Ohimai Amaize: Like it or not, we are all PDP (Y! Politico)

by Ohimai Godwin Amaize

Is the PDP perfect? I do not think so. My argument is simply that there is a PDP in the best of us and a PDP in the worst among us.

One of the most profound arguments ever made for political participation remains the description of the “political illiterate” by German poet, playwright and theatre director, Bertolt Brecht.

Brecht, who was very familiar with the dangers of political ignorance, considers the political illiterate the worst illiterate. According to him, the political illiterate “doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of beans, of fish, of flour, of rent, of shoes and of medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupt officials and lackeys of national and multinational companies.”

Ask any Nigerian youth on the street today if they are card-carrying members of any political party and you may find yourself embarrassed to scorn. Political party ke? Is it Koko Concert or Nigerian Idols?

We hate politics because we think politics is dirty. We despise politicians in government because we believe they are all rogues. We perch on our moral high grounds on social media and abuse them. We castigate them and blame them for everything. We are saints and politicians are devils.

The current fad is how well you can demonise the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).  I have seen young people on Twitter curse PDP like our problems as a nation begin and end with the PDP. But what really is the PDP? The PDP is not a collection of aliens who just dropped from the skies? The PDP is a group of human beings who are Nigerian citizens. They were raised in this same country in Nigerian homes by Nigerian parents just like the rest of us. They grew up in our neighborhoods and were taught how to read and write in Nigerian schools. They worship in our churches and pray in the same mosques we know. Without doubt, the PDP is an assemblage of the good, the bad and the ugly. But ironically, so is our country Nigeria and every other nation in the world.

We have been told that opposition parties were founded in heaven while the PDP was conceived in the pit of hell. We have been told that nothing good can come out of the PDP because after 13 years in power, we have nothing to show for it as a nation. What’s my point? Am I saying the PDP has done well for Nigeria in 13 years? That is certainly not my conclusion. Is the PDP perfect? I do not think so. My argument is simply that there is a PDP in the best of us and a PDP in the worst among us. The PDP is only a micro-reflection of who we are collectively as a people.

We cry everyday about the kind of Nigeria we want to see. But that Nigeria will remain nothing but a tantalizing mirage if we refuse to embrace the huge responsibility that time and chance has conferred upon us. Whenever I see young Nigerians whining on Twitter about what government is not doing well, I feel like giving them a knock on the head. You find a way to get inside politics and governance and do a better job. We must rise from our political naivety as young people. Our problem is not politics or the PDP but the mass number of competent, sound and principled young Nigerians who have left politics in the hands of a few charlatans.

Make no mistake; politics is not a game of ludo. Politics is and will always remain a game of numbers. But the quality of numbers that add up to determine the political future of any nation is another issue entirely. It is in fact what determines the quality of ideas that govern a people.

In a democracy, the majority, no matter how stupid, will always have their way. Worse still, this is what happens when a few ruthless politicians control a majority of Nigerians who are stricken by poverty, hunger and illiteracy: Naira notes travel faster than tweets. Bundles of ankara penetrate the farthest nooks and crannies of our nation and big bags of rice inspire more hope than well-written blogs!

We can chose to be remembered as the generation that lamented about our problems or the one that took drastic decisions towards solving those problems. History has no trophy for those who abused politicians best. History will be kind only to risk-takers who put their careers, fame, relationships and lives on the line, all for the love of country.

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Ohimai Godwin Amaize is popularly known as Mr. Fix Nigeria, Amaize was born on September 9, 1984. He is an alumnus of the premier University of Ibadan, Nigeria with a post-graduate certificate in “Managing for Integrity”, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He is a registered member, People’s Democratic Party. He tweets @MrFixNigeria.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (37)

  1. Paramount on my list of wonders is the new media and how it has been manipulated in the past few years as a tool for ego-strapping and self-imposing advertisers.I sincerely agree that people should use the internet to their advantage; to popularize themselves and advertise their work. It is however distasteful when young folks who have reached stardom through their popular projects become agents of political propaganda and manipulative elements simply because they have thousands of friends on Facebook or they are been followed by several hundreds of innocent teenagers.

    It is sad that the youth of today do not question ideas thrust to them by these scavengers. Because certain people appear frequently on TV doesn't mean what they say must be believed. The state of Nigeria today doesn't require anyone to motivate you that Nigeria will be great again. We hope so but we do not see any signs that there is even a vision 2050. That a group of artistes campaigned for Jonathan does not mean he is the man for me. Those I am talking about know themselves, the youth leaders of today, the public relation guru's, social media moguls and tough talking experts who have excelled in their fields and have now been identified by the government as the youth leaders.

    I respect that but please do not influence people with the force your witty articles like the new or proudly Nigerian campaigns. Please do not distract people that Nigeria is good nation or this country is getting better. It isn't! Remember, the few hundreds you gather at your seminars or the several hundreds that like, follow or comment on your updated status does not represent the millions of young people out there bearing the brunt Nigeria's economic hardship.

  2. I understand what you're saying, I know that there must still be hardworking, honest members in the party and I really respect them for staying true to their values. I too look at the PDP and see that it is a microcosm of sorts and reflects the problems with Nigeria, the problem with the PDP is that it reflects the problems of Nigeria, it shouldn't. I don't think he PDP of today was the intention of the founding fathers, it's very normal for people to ignore the horrible stuff that goes on at the ACN and other parties and always blame the PDP because the PDP is the only truly national party, it's undoubtedly Nigeria's most important party and as an institution it has the responsibility of showing leadership to the country. It's not doing that.

    This is my train of thought; if the PDP gets it right Nigeria will no doubt get it right so you can say that since Nigeria's not getting it right, it's because the PDP isn't getting it right hence the blame people apportion to it. That's why more people need to enter into the game to ensure that the parties get it right.

  3. For once since you got into govt I'm impressed with lines from you. Article seems to present the realities of the day. And I see you have now grown a thick skin to critcisms which is good for you. I was particularly impressed with your comments. A lot of angry Nigerians got blocked from your twitter account for critcizing you when you were quite young in government. All the best always bro

  4. Kene, thanks for your comment. You hit my point spot on. Perhaps, the only point we disagree on is that the PDP is to blame. No, I don't agree because that would be unfair to the men and women of honor and integrity in that party, however few they may be. Competent, credible young Nigerians who have left politics in the hands of a corrupt old few are to blame. Call these few people the political class, maybe. If we like, let's form an All Saints Nigeria Party today and leave it in the hands of opportunists who see it as a platform to participate in the sharing of the national cake, you will find yourself in the same mess. I agree all Nigerians are not corrupt. Stretching it further, most Nigerians are not corrupt, however debatable that seems. If you can go back to my article, I did say that: "Our problem is not politics or the PDP but the mass number of competent, sound and principled young Nigerians who have left politics in the hands of a few charlatans."

  5. I think the main argument of young people leaving their twitter "comfort zones" and participating more in actual politics is very salient. Having one Omojuwa is okay, having thousands just makes the thing look childish, I think we can agree that all this noise making on twitter is just making us look like a spoilt generation, the only way to take this thing to the next level is to form a political movement like the Tea Party in the U.S that gives representation at the government level, until we're adequately represented at that level the movement isn't complete and we'll just keep on shouting.

    Although I don't agree with this common theory that says the PDP is a reflection of Nigeria. I can understand why people would say that but it's not really true if you're a sociologist. I've read some sociology and I understand that society is made up of classes that are competing with each other for dominance. What has happened in Nigeria is that a class of people whom we call the political elite and some parts of the business elite have usurped power will not in any way hand over that power easily, Nigerians weren't always so corrupt, it was these people that corrupted themselves and corrupted society and it is going to be the right leadership that will inspire the nation. So Sir the PDP is to blame, almost all card carrying members belong to the same socio-economic class at least and think the same way.

  6. Nice piece. we remain the future of our dear and great country Nigeria. we cannot move forward if we detest the only way to get into government and turn things around for the better. I appeal to all Nigerian youths who have sincere passion for this country to wake up from their sleep and take their destiny in their hands by actively participating in Politics as it is better than standing afar and criticizing those in Power. Lets come together and contribute our quota for the development and well being of this nation. Lets make Nigeria to be what its founders meant it to be!

  7. Some people are clearly missing the point here.Its not just about joing a political party,its about taking a stand for what we believe in instead of complaing at the bleachers.

    What has our numerous fora at the bear palor,amongst our friends and colleagues yielded so far…yep,I guessed right,nothing.

    So instead of being so bitter and angry,do something.

    Join a party,follow politics,come out for an elected position,or suggest some other way of raising Nigeria forward,because if we don't,who will?

  8. Mr fix nigeria, so u r saying our rulers mostly members of the pdp r not to blame for the woes in our country? To some certain extent, they r to blame, did u witness the last minute change done in some parastatal? Tell me what do u call a leader who puts square pegs in round holes, who d leader who sees those caught red handed stealing our money red handed nd refuse to punish them, mr fix nigeria pls tell us somtyn better , I tweet @kingshizley

  9. Interesting post that has challenged me to join a political party. But which do I join? What are the objectives of these parties? For the sake of getting closer to where the action and money is, do you suggest PDP or join ACN as apposition?

    The author was a Campaign Coordinator for NCP and he was NOT a member. What does that tell me, He doesn't believe in those small party, it was an opportunity to build CV and have it on his Wikipedia page while he join PDP.

    .

    Till I decide which party to join, all I want is ACCOUNTABILITY from those in power.

  10. Mr Fix, if I understand you. Is it that you agree PDP is a party of highly human individuals whom obviously emerged from this same society? Thus, PDP is a reflection of our bad society?

  11. Boss! Melbonz himself! You delivered a beautiful piece which is expected fro someone who was UCJ President in UI

    However, the content is somewhat a cliche. It is exactly what is expected from someone who gets paid by a PDP administration. You just mirrored the assertion of Mr President who said the problem of the Nation is the Nigerian, and not the government (which the PDP represents). Truly, we have issues as Nigerians but that should not be used as excuse for the sleaze and unchecked stealing which has been taking place for the last 13 years of PDP-led Federal govt.

    U said PDP is a collection of good, bad and ugly Nigerians but u will agree that it is more attractive to the bad and the ugly than it is to the good. You knew GEJ would be contesting b4 working with Dele Momodu during which you, and your boss openly criticized (or condemed) this govt. Now u r in Aso Rock, the story has changed. The only reason u joined PDP is because u see it as the only platform on which u can make a change (I like ur passion), a position which I disagree with. At the proper time, Nigerians will determine who leads them and what platform. We will not be blackmailed that PDP is the only or best choice! I wish you well in your Federal govt appointment.

  12. It disgust me when shallow minded people abuse just because someone has a different opinion! I mean, why can't we tolerate the fact that our views and opinions differ across various issues? That being said, I personally don't agree with all that was said by Mr. Ohimai but I think salient points were made; not for everyone to joing politics but there are a million ways in which we can contribute and participate in gorvenance, surely to make it better for ourselves and generations yet un-born. Imagine for once if we all that are too quick to criticize contribute in a way or two to not just politics, but governnace? Just think about it for a minute!

  13. Nicely written! Our destiny and future as a country is surely how we control our present!

  14. "Naira notes travel faster than

    tweets. Bundles of ankara penetrate the farthest nooks and

    crannies of our nation and big bags of rice inspire more hope than

    well-written blogs"

    The above statement could well pass as the slogan of the party you proudly identify with,and I'm not surprised since nothing good will come out of PDP both young and old. But I have news for you brother,the era of salt and wads of Naira politics is gradually coming to an end. I'm glad PDP is queuing up youngsters like you because the Nigerian youth will be the viable opposition and we will feel better pulverizing you on all frontiers than good for nothing/brain dead old dogs.

    I will never join a party with no ideology,no internal democracy,no respect for order. I would feel better not doing anything about a dying nation than contributing flurry of blows that will send her to the great beyond.

    I'm @countproject on twitter

  15. "Naira notes travel faster than.
    tweets. Bundles of ankara penetrate the farthest nooks and.
    crannies of our nation and big bags of rice inspire more hope than.
    well-written blogs"

    The above statement could well pass as the slogan of the party you proudly identify with, and I'm not surprised since nothing good will come out of PDP both young and old. But I have news for you brother, the era of salt and wads of Naira politics is gradually coming to an end. I'm glad PDP is queuing up youngsters like you because the Nigerian youth will be the viable opposition and we will feel better pulverizing you on all frontiers than good for nothing/brain dead old dogs.
    I will never join a party with no ideology, no internal democracy, no respect for order. I would feel better not doing anything about a dying nation than contributing flurry of blows that will send her to the great beyond.
    I'm @countproject on twitter.

  16. I'm happy to read comments here reacting and responding to my article. I appreciate the thoughts from everyone including the very negative comments. I just want to clarify a few issues:

    1. That the purpose of this article is not to get all Nigerian youths to become members of a political party but to awaken our consciousness to the responsibility of participatory democracy.

    2. That in any democracy, the more good people that participate in politics, the closer such a society is to good governance.

    3. That I have never been a card carrying member of any political party other than the PDP which I joined officially last year. When I worked with Bashorun Dele Momodu who secured the NCP presidential ticket in the last election, it was purely on technical basis. I was his campaign manager and I was never a registered member of NCP.

    Let's try to keep the conversation civil. We all may never agree but abusing people who share different views won't take us anywhere. May God give us all the grace to redeem this nation. I love you all 🙂

    1. I want to get angry at the venom and stark stupidity certain people are displaying in the comments section of this article but I realise we cannot all be reasonable people able to read a piece and properly discern the intended message. At no point in this article did the writer ask you to become politicians. He said become more actively involved. Use your voice more. So the train of thought you and your cronies chose to follow only goes to prove the problem Nigeria needs to overcome in order to move forward. The "millions of Americans" who don't participate actively in politics are able to do so because of the millions of Americans who do.

      Our strength lies in our numbers. Our voices. Our ability to open our mouths and only allow reason be uttered. Ohi whatever your name is I give you props for your stand. And on a wonderfully written piece. It is just sad that your audience is made up more of people who will misinterpret and twist your words than the ones here who comprehend your message. Don't give up though. Good luck

      1. Perhaps you struggle with comprehending written English…how else can this passage

        "Whenever I see young Nigerians whining on Twitter about what government is not doing well, I feel like giving them a knock on the head. You find a way to get inside politics and governance and do a better job"

        be construed? Why are taxpayers who obey all laws and pay millions in taxes not allowed to complain about bad governance unless they 'find a way inside politics'?

        Please don't assume others share your literacy problems. If you live in your mommy's house and collect pocket money, don't assume many of us don't pay taxes. Rubbish.

  17. Ese! I am not a card carrying member of any party and I am not interested in that, my job is to look for the best candidate and vote for such a person in the general elections. Ohimai used to be a NCP card carrying member, when PDP called him that lunch is ready he moved to PDP…you think such a person have honour? I really don't like engaging people who think from their anuses instead of the brain God gave them but I must let you have this. When Ohimai and his bosses took over N2bn to London Olympics without being able to account for 10k was Ohimai's pen dry? Make una dey there dey fool unaselves like rams wey dey go slaughter.

  18. This would have made more sense if it didn't have a pro PDP innuendo. We all cannot belong to the PDP. Well written prose. Rubbish plot. This writer owes allegiance to his boss and his boss'es boss. Takes out the objectivity…

  19. Very well said Ohimai. This country's rising depends on our own rising, it is not just about the party but the people. Well said,and may posterity honour you.

  20. Just a simple question : are you a card carrying member of any political party in Nigeria ?if yes then make sure your party produces well polished & true politicians for the next election. If no, this article is about u. Am not by the way ; a card carrying member of any party, so I read this article & give kudos to this young man who would definitely go places in his political career given how early he entered into the murky waters of Nigerian Politics.

    Good article

  21. So the article tells us that instead of complaining about the criminal waste of our resources, the squandering of our tax money and the sheer imbecility of our ruling class…we should all abandon our day jobs as Engineers, Lawyers, Doctors and Architects and 'get inside politics and governance'.

    And to think some folks here are actually 'liking' this piece!

    What next? We all become ministers of God instead of criticizing shifty pastors? Instead of criticizing the excesses of the Nigerian police, we are encouraged to join up? Perhaps we should become Muslim clerics so we can show those Imams how the re-education of Boko Haram should go?

    My colleague has been in the PDP for 10 years…you think the likes of Tukur come to him for input on critical items like Security, healthcare etc? Yet the writer talks as if your influence scales up dramatically as soon as one joins up. He talks as if any form of democracy is practiced in the ruling party.

    Millions of Americans didn't need to change their day job to band together to vote out the republican party in 2008 over years of mismanagement. If we get our cards right, we ordinary citizens can group together to throw out this pestilence called PDP from power.

    1. Thanks texazzpete. I would buy you a drink if I ever meet you.

      This guy basically spewed bull crap and wants us to buy it. How does he expect everyone to be a politician? I don't begrudge anyone the right to belong to any party…I for one doubt that ACN will do better.

      That said, yo shouldn't be promoting mediocrity in the name of a write up.

    2. texazzpete, you have said my mind. You do well. You have displayed political literacy beyond what the PDP, the ACN, the CPC, the LP, etc., etc., etc., and their respective battalions of hacks can ever understand.

    3. You are so on point, i wonder what an SA to a minister would have written if not in support of the government he serves, Nigeria's problem is not the masses it is for INEC to make the votes of d masses to count and the masses shud get dia acts 2geda

  22. Thanks for this reawakening, you're so on point with this one. In fact, am seriously considering taking a step to being a card-carring member of a political party. I love the geniue spirit of this article. Keep it up!

  23. Always saying this to all my friends, Ohimai is a PDP member but his belief surpass other PDP members, you can't compare his character. I'm not a PDP member…… Bros you really touch my mind base on the impact of youth toward politics. i belong to such category, don't really like politics and i want good government, i think its fallacy.. You have to contribute to good things that your mind craving for….

    Nice one and God bless you, my prayer for you is to leave PDP, cos they don't want your contributions. (Amen)

  24. Very,very well said Ohimai.This write-up is on point!

  25. "Our problem is not politics or the PDP but the mass number of competent, sound and principled young Nigerians who have left politics in the hands of a few charlatans"

    The above forms the critical summary from your piece. Meanwhile, the fear is not about competent, sound and principled young Nigerians dabbling into politics but hugely on the possibility of becoming a lone voice in the flood of mediocrity. Thanks for your words. Salute!

    1. Nnodim, little droplets will one day make a mighty ocean. Let's begin from somewhere and God being our guide, we will someday be the majority.

  26. Incicisve , genuine , practical and forward looking …… Execellent piece . History will be kind to you Ohimai .

  27. Well thought out points. If it is to be, it is up to us…the young elites.

    God bless Nigeria.

  28. If I was feeding from the PDP, if I was a SA to a minister, if I was part of the evil called PDP……I will definitely write a very shitty article like this and feed the ignorant public with it. Afterall nobody knows I am part of the corruption called PDP. MrFixNigeria or whatever ur twitter name is…..go and advise your boss that the Nations Cup is around the corner and we want result from the N2.1bn budgeted for it.

  29. I find it hard to argue with you on this Ohimai. Well said

  30. well said. we really need to take our own destiny in our hands. I do not see anything wrong in young people coming together to forge their own platform for political relevance to champion their political ideologies if we feel that the current crop of political parties and associations have failed us. I do not see why a solid platform like the future project (Kudos to Chude and the team) cannot metamorphose into a strong political movement or at least serve as a platform to birth political ideologies that can move our nation forward. 2015 may just be around the corner, but I believe there is still enough time for critical thinking and for forging relevant relationships in our political space.

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