Who Will Clean PDP Legacy Of ‘Corruption’? By Tunde Abatan
When the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, launched the fund for the building of the national headquarters of the party, in 2012, it attracted the high and low in the society like Aliko Dangote who contributed and pledge cement worth N3 billion to the 12 storey edifice being built by BNL Construction company.
Dangote was followed by Oil mogul Femi Otedola who doled out N1billion cash, his father, a former Lagos governor helped with N25million while Bola Shagaya, a woman government contractor donated N25million.
In all, the amount of donation far exceeds the target. It wanted N16 billion (sixteen billion naira) for the multi storey project but got N27 billion in cash and pledges.
Today, the edifice remains a dream in spite of the party realizing more than it’s target.
The construction company BNL left the site in 2014 complaining of paucity of funds.
What happens to the N27 billion it got from it’s launching 2014 a year to the election?
The party in spite of billions it got from aspirants besides the donation couldn’t complete the edifice. who knows what swallowed the money. Questions begging for answer.
Why has the party been foot dragging on completing it’s edifice.?
Could it have started a Legacy of corruption with it’s Legacy project judging by the sleazed and pen robbery that dogged the tenure of the party in federal government where humongous amount disappeared under it’s watch?.
Could it have deliberately named it’s national secretariat the Legacy headquarters of lies, stealing and corruption.
Ordinarily, the party should have stand on higher authority than the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, at least by showcasing it’s national headquarters as a real Legacy indeed .
The completion should at least have demonstrated it’s commitment to good governance.
But, as unfolding events has shown, PDP has proved that all the waters of Jordan cannot wash it clean of internal pilfering of it’s resources by internal party leaders who obviously had a natural propensity for helping themselves from it’s resources.
Today, with seven years out of power at the federal level, it would appear that denied of access to loot the nation as it had done for sixteen years it was in power, it has decided to loot itself. Ironically, the looting is from the top.
Nyesom Wike, the embattled Rivers state governor, apparently serves as immediate cause of the opening of his party’s cancer worm of stealing and corruption in high quarters as he blew the lid on the alleged corrupt practises of the PDP leadership led by Iyorchia Ayu, former Senate President . He has been on his neck asking him to resign to respect the party’s policy of zoning it’s offices.
Ayu, he alleged collected N1billion from a presidential aspirant during the run -off to the party’s primaries.
According to Wike, as at the time of his exposition, the money never hit the account of the party but mysteriously found its way into the pocket of some National Working Committee, NWC, members among whom is Ambassador Taofeek, Deputy Chairman South West and Chief Dan Orbih, vice chairman South South who have since coughed out N36 billion and 28billion respectively.
The funds the duo like some others who benefited from the heist claimed, silently hit their account without them knowing even days after.
They like other NWC members said it was meant for housing allowance
In a hurry, they silently returned the money when the scandal blew to the open and not when they collected it.
The question you ask is even if they found out rather late due to their ‘busy’ schedule in checking their alerts and messages, should they have returned it since it was meant for their housing needs?.
Thus what they did in silence, came to the open.
PDP leaders from information actually helped themselves from the N15 billion it made from party nomination fee besides the ‘bribe’ it git from the presidential aspirant.
Thus, it is clear in the absence of money to steal from federal government it led for sixteen years, it stole from it’s thousands of aspirants who paid through the nose for nomination forms.
Nigerians are just beginning to know that the huge suns levied by the two leading parties was actually crowd funding to provide avenue for self enrichment by party leaders under the excuse of raising money to prosecute elections and run it’s secretariat.
PDPs heist is also an indication that should Nigerians return them to power next year, a repeat of what they did for sixteen years await the electorate.
While, the PDP appears to be the strongest opposition party to displace APC as it could match it dollar for dollar, the equally corrupt and rudderless government, the fact of it’s internal scandal of corruption is an indication that should by act of commission or commission, Nigerians return it to power, it is a return to a year of locust angrily terminated in 2015.
PDPs latest heist of its resources is also an indication that salvation of Nigeria rests on a third force from the polity if she is to see any difference since most members of today’s APC are defectors from the PDP.
Furthermore, the revelation of graft in the opposition party is also an indication as to why it’s last presidential primary and by extension the governorship in some states has practically turned it into shreds.
Today, the party is battling to mend it’s fences over the division caused by emergence of Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president from the North and veteran presidential candidate as it’s flag bearer.
What this latest heist has proved conclusively is that only two things are fundamental to it’s leaders, money and quest for power to achieve and sustain it’s wealth.
The N15billion scandal in PDP is one of the reasons why political parties must return to the people if they must control the party. Leaving the funding of party to few rich and wealthy is to also give power to those who will definitely use it to enrich itself and sustain it in power with policies to maintain the status quo and further impoverish the citizens who voted them into power.
Since love of money is roots of all evils, the PDP heist has shown that until political parties and it’s leadership are purged of corruption, no serious war could be waged against the monster which apparently had reduced Africa’s richest country to a beggar nation.
But who will save the PDP from itself when the leadership is corrupt through and through according to Chinua Achebe’s word.
Could the scandal in PDP enable it to defeat the party which took over from it seven years ago and is stronger than it now.
It is obvious that the resources mobilised by it’s governors and few rich aspirants should have been enough arsenal to fight APC but has it not allowed corruption infested leadership coupled with internal political contradictions weaken it’s clamour for power.
Yes, Nigerians are apparently tired of an I’ll performing APC government but could it return to its vomit in 2015?
Since, ruling APC has known the internal financial and political weakness of the PDP, is the party strong enough to face the former?
Only a unified leadership in the Labour Party, LP, now positioned as third force could dethrone the two leading parties.
It had to run a campaign based on inclusiveness of all Nigerians devoid of attached ethnic sentiment to upstage the two strongest parties.
But then, could it prevent the ‘banana peel’ of tribalism and ethnicity now hung on Peter Obi, LP presidential candidate and his desperate supporters being its greatest obstacle to get power.
Time will Tell.