Broke Parties: A Step Closer To The Nation Of Our Dreams, By Umar Hassan
The PDP no longer boasts a fearsome financial war chest and the APC is broke.The APC chairman himself remarked on the current financial state of his party last week.If you dream of a Nigeria where only the most worthy would occupy political offices, then you would understand why this is good news.
Money has deprived us of a lot of credible leaders.A lot of them bamboozled at various stages of seeking electoral office much to our detriment.Perhaps we wouldn’t even have a President Buhari today if he hadn’t gone ahead to form the CPC after the then Governor of Kano state,Ibrahim Shekarau hijacked the ANPP leadership thanks to the billions at his disposal.
I still believe our political parties lack political ideologies and the difference between them is always that one always happens to have what the others want.The disgusting self-righteousness and convenient blame-placing barely conceal the sheer desperation and frustration driving their actions.It is never about patriotism, it is always a battle for power between sets of people who never see good in each other.
I may not agree with President Buhari on some issues but I cannot deny that a lot of things have changed.No one expects office holders to make massive donations to their parties from government coffers these days irrespective of the deplorable state of the nation’s finances.
The PDP, with all the money its members have amassed over the years, are no longer as financially vibrant as they used to be.Everyone is scared of drawing attention to themselves.This (un)fortunate situation moves us steps closer to the Nigeria of our dreams, as ironic as that may sound.
A Nigeria where incumbents would not be guaranteed victory in primary elections because they have used taxpayers money to buy off the party exco and delegates.A Nigeria where the best candidates would not lose elections to rice-waving desperados enjoying the full backing of the custodians of our national treasury.A lot of people might choose to blame the poor, hungry nigerian for his contributory role in this sad predicament and without absolving him of any blame, I would blame the system first.
We are a nation impoverished by thieving political leaders which in effect, have blinded the average man to the fact that the more desperate a candidate seems, the more likely he is in it for his own selfish gains.A nigerian willing to spend his money to get a chance to serve his people wouldn’t stretch his finances much.Only one who thinks of it as an investment would. I must credit the Buhari administration for restoring sanity to our political sphere.That is if it was ever there in the first place.Elected officials now have ‘peanuts’ to dole out to their parties and the moneybags reaping from a government only donate to its leader’s campaign.To be frank, they only turn up during elections and they don’t finance the party or indulge in unsymbiotic arrangements.Parties are now constrained to making do with legitimate financial backings.
With an INEC that has earned the trust of nigerians by proving the efficiency of its innovations, the dwindling chances of politicians splashing their ill-gotten loot on their gangs and cajoling a hungry electorate is a welcome development.It takes us closer to the nation of our dreams.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.