by Tolu Orekoya
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
– Mahatma Gandhi
So PDP’s old kick is new again—the promise to tackle corruption. I am no political expert or pundit, but something didn’t sit quite right with me when the newly-minted National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh stated, “The party will soon undertake a multi-dimensional engagement with the federal government with a view to broadening the dragnet of anti-corruption crusade. Our vision for greatness cannot be transformed into reality in the horizon of corruption. As part of our rebirth agenda, which is in line with the transformation programme of the PDP-led Federal Government, the PDP is ready to orchestrate a change in the tapestry and tenor of the war on corruption.”
Haven’t we heard this somewhere before? Ah, of course! Election time. Committee time. Random-speech-to-open-school time. In fact, any time it is politically expedient to do so in the last 52 years, politicians trot out that promise like a show pony before shoving it back into their stench-filled stables. Metuh’s speech in particular rankles because he blithely makes it seem that PDP and the Federal Government are wholly separate entities, one having nothing to do with the other.
Hey PDP, I’ve got news for you: you ARE the Federal Government. Surprise!
Follow my logic here for a second:
Government has a corruption problem.
PDP = Party in power.
Party in power = Government.
Ipso facto, PDP has a corruption problem.
Right? Am I missing anything?
Doesn’t it therefore stand to reason that, if PDP itself has a corruption problem, it is something that has to be tackled within the party first? A good spring cleaning of their ranks, in my own opinion would go a long way to dealing with corruption in this country. Otherwise who are they going to prosecute? And I won’t even mention the fat
rats cats that have gorged themselves silly with government funds, only to be let off due to incompetent prosecution, horrendous security and a porous border.
This paper written and presented back in 2000 by the United Nations and presented at the Anti-Corruption Summit mentions “Nigeria’s current campaign to not tolerate corruption and recover state assets lost through past corrupt acts is an example of a crusade at the national government level, with commitment voiced by the Head of State.” It then goes on to list all the reasons these campaigns fail, and they fall into two camps: political and administrative.
I won’t reiterate all that the paper said (but go ahead and click on the link, I wish someone, somewhere had read it and drawn up a plan before making an announcement), but the gist of it was this: a government needs to have the honest political will to carry be able to carry a successful anti-corruption campaign through—there are no shortcuts. We are a nation of junkies that need the greased- wheel mechanisms of corruption to survive. We need to be weaned off the drug; a long, tough and expensive process.
PDP’s problem is understandable. It is difficult to clean house when their backyard is a graveyard of misdeeds, and someone else knows exactly where all the bodies are buried. If one person goes down, everybody does, and their “60 years of PDP” plan gets defenestrated (thrown out the window).
In the meantime, the Nigerian people will go back to their daily grind and think of this whole debacle as more of the same from the ruling party, while the PDP goes on banging its drum. As Shakespeare said in his play ‘Macbeth’ the whole corruption song and dance “is a tale…full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
Tolu Orekoya is a freelance writer, former Assistant/Deputy editor for a lifestyle magazine, K-entertainment enthusiast (and by enthusiast she means moderately obsessed) and copy editor here at Y! You can reach her at [email protected]