Opinion: PDP and the burden of guilt

By Atubokiki Ogali

There is something unique about the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that confounds. And this has to do with the former ruling party’s inability to be remorseful and penitent even in the face of failure and defeat.

For more than 16 years, they took the entire country for a jolly ride, inflicting unparalleled economic and political pains on Nigeria and its citizens under the pretence of bogus transformational governance.

I am very sure that for those awful years, no time was spent on serious thinking or reflection by men and women in PDP. For the most part, the party dissipated its time and energy chanting its incorrect diabolic mantra of being the biggest party in Africa and behaving like the Roman Nero who fiddled while Rome was on fire.

Quite unsurprisingly, tomorrow was never in their reckoning even when it was evident shortly before the general election that PDP would be history in a matter of time. Today, like a bad workman who quarrels with its tools, PDP is bickering and fighting people and institutions over its self-inflicted woes.

For some of us who live in Rivers State, it is most amazing how times change. This is a party that perpetrated unprecedented violence and malpractices during the last general election; this is in addition to fighting and killing its people because of their membership of another party. Yet, members of the PDP have the impudence to still criticise a judicial process that is widely believed to be fair and transparent. Wonders indeed, shall never cease.

What exactly does PDP want? Why did its members commend the same judges when undeserving victory came their way at the Rivers State National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal? To brand judges “gangsters” and “terrorists” on account of their judgment is most unfortunate especially from people who should know.
The truth is that PDP does not like order and the rule of law. Impunity is its trademark and it is now evident that they will deploy every means possible, including blackmail to protect their stolen mandate. So it is going to take a very long time to teach this party and its wayward members, particularly in Rivers State that a society is governed by law.

Anytime issues around election in Rivers State come up and people, especially persons outside the state talk about PDP’s popularity, I just laugh. For those who do not know, the former First Family spent their twilight in Abuja creating problems and disaffection among the people of Rivers State. Outside Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who led the opposition against Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, there are strong opposition elements including the Ijaw in Rivers State.

For instance, shortly before the primaries, the Ijaw, including those in PDP felt totally alienated when it became obvious that Jonathan and his wife were backing Wike, an Ikwerre candidate even after Amaechi, another Ikwerre man had spent eight years as governor. This is aside complete absence of infrastructural development in Ijaw communities, coupled with the ceding of Soku Oil Wells to Bayelsa, home state of Jonathan.

By now, the world would have also seen PDP’s lies and hypocrisy. If truly there was election, why are they afraid of a re-run? And why is Wike and his Coterie of advisers denigrating the judicial institution because they lost their defence of a fraud? Why is Wike threatening fire and bribing people and institutions to arrange phoney press conferences in his favour?

The fact of the matter is that election did not take place in Rivers State and the tribunal has said so based on the overwhelming evidence before it. I believe that the only path to healing and restitution is acceptance of guilt. And the earlier PDP in Rivers State comes to terms with this reality, the better for all of us.

But for many of us at home, we are happy that Nyesom Wike and the PDP in Rivers will not get away with the impunity of April 11 governorship election of 20015. It would have amounted to a grave injustice, not just to the living but also to many APC souls that perished in that ill-fated election.

Ogali, a public affairs commentator lives in Port Harcourt

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