PDP And APC: When Kettle Mocks Pot For Being Black:
It is really exciting reading the various reactions to the recent apologies to Nigerians by the PDP’s national Chairman, Uche Secondus. According to reports, the PDP’s national chairman at a recent national discourse on contemporary politics and governance in Abuja apologized for the party’s mistakes, which he claimed led to its defeat in the 2015 election. Chief Secondus did not mention the mistakes. But several Nigerians, mostly those sympathetic to the ruling APC, took him to the cleaners.
One of the first to react was expectedly Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, who was the ruling party’s chief propagandist during the 2015 general election. He asked the PDP to first return the funds “it looted” during its 16 years of rule before Nigerians would consider forgiving them. Additionally he used the opportunity to accuse the PDP of sabotaging the work of the government. He s quoted by the Vanguard of March 28 2018 as saying:
“PDP, press the rest button. Stop sabotaging the work of this administration, which is packing the mess you left behind through your reckless statements and unfounded allegations. Play responsible opposition politics. Put Nigeria’s interest over and above partisan interest. Temper your desperation to return to power. Spend quality time in the purgatory and you will be forgiven.”
One Comrade Joseph Ambakadermo, said to be the convener of South-South Reawakening Group, in taking on the PDP’s national chairman on his apology was quoted as saying: “It is one thing to tender an apology and it is also another to know if the apology genuinely comes from the heart. Yes, apologies are good but in this case, the man tendering the apology on behalf of his party is himself a product of impunity…”
Comrade Ambakadermo was probably referring to the allegation that during the last PDP national convention Secondus was among those ‘sponsored’ or ‘imposed’ on the party (depending where one stood in the controversy) by Governors Nyesom Wike and Fayose who were said to be behind a consensus list of candidates that circulated before the elections at the convention.
PDP of course threw some counter-punches. It asked the APC and the federal government to end their sanctimonious stance and return immediately to the Federation Account all stolen funds it claimed were used to finance Buhari’s election in 2015. The party was quoted as saying that “the APC and the federal government cannot continue to play saints when state governors who stole billions of Naira meant for the development of their states to fund Buhari’s election in 2015 are still enjoying cover as members of Buhari’s kitchen cabinet despite outrage from their people”.
There are several layers in the PDP’s apologies and the kettle- mocking- the pot-for-being-black game between the party and the ruling APC:
One, what did the PDP really hope to achieve by that apology? To rebrand itself as a humble party? Chief Secondus, as an experienced politician, should have known that the competition for power between political parties revolves around an offensive-defensive strategy.
The idea is to label your opponent and do all you can to put the opponent on the defensive, allowing you to gain some mileage in the competition for the moral high ground. The apology by the PDP therefore is like ammunition to the APC to put the party on the defensive. By the way, there is a reason most companies never apologize to individuals or accept guilt even after they have agreed to pay compensation.
A primary reason for this is that they do not want to open floodgates of accusations and possible litigations. For this, it is often easier for companies to say they are paying so-so amount as a ‘demonstration of good will’ than to say they are sorry. The same is also often true for political parties.