There couldn’t have been anything more absurd: a gathering of ministers who in their time failed to deliver on key programmes of their administration and were summarily sacked from office.
But in Nigeria, anything is possible as people no longer feel ashamed over the consequences of their actions.
In trying to understand the motive for the Monday meet, which this time chose to focus on 2019, let us examine the history of this group as that would determine their worth and their significance to the polity.
When President Muhammadu Buhari took over power on the promise to cleanse the country of the mess of corruption left behind by the administration preceding his, it was discovered that the rot was deeper than expected and to get to the root of the matter, it was decided that the head of that administration had to be asked certain questions even though this was against the gentleman concession made by the president initially.
But as the interest of the nation became paramount and all seems to be settled that there was a need for the former president to clear the air on certain issues, some ministers with skeletons in their cupboards and who realized their tracks would be exposed in that bid quickly convened a meeting to sway the mood of the nation against the plan.
Their action, which was not in the interest of the nation, but clearly to cover their tracks, was what gave them the idea to converge.
Prior to that, the ministers, under the aegis of Forum of Ex-PDP Ministers, had tried to frustrate investigations into their administration by running to former President Goodluck Jonathan to save them from Buhari and issuing warning to permanent secretaries in federal ministries not to do them in.
So when the same coterie of ministers who served under the Peoples Democratic Party concluded their meeting at the residence of former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, at Asokoro, Abuja, one could not help but feel sorry for Nigeria when viewed against the backdrop of the fact that the nation once gave the task of running the affairs of this nation to this awful pack of self serving politicians.
At the end of their meeting, despite all the challenges facing their party, their image and integrity and their dwindling political fortunes coupled with the startling revelations about how their party tried to run the country aground, all the ex-ministers could muster was to challenge the president on his sick bed with something they know they have no capacity to deliver.
If the intention was divert the attention of the public from investigations of sleaze during their time then it must be emphasized that the task has failed as their conclusion at the meeting has only highlighted the need to accelerate the process of investigations so that these ones who have done incalculable damage to Nigeria and its resources can be prosecuted and permanently put behind bars where they belong so that the nation can this time and on a serious note breath fresh air.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Turaki said they will like to see President Muhammadu Buhari re-contest in 2019 so as to defeat him in the election. After having a good laugh at the childish outburst, the first question any serious minded person would ask this pack of comedians is on which platform do they intend to do that giving how their party has not only been fragmented but stymied to the point that it has remained in permanent convulsion.
Without the capacity to manage a party once out of power, the former ministers have exposed their real motive of being in government, which reads: “to milk the country dry” and once that attraction was removed by the loss of power they all scampered leaving the party to bleed endlessly to the point where no single awe inspiring individual is remaining.
One would have expected that given this grim reality, the ministers would have done a deeper introspection to examine the factors that have rendered them redundant and effete that they cannot muster courage and resilience to put up even a feeble opposition and why their party seems heading to extinction.
The recourse to meaningless and childish talks about inviting Buhari to re-contest does not even arise as right thinking members of the society are concerned about how to clean the mess left behind by the PDP.
The PDP leaders had the temerity to talk about the security situation in the country. What an irony. They forget that the Boko Haram menace got its seed from the PDP store, got planted under that administration, was watered by same, grew and began to bear fruits all under that administration.
Nigerians have not forgotten that when they were in power Nigeria did not just lose local government but more than the land mass that could make three or more states while all the leadership then could offer was a feeble “we are on top of the situation”.
The PDP leaders also accused Buhari of trying to polarize the country thereby choosing to forget that it was during the Jonathan administration that regional suspicion heightened due to the open bias shown on issues that affect the polity.
When a group from Niger Delta planted a bomb around the Eagle Square, Abuja and detonated same and later owned up to the act, then President Jonathan came out openly to exonerate them because as he said they were his brothers.
The attempt to compel other leaders of the group responsible to pin the plot on northern political leaders though it failed set into motion the process for which all the regions began to view themselves with suspicion.
They forgot that it was a PDP president, who on assuming power jettisoned the political arrangement within his party that stipulate the sharing of offices on rotational basis and further sowed the seed for divisive politics when he reneged on a promise not to run again in 2015.
The claim that Jonathan exercised patriotism and selflessness by conceding power is also hogwash as it was later found out that the idea did not run deep with him and the top men in that government when they tried to pressure the then national chairman of the party to use the platform of the party to challenge the elections in court.
In saner climes, the PDP and its henchmen would have been haunted and prosecuted for the damage they have done to the country which the APC government is trying very much to fix but because shamelessness has been elevated to a virtue this pack have the temerity to show their faces in public.
If they are serious, they should intensify their prayers that the President should come back hale and hearty and they will see the reality that would greet their long expected comeuppance when further investigations would not only reveal the real amount stolen by key members of their government but when the process would put them where they belong, behind bars.
. Ainoko, a political analyst, writes from Kaduna.