Tuesday, February 23, 2016

John Oyegun’s And APC’s Goofs

By Sunny Ikhioya

A PARTY that rode to power through the popular sentiments of the people now crying sabotage, what an irony. Maybe Femi Aribisala was too hasty in his comment of Tuesday February 2016 when he said: “When the incredible issue of a missing/counterfeited 2016 budget arose some weeks ago, I was expecting to hear from APC that Goodluck Jonathan was to blame. Surprisingly, that did not happen. Instead, blame was traded between the Presidency and the National Assembly.”
 
*Tinubu, Buhari and Oyegun
That same day, this is what Chief John Odigie Oyegun, APC national Chairman said to the press: “APC members were not concerned about the positions. We are concerned about the internal sabotage that is going on in a lot of the PDP filled positions which are critical to our national growth and development”. 

This was captioned under the headline; “Head of Parastatals Sacked Due to Sabotage by PDP Positions – Oyegun”, Vanguard of 16th February’ 2016. 

The members of the APC are still afflicted by the ‘I know it all syndrome’, so they have refused to come down from their high horses to assess where things have gone wrong. They are averse to criticisms and that has blighted their ability to see things the way they are supposed to be. The contradictions in the party was foretold right from the onset, all that was needed is a leader that can properly blend these competing interests towards a common goal. The president has not been able to do much in that area. Unfortunately, John Oyegun who is an acclaimed seasoned administrator is doing much worse. “Conscience is an open wound”, according to Uthman dan Fodio, “only the truth can heal it”.

For as long as Oyegun and his APC hawks continue to shy away from the truth and continue to defend the indefensible, we will continue to witness such blunders like the 2016 budget. We must not confuse the rot in the Civil Service with that of the PDP. We have said it before that, there will be no genuine change in this country if it does not address the the rot in the Civil Service and other government agencies. President Muhammadu Buhari wasted six months placing people he deemed fit into strategic positions and when he thought everything had been done perfectly, he announced his ministerial cabinet. 

To him, the ministers do not have much to offer apart from the occasional noise making and that has contributed to this fiasco. If Oyegun and his colleagues are afraid to tell the President the truth as it is, then it is very unfortunate. The people are ready to make sacrifices, no matter the burden that is placed upon them but they must see clearly that the government is fighting for their interest. When the people in government have gone on a wrong path and are humble enough to admit it, and offer apologies to the people that voted them into power, that is nobility. Nobility is not of the ordinary, it belongs to a higher class of people and it is earned either by birth or individual/personal efforts.

Nobility requires that you rise above petty interests, it requires that your goal must be for the common good and when that happens, it earns the reciprocal respect from the people but when you choose to force or ram it through the throats of the people, you are courting the opposite reaction of nobility. Oyegun and his men must choose to be noble both in their words and actions. The challenges of Nigeria as a country goes beyond rhetorics, it requires a clear head and objective mind to access a pathway but we cannot access the path to success if we keep looking for excuses. The solutions are there but the path that the APC has chosen is the wrong one. Change does not require rocket science to bring it about, set the right examples and the people will follow.

So far, President Buhari has been using the Obasanjo model of globe trotting as his foreign policy focus and we all know what happened to Obasanjo and his gobe trotting adventures. He left governance for Abubakar Atiku and by the time he realised what was happening, the foundation for the implosion of the PDP had been laid. Let nobody deceive anybody, the fall of the PDP started from the Obasanjo era, there was no ingenuity on the part of anybody, the PDP had been programmed for failure for a very long time. We must learn from history. President Buhari is toeing the same path. He has not found time to remain on ground to supervise what is happening, as a result, the 2016 budget has been messed up for him and they now shout sabotage.

They should look in the mirror and discover the saboteurs of the government. If after one year in government they are still laying foundations, how long will it take to mobilise and to build. It is right time for the APC team to engage in rigorous debates and evaluations on the right course of actions to be taken to direct the ship of state. For starters, they should be humble and not maintain a superior stance over their fellow country men. They must not think that it is only in their midst that solutions can be found to the challenges confronting this country and they must stop over heating the polity. They did it while they were in opposition and they are doing it now even in a government that they are in control of.

Imagine this statement from John Oyegun; “We have lost very important resource rich states to the PDP. No matter how crude oil prices have fallen, it is still the most important revenue earner for the country.” The party is screaming about corruption and stealing of government money, tell me how the ordinary folks from the Niger Delta states will view such statement from the head of a political party that is supposed to be fighting for our common interests. We have said that until we identify the sources of the APC funding during the last elections, the equation on corruption in this country cannot be balanced because, they matched the PDP dollar for dollar, naira for naira and force for force during the elections. It is also important for the APC to note that if you rubbish an arm of government to which you belong, you are also alluding same to yourself.


We have seen judgments delivered by the Supreme Court in America, judgments that do not seem to make common sense to the average man such as the gay marriages, affordable health care, marijuana and many others but you will not see their politicians come out to rubbish the judges of the supreme court. Even in America, the Judges are known for their ideological beliefs, whether conservative or liberal, such is not held against them when they reach a decision. We must learn to practice our democracy in the proper way.

Ikhioya is a public affairs. This article first appeared in Vanguard 

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