Date Published: 10/28/09
Vincent Ogbulafor as an Empty Vessel By Saka Raji Audu
An empty vessel, they say, makes the loudest noise. This popular axiom aptly fits the embattled National Chairman of the People Democratic Party, alias PDP, Vincent Ogbulafor- a man that has always been making loud but empty noises and creating fantastic false impressions. The latest of these noise makings was his recent outburst that Kano and Lagos MUST be won by the National ruling party, the PDP when 2011 election comes.
Ogbulafor went further in his political misgiving to assure the PDP Kano state newly elected but one- man –show Executives led by their newly found bride, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, of financial support in order to take over Kano and Lagos in 2011 through hook or crook. Ogbulafor made these frustrated remarks in Abuja last week during the visit of the newly inaugurated executive members of Kano State PDP. Ogbulafor also handed out marching order to his august visitors that they should go back to Kano and organize themselves, towards taking over Kano like a military junta, promising financial assistance in this moribund but tall dream.
The visitors nodded their heads like the Agama Lizard and returned to Kano with the tall dream. What I want Vincent Ogbulafor to simply understand is that while he is entitled to his opinion, he should not undermine the basic truth of things? He should know that his envy of Lagos and Kano presently under the grip of the opposition is because his national ruling party has not achieved what it takes to win the hearts and sympathy of Nigerians. This is unlike Kano and Lagos whose leaders have tremendously given their states dividends of democracy.
Kano in particular led by ANPP has unarguably achieved a lot in the progress and advancement of the state. Therefore, I do not think that ANPP requires financial inducement to still win the hearts of the good people of the state in 2011. This is particularly so when PDP had same opportunity to improve on the life of the people but chose to recklessly squander such golden opportunity. As a result of the devastating effects of what PDP did to Kano between 1999 and 2003, perhaps, it would take many more years before the party smells leadership in Kano again, money or no money. This is bound to happen especially when the same classes of people who have woefully failed Kano State in the past are still in firm control of PDP in Kano.
Ogbulafor should not think that Kano people are fools that would like to stumble over the same stone twice. One would also like to ask Ogbulafor the score cards of PDP so far at the national level that can make Kano and Lagos fall under its armpit in 2011. I have also in the past put up this challenge before the PDP Zonal Chairman, North-West, Alhaji Danladi Sankara who had also made similar noise about Kano in the past. Let us briefly showcase the ugly performances of PDP at the national level, which should be used as a yard stick whether or not PDP deserves any state in Nigeria, what is more of Kano and Lagos.
Under the past ten years of rule by PDP, corruption has been a recurring decimal in high places. The majority of Nigerians are hungry due to low annual crop yield. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in recent time went on nation wide strike for almost four months thereby, retarding the educational progress and advancement of our youth. Mobile phone companies are still ripping the country off with impunity. Human right abuse is on the increase. For instance, in the first four years of PDP national leadership of this sympathetic nation, armed robbery was the highest fear in the mind of all Nigerians. Rather than controlling this menace, it suddenly graduated into the obnoxious condition of "kidnapping" in PDP's second tenure. Today, no Nigerian is safe either in his house, office (business area), on the road and else where in the country. Fuel supply is replete and would soon be deregulated at the detriment of the masses. Kaduna refinery is yet to receive the turn around maintenance. All our once virile industries in Nigeria have now become ghosts of their former selves, giving room for high level of unemployment in the country. This is not to talk of the various intra party conflicts affecting PDP with case study of Plateau, Edo and Akwa-Ibom States.
The power sector is a no-go area with its attendant and constant promises of improvement on power generation and supply. The only progress made in this direction is the changing of the name from NEPA (Never Expect Power Always) to PHCN (Please, Hold Candle Now) popularly known as "Problem Has Changed Name". Even between 1999 and 2003 when PDP held sway in Kano, we hardly observed our Friday (Jumaat) prayers without the presence of mobile police as guard due to all sorts of skirmishes. In Kano, the conduct of the Islamic legal system was treated with levity by Ogbulafor's so called big party.
Are all of the above what Ogbulafor wants Kano and Lagos to inherit in 2011? Has Ogbulafor not heard or pretending not to have heard that thousands of supporters of the former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso from his home town, Madobi have defected to ANPP in Kano? Has Ogbulafor asked himself the question of- where about the opposition governors who defected in recent time to PDP, if they have in any way made impact in PDP?
What are the achievements of Ogbulafor and his cohorts that would make the good people of Kano and Lagos to go against the present good governance of their states in 2011? Change is always based on positive development and not on bad governance. The same Vincent Ogbulafor had shamelessly stated in the past that PDP would rule for 60 years when it has nothing to show in 10 years. Even when people are dying of hunger, starvation and insecurity, Ogbulafor does not care how many years his party stays in power, provided he has access to public fund, which he hopes to use to help PDP manipulate the sensibilities of the masses that have been trapped in miasma of hopelessness.
It cannot always be business as usual all the time. We have heard so many bigger noises and empty boasts from PDP stalwarts many times without number. At the end of the day, they have always turned to be apologetic. Therefore, I do not think that the opposition should be ruffled and rattled by the empty noises of Vincent Ogbulafor and his fellow travelers who have been insensitive to the yeaning and aspirations of the hunger-stricken people in Nigeria. Their known method is to purchase the electorate with their looted public money when the time of election comes; and to also cause confusion in order to grab power at all costs but the Almighty God, in his infinite mercy, has always got ways of assisting those that are trapped. He did this in Kano in 2003, 2007 and He will still do it again in 2011. Perhaps, Vincent Ogbulafor's most recent reckless statement was informed by his narrow escape from in-house impeachment and he believes that to compensate the party, he should be rascal in speech. If Ogbulafor is wise enough and not being misled or misguided by the amount of party's money that comes to his coffer, how can he as a national Chairman receive a segment of the party's stalwart in Kano and he is happy? Where are the factions of Muhammad Abubakar Rimi, Amb. Aminu Wali, etc who were conspicuously absent in the inauguration of the executives? And Ogbulafor sat on a swivel chair swinging and smiling when his Kingdom is divided. I think Ogbulafor should judiciously and prudently use the money he is proposing to bribe, cajole and rig elections in Kano and Lagos to providing food for hungry Nigerians, rather than this misplacement of priority.
Consequently, where are the proponents of those who believed that Kano can never witness tazarce, forgetting that there is maimaita? Has this mystic not been defeated through Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau? Ogbulafor knows quite well that the ANPP Governor of Kano State led by Shekarau has really performed and people are now eager to endorse the party for not only in the state but all over the country. This is the main reason behind the frustration of the National Chairman of PDP that he cannot do otherwise but to resort to fraudulent statement that is capable of sending him packing from his present position.
As we approach 2011 and get prepared for it, more empty noises like that of Vincent Ogbulafor to scare people from the part of democracy will be made. I should end this piece by advising the progressive and astute Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State not to allow himself to be swayed and bamboozled from charting the cause of the people. His enviable achievements so far recorded shall speak for him and his party in 2011 elections by the grace of the Almighty God.
Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org