I read the press statement of one of our most respected leaders, Senator David Mark, commending president Buhari and urging Nigerians to give him time, and I ask, when did we all become cowards in this nation? Suddenly, the respected David Mark, who has been a senator since the advent of democracy in 1999 and two time Senate President of our great nation, is suddenly afraid that if he does not patronize president Buhari and sing his praises he might not win the re-run election for his Benue South senatorial district.
It is disheartening to read some of the comments by people who are supposed to be strong opposition figures in our nation. What these our leaders do not seem to understand is that you do not patronize dictators or appeal to them. You challenge them, you dare them to their faces. You face them squarely. Dictators get emboldened when they see that you are afraid of them. It is the collective responsibility of the oppressed and the victimized to challenge every dictator and see to the quick change of such dictatorial regimes through any legal means possible and not to be begging and appealing to them.
The other day, it was Senators Stella Oduah and Ben Murray Bruce who were singing the praises of Buhari over the budget presentation. A budget that failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians, address core issues of the economy, unemployment and insecurity; an unrealistic budget, and a budget that has been termed a fraud by our great party, the PDP, but only for our elected senators to take a disparagingly different view from the official position of the party and turn around to praise the president. Some people have said Senators Stella Oduah and Ben Murray Bruce have the right to express their personal opinions on the budget and other national issues but I disagree with this assertion completely.
Would a Republican or Labor party senator in the United States of America or United Kingdom disagree with the official position of his party on a fundamental issue such as this and make it public? The answer is never!
Senators Ben Bruce and Stella Oduah are no longer private citizens but elected members of the National Assembly on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. They would not have become senators if not for the party on whose platform they contested and won the election. No elected member of the PDP should publicly go against the official position of the party because this is the worst form of indiscipline a politician can demonstrate. Since independent candidacy is not recognized in our constitution, political parties are the vehicles by which many aspirants ride to power and as such these politicians can not continue to deride the platform on which they got to power.
Have you ever seen or read any APC member going against the official position of their party?
If you are afraid of Buhari because you embezzled public funds or have some skeletons in your cupboard while you were in government and cannot speak boldly like an opposition member, why do you not just go and join Buhari in APC like Rotimi Amaechi and others who today have immunity from prosecution because they defected to APC? If you really like the leadership style of Buhari why not go and join him in the APC? You should not be in our great party and be demoralizing our teeming members and supporters.
The Olisa Metuhs, Ayo Fayoses and Femi Fani-Kayodes’ way is the only way to go. Face the dictator, look at him straight in the eyes and tell him to go straight to hell where he rightly belongs. When a terrorist group like the Boko Haram apprehends someone they believe to be an unbeliever, “kafir”, and they want to behead him, it would make absolutely no sense to start begging or appealing to them.
What is expected of you to do is to look the terrorists straight in the eyes and spit on their ugly faces, then face death bravely and courageously knowing full well that you are going to meet your Heavenly Father, and that angels would rejoice when they see you. It would be despicable of you to be in that ugly situation, then you deny the faith, you begin to beg them, start appealing and accept their own belief. No matter the volume of your tears, pleadings and compromise, they would still behead you.
I therefore urge the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, to henceforth, sound a clear note of warning to every elected member of our party never to go against the official position of the party and be ready to take disciplinary measures against anyone that flouts this warning. Political parties can not be administered without party discipline.
Merry Christmas to all our members and supporters.
Deji Adeyanju is director of Social Media of the People’s Democratic Party. He is also a former aide at the Presidency. He tweets from @adeyanjudeji.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.