Restructuring seems to be the most attractive lingo for opposition candidates and their supporters as the 2019 general elections approaches. To those in PDP, restructuring has become the magic wand they want to wield to land power back to their lascivious laps in 2019- four light years after they were shoved off a long sateenyears’ stranglehold on power. They sleep and wake restructuring and deign it an aphrodisiac that solves all their problems. Strangely, PDP is not telling us what happened to the nearly $1 trillion OPEC statistics showed it earned in oil revenue for sixteen years as we have absolutely nothing for show for such huge historical heist. They are not telling Nigerians why their fates worsened in that same period when we had a providential windfall that would have made Nigeria one of the wealthiest nations on earth were it not entirely stolen and vandalized by those that are telling us today that restructuring is the cure-all panacea for our ailments. PDP is not revealing why the structure of Nigeria was such apt for those sixteen years and suddenly went awry after they lost power.
Yea, restructuring is the cliché that answers all Nigeria’s problems but those that wrecked and ate down the country in a whole generational sixteen years are not telling us why this magic wand was not wielded in the sixteen years they led Nigeria down the brinks of despair, vandalized and laid waste all its infrastructures, ran states bankrupt, rendered hundreds of millions destitute, prodded Nigeria to a state of nature where life was brutish, short and nasty, sowed dread and chaos, which earned it a deserved rustication in 2015. We will not forget that in the midst of this chaos, it was only the PDP party leaders and their subalterns that were growing fat and prosperous; with our stolen patrimony while Nigerians were made to endure a life of misery and uncertainty. Yes, this was courtesy of a providential oil windfall that can restructure not only the fates of a country but also the lives of the millions of citizens whose only hope of sustenance laid in how connected they were to any of the fat thieves PDP grew with close to $1 trillion that would have radically changed the fate of Nigerians.
As I had said in an earlier report, restructuring, as is being employed in recent times, is like an elephant seen by thousands of blind men. Apart from the original proponents of the mantra who mainly domiciled in the South West but who compromised to PDP’s corruptive influence before 2015 and who had very faint idea and practicability of restructuring, ideas on restructuring has been a cacophony of disparate brainwaves that can hardly survive scrutiny. At present, restructuring is a mere cocktail of political noise with little or no insight as to how it will pan out or the best way to carry it out. This dearth of conceptual clarity has made it an obnoxious bogey that is whimsically employed by desperate politicians to rather hoodwink a large majority of Nigerians and con their support and nothing more. That is the blurred and disheveled state PDP picked it when it waxed desperate about taking back power after three years in the wilderness. One would have thought by now that restructuring should be on a clean paper where dolts can even say what it is all about and not a convenient and unrefined political noise desperate politiciansrehearse with little or no conviction.
As I said earlier, restructuring had become a cure-all panacea to all earthly problems in the hands of desperate PDP and its bevy of aspirants eager to get back power but many critical questions need be asked. PDP was in power for good sixteen years by which time it would have restructured Nigeria to an earthly paradise, why did it shy away from that panacea till it was shoved out of power? PDP had absolute control of power for 16 years, why did it not employ that wholesome power to restructure Nigeria to its fancy utopian prescription? Why did PDP not even put up elementary structures to realize restructuring for a whole 16 years and is today brandishing it as a cure-all to the many problems it created in Nigeria for a gargantuan sixteen years? Why was PDP fiercely opposing restructuring for sixteen years if indeed it sees it as it is pretending today as a cure to every problem in Nigeria? Try as it does, PDP cannot escape these nagging inquests which exposes its hypocrisy on this much-ballyhooed issue.
So pathetic is that the two PDP presidential aspirants that hang so heavily on this bogey to push their presidential dreams are Atiku Abubakar and David Mark. Atiku was Vice President for eight years. This placed him in pole position to push through restructuring and possibly implement it for the period he was wielding untrammeled power. But Atiku did nothing of that. In fact, restructuring never featured in his formal postures for that whole eight years. He treated those that were calling for it with benign neglect and scorn. The restructuring Nigerians saw him doing for that period was funneling imponderable wealth from the treasury to his pocket, which accounts for his unexplainable wealth today. Now, out of power and desperate to get the presidency, he is breathing, coughing and smelling restructuring as the one and only remedy for the many problems he helped create while in power. He dangles the option to his cahoots and unsuspecting citizens as a gold he suddenly discovered as his desperation for power peaks. He carries on with undisguised efforts to blackmail the present government with the issue and had not cared to explain why restructuring was a taboo when he had powers to implement it. An Atiku as Vice President needed only to push through the policy since his party wielded unchallenged power for the sixteen years he was in power. He did nothing of that. Rather he busied himself to a dubious privatization scheme that robbed Nigerians of their prized assets and enriched him and his cronies. Today, he hangs on the bogey of restructuring as if his life depends on it.
David Mark? He had been a senator for 19 years! He was Senate President for eight years. Today, he is dreaming of being president of Nigeria and he had suddenly discovered that restructuring is all Nigeria needs to deal with the problems he and his PDP left here for sixteen awful years! As senator, David Mark stands the best position to do the legislative needful to carry out restructuring the best way he deigns it. As Senate President, he had the best opportunity to restructure Nigeria any way he wanted. But he never did that. In fact, restructuring never featured in any debate on the floor of the senate he headed. He had not even suggested a motion to restructure Nigeria but immediately he woke up a dour dream of ruling Nigeria, he latched onto the restructuring bandwagon! What a deception. What a disgusting shame.
I used these two characters to show the hypocrisy and paradox surrounding PDP’s waving of the restructuring banner as a ploy to trick power back to its luscious grips. As I said earlier, those that feel Nigeria will cease to exist should it not restructure should advance the methodology and framework for restructuring. Before then, they should provide the conceptual clarification needed to advance the issue and stop using it as just another political ploy to entrap Nigerians. They should tell us why Nigeria needed restructuring (whatever they mean by that) more than fighting poverty, extirpating corruption, enthroning transparency and probity in public affairs, rejigging the moral sinews of a nation that had been led to believe that roguery is the only way of life, instilling fiscal discipline, fixing and building infrastructures, diversifying the economy, fighting insecurity and such other yeoman’s effort the present government is doing to plug the huge problems PDP left here after its 16 years’ debauchery.
For PDP, Atiku and Mark to hang on to restructuring as a life saver after ignoring such demand for a whole sixteen years, smacks of blatant hypocrisy. Theirs is immoral and detestable. It is fraudulent and insincere and a serious nation should not give them a second glance.
Peter Claver Oparah, sent this from Ikeja, Lagos via [email protected]