In an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters Okey Ndibe discusses the 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria, and the failure of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) parties.
Professor Ndibe argued that “the APC and PDP represent a kind of Siamese twins, in that they are two parties obsessed with the same idea of dispossessing Nigerian people and looting as being the essence of governance.” He added that, “Nigerian politics and governance arranged around the idea of empowering a few individuals to steal the resources from the rest of us.”
If Buhari were to win, Professor Ndibe suspects that Nigerians “are going to realize very quickly that we were sold a dud. I think that Buhari is going to bring with him a legacy of personal restraint, and an absence of interest in obscene material accumulation,” but that his self-restraint would not sanitize the behavior of the APC.
Professor Ndibe expressed disappointment that “the progressive elements in Nigeria were unable to coalesce around the idea of finding a viable third [party] alternative, and chose the least attractive parties in Nigeria” to assume leadership roles in the country.
“Nigerians know what to expect with Jonathan. They know to expect he is a president that doesn’t give a damn; they know he is a president whose commitment to a transformational agenda is simply lip deep. Jonathan as a president is in over his head and does not understand the principals of good governance,” he told SaharaReporters.
He forecasted that “whichever of the two major candidates there will, I suspect, be a great deal of violence…if Buhari wins there will be unsettlement of the Niger Delta, and if Jonathan wins there will be an intensification of violence in the north which may spread.”
Professor Ndibe also told SaharaReporters that very little in Nigeria will change fundamentally from the election, citing how Nigerians should “take a hard look” at candidates from other parties. “I think we will waste another four years in which Nigerians are going to return to the same questions of disillusionment and disenchantment with the political process.”
He emphasized that, “what Nigeria needs is not a great man, or a man of great moral example, but fundamental restructuring” of its political, economic, and management systems.