It is no longer news that APC came into governance on the altar of deceit. The deceit thrived because the Jonathan administration failed to bring to public attention its numerous achievements. And APC, being a party of subterfuge and propaganda seized the moment created by the lacuna to suffuse the political space with falsehood. Having a dubious understanding of public mood, they latched on the common human frailty called corruption of which Nigeria has attained notoriety under the watch of successive governments. And so with anti-corruption as the mantra and sufficient demonization of the Jonathan administration, APC sadly ascended the political throne ill prepared with no knowledge of what to do with the power acquired.
From May 29, 2015, the Nation has been groping. Unfortunately Nigerians still pretend as if all is well. Under the superintendence of APC led administration, the Nation came face to face with recession from the 2014 rating of being the largest economy in Africa and the sixth fastest growing economy in the world. With the recession gathering dark clouds daily, many believe that the Nation is likely to proceed to depression; a malignant economic malaise that may put the Nation in comatose. At no point in Nigeria has the ineptitude of government been so pronounced that people considered to be apolitical and often on the easy street like entertainers could contemplate to plan to stage a protest against bad governance. What the celebrities led by 2Face seem to be saying is that enough is enough and that it is time to speak up in the interest of the majority. And many have indicated interest to join the protest. Currently, it is on the lips of all Nigerians even though there are confirmed reports that security agencies have overawed the leader of the protest and forced him to capitulate.
With such planned gigantic protest in the offing and the economic indicators which are in the negatives, it is within the bounds of veracity and reason to state that the Buhari administration is a monumental failure. The protest if it is allowed to hold is therefore a genuine ventilation of the frustrations of Nigerians who have endured the hardship for almost two years in the belief that things would change. But the real change that would improve the living conditions of Nigerians has refused to come because APC by its origin and orientation is not designed to provide people centred governance.
Curiously, in what seems to be a strange twist, some Nigerians that are supposedly assumed to know better are decamping from a party Nigerians trusted as the people’s party to a commercial contraption that was created by business moguls for business transaction which today is a failed venture. A handful of opportunist politicians from Ondo, Plateau, Akwa Ibom and recently Anambra States have failed to see the collapse of the contractual deal between APC and Nigerians. In their quest for relevance and self protection, they have jumped ship, exiting from the party that gave them the platform to arise and shine and become senators even though with indistinguishable records in their almost two years of occupation of the red chamber.
It is an indubitable truth that APC led government has failed the people. Every segment of the society is a victim of the hostile economic climate the policies of government have unleashed on the people. This is paradoxical as the essence of government is to provide condition that would mitigate suffering. But not the Buhari administration, which on the contrary engages in the enunciation of anti people’s policies that have increased the woes of the people. The government seems to define itself as one that came to persecute the people and not to govern them. Sometimes one is tempted to think that Mr. President is on a vengeful mission against Nigerians for failing to elect him at three consecutive elections until Boko Haram was introduced into the matrix to breath down the neck of Nigerians.
The anti corruption mantra which served as convenient distraction when the APC led administration first debuted has lost its steam and is now a worn out cliché. Apart from public perception which adjudges it selective and a convenient witch hunting tool, Nigerians now want governance and not rhetoric. They want the fulfillment of the campaign promises. They want food on their tables. They want functional public infrastructure. They want this perennial darkness resulting from almost zero level of power supply to pass them by. They want the recession that has provoked spiraling cost of living to be arrested. They want government to institute a viable mechanism that can pull this Nation from the brink of collapse.
Nigerians are tired of the rhetoric of corruption and blame game. Today those things sound like broken records and boring buzz words. Yes fighting corruption is good and acceptable but it cannot substitute for governance. Governance is the aggregation of all the indices that would culminate in the improved conditions of the citizenry. This is what Nigerians are yet to see in almost two years of this administration. Let this administration tell us the number of kilometer of roads it has constructed or even rehabilitated; its record of achievement in the health sector; the number of megawatts it has added to improve electricity supply; what it is doing in the area of education, transport etc. What we are treated to daily are bogus claims that if APC had not taken over, Nigeria under PDP would have been on its knees now. But until PDP lost election, the country was in the favorable rating of reputable international agencies. The truth is that APC lacks the humility to sit down in self audit, review what they did wrong when they came into governance, have the courage to accept same and make amends.
By the contemplated protest, it is clear that the people have rejected APC and its government. Nigerians have come to terms with the fact that in APC, there is no trust. So, who are those decamping to APC in the face of the “harsh intolerable economic condition that has bedeviled our Nation for the past almost two years (apologies to late General Sanni Abacha) serving. They are the anti-people politicians. They are the selfish politicians who are seeking self not service. Those politicians do not understand the virtue of service. Yours truly is not against decamping but let the party that one is decamping to be seen to be doing well. It is not enough to delude oneself with the dubious claim that the party is better organized and is not mired in crises when it is involved recurrently in intractable infighting. The Senators that have decamped are economical with the truth as to the reasons for their action. Let the truth be told, none of the decampees is doing so in the interest of the people. It is self, self and self alone.
As electorates, it is time for us to be vigilant. It is said that the price for democracy is eternal vigilance. We must align ourselves with the critical postulation which notes that a people deserve a government they get. The question therefore is, do we deserve the APC government in its current form and make-up? Do we deserve the decampee Senators? Yes, because we allowed them to hoodwink us. We made ourselves susceptible to their antics. We surrendered to emotion rather than reason. We refused to be vigilant. We kept our flanks opened and APC surreptitiously inched in to kill, main, plunder and put our democracy on trial.
Joe Iniodu is a public affairs analyst