Ostrich Body, Chicken Head -
Big Party, Little idea.
By Chris Onyishi
October 5th, 2009
First it was the then, Sidon dey
look, Mr. Bola Ige of the blessed memory, who made us understand - during the
administration of the Ota Engineer – that Power situation in Nigeria would
become a thing of the past in six months. Like a snail crawling up the trunk of
a banana plant, the six months elapsed and there was nothing that showed that
the power situation had taken a positive turn. He sought another six months to
no avail until he was moved to ministry of Justice where he actually should have
been made to supervise in the first place.
I can’t remember exactly the succession pattern, but I remember, vividly, that
then one Mr. Lyel Imoke came on board as the power chief. To my greatest
amazement, Mr. Imoke was quoted as saying that the power situation in Nigeria
would take fifty years to stabilize. Meanwhile, Mr. Bola Ige did hint us that he
did not understand the enormity or obstacles on the way before his promise to
revive power in six months. But what is not arguable with Late Ige’s six-month
promise was his understanding of the need for immediate and urgent attention
that power requires as the bed rock for any other meaningful development and his
good will for Nigeria. At least he had a dream, but what would you ascribe to
Imokes utterance about 50-year-power-theory. Was he thinking of going back to
invent electricity or what?
Mr. Lyel Imoke was later to be rewarded, for that obnoxious
50-years-power-stability-theory, with the governorship of Cross River state by
Prof. Iwu’s INEC. What came to my mind at first when I heard that one Mr. Imoke
had secured the governorship ticket of Cross River State was to find out if he
was the same Power-play Imoke. When once I discovered it was the same person, I
then reasoned that Cross River people want to be in the dark for 50 years or for
at least 8 years when Imoke would be sitting in as their governor. I did confirm
this assertion when he worn a second time, which means that the Cross Riverians
have confidence in him despite his power-stability-theory. But this is assuming
that electorates determine who leads them in PDP version of democracy in
That PDP is the biggest party in Africa is not in doubt. What is in doubt is
whether there is up to one percent of all these people who make up this “big
party” that have any idea as to make Nigeria great.
I see in PDP a bird with the size of body of an Ostrich and a head of a chicken.
Or how else could you visualize a party that has held down over one hundred and
fifty million innocent people for over 12 years, in a democracy, without any
hope of even a dim light at the end of the tunnel.
But the greatest shock of it all is how they keep wining more converts from the
political sphere – the types of Ohakim and co - and worst still is hearing their
leaders brag that PDP will rule Nigeria for the next 50 years. I ask what the
basis for saying fifty years is, why not hundred or thirty. Is it when we all
would have been dead or what? Are they proud that they are ruling well or are
there any magic that will be performed that requires fifty years to happen?
I did lament when the University Guru of Chemistry was imposed on us that I did
not see any capacity in him to remedy the rot which the President, of the Third
Term fame, had inflicted on Nigeria and Nigerians. Somebody who came in with the
notion of 7-8 point agenda has not by the turn of 24 months shown any progress
in even half an agenda. And by the way what is his priority on the so touted
7-point agenda. Does it occur to him and his team that a litany of agenda is not
worth anything if there is no priority of execution? Common sense shows that
without sanitizing the nation of corruption, there will not be any trust in the
positive direction and we cannot say corruption is any way tackled by this
If I were one the five bank chief executives recently given a knock by the
Sanusis, I would simply find a comfortable ground to decamp to PDP and I would
be certain that President Yar’ dua will grace the occasion and all the noise of
misappropriation of funds would coalesce into political size for the already
bloated PDP. As a matter of fact, I have always compared the size of PDP with
the size of corruption in Nigeria. And whenever I hear that one Ohakim is
decamping, I only imagine that corruption has garnered support or that
corruption has been threatened with two options of to move and associate with
its bigger brother or to stay where it is and be seen as the real corruption.
And while we are sanitizing, or “de-corrupting”, the polity, the economy needs
some boost the type that can only be brought about by stable power which the
President’s party man – Mr. Imoke – has promised will only come about in the
next fifty years. So what exactly are we talking about?
The party maybe the “biggest” in Africa, but I do not see the advantage in this
size when there is no cohesion in the thoughts of the constituent members of
this “bigness”. Or do they want us to see some connection between Imoke’s
50-year-power theory and the rule-for-50-years theory by the PDP kingpins, or do
we call them top dogs.
Is it not incredible that in a country where the current President and the
Education mister were once, and may still be, members of the academia in the
nation’s highest institutions of learning are supervising almost 16 weeks of no
academic activities? And they still go about celebrating their wedding
anniversaries and giving out their daughters - for marriages - with colossal
amounts being squandered in the process. Some of us know how wealthy these
people were when they were teaching in the institutions.
I now agree that you may, with little effort, bring the monkey out of the jungle
but you may never succeed in bringing the jungle out of the monkey. A party is
worth nothing if it cannot engineer any meaningful social-political and
ideological mechanisms that will engender growth for mankind in its political
sphere and beyond - in a democratic setting, no matter the size. And a party
that only boasts of size - and not mental sophistication - can only be equated
to a big bird with the body of an Ostrich and the head of a chicken. And this is
more reason I feel ashamed seeing some politicians I had thought had a better
idea decamp into and flock with PDP on well orchestrated ceremonies.
If I were a politician, I would be leaving PDP instead of joining it now. I
would be ashamed that my party has never had focus – and I did not know - and
would not be, or offer me, a fertile ground for me to achieve my goal of leaving
a legacy for our future generation. But this is if my mission in politics,
originally, was to advance the cause of the human race.
If you have a big for nothing party housing big for nothing politicians, what
you get is the semblance of a big bird of Ostrich size body with a chicken size
head and the resultant effect is that a nation remains stagnant for as long as
this big bird buries its head in the sand dunes of the desert while its big body
is on the surface, either pretending, assuming or thinking that the hunter will
not see it.
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