members are the same. Only time and exigency dictate where to be.
He was Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, for eight years. He took over the reins of the state from Dr. Peter Odili. He held sway as governor for eight years. He enjoyed all these 16 years on the platform of the PDP.
Then, suddenly, Amaechi woke up from his 16-year slumber. To his chagrin, he discovered PDP was stinking, corrupt! He could not condone the filthy PDP anymore. He could no longer stand it.
He did the needful, as an itinerant politician. He did not do anything extraordinary. It was the new normal then. He only followed suit. He parted ways with the soiled and sullied party. He “wisely” aligned with the APC.
Now, he has been minister for more than six years. For such a character to turn around and label PDP corrupt? It honestly baffles me. It beats my imagination hollow.
The PDP ruled for 16 years. Ameachi actively participated in those years. Meaning: He was part and parcel of that corruption. In fact, he was more than deeply involved. And he is still grandstanding that somebody is corrupt!
It tells a lot about us as a people. Our leaders are actors. They simply act the script of the party they find themselves in at a particular time and season. Amaechi and others like him are interesting case studies. They give us insight into the crude mind-sets of these serial defectors.
We fervently pray that these nomadic politicians are gathering together for destruction. That the brewing implosions in the two parties will not abate. The two parties will not know peace. They have never meant well for us.
We pray that their ugly history will cease repeating itself in our lives. This species of politicians will never make it happen again.
It is carnage. It must stop forthwith. So help us God.