by Baba Aye
The shameless looting of $2.1bn meant for the purchase of arms when Colonel Sambo Dasuki was National Security Adviser has generated more heat than light in the public discussions it has thrown up. The money was doled out to a broad spectrum of: politicians, traditional rulers, spiritualists, media moguls and sundry buccaneering representatives of the capitalist and related classes in the country, in pursuit of securing the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan as president. The whole matter has been blown open only because that project failed and the APC which was an opposition party at the time, now occupies Aso Rock.
The APC won for two interrelated reasons. First, Nigerians were fed up with the worsening state of our lives, livelihoods and security since 1999 when the Republic was reinstated, and PDP had been in power since then. Second, the APC’s campaign “mantra” as it is now often called, of Change found a resonance in the hearts of millions of Nigerians, believing that a better society is possible. This “mantra” was further broken down into a programme with great promises of welfarist reforms.
During the elections, both PDP and APC spent billions if not trillions of naira. Now we know where a significant bulk of the monies spent by PDP came from. A question begging to be answered is where did the monies spent by the APC come from?
One thing “Dasukigate” shows, but which is hardly given consideration in the discourse is the pro-rich nature of capitalist politics. It is virtually impossible for workers to electorally win power within the context of capitalist partisan politics. The APC “change” is not going to change this, because it represents the interests of the bosses, no less than PDP did and still does.
It could however be argued by some that the anti-corruption thrust that APC and particularly its leader, President Muhammadu Buhari lay claim to is a basis for placing our hopes in the party. As we argued hitherto, APC does represent an attempt at not just change of government but indeed regime change. It had to represent such an attempt at the critical juncture of 2015 for it to be able to win the hearts and souls of millions as it did.
But this attempt is sucked up in deep contradictions. At the heart of this attempt is a quest for building capitalist discipline. Anti-corruption is a strategy in this regard and not an attempt to go beyond the exploitative character of capitalism. But the question is: can APC break the back of corruption-as-business-as-usual, when its ranks are filled with politicians that probably would stink much more than Dasuki, if only their veils could be rendered asunder?
While President Buhari claimed not to be aware of any of his ministers being tainted by allegations of corruption, the likes of Rotimi Amaechi and Babatunde Fashola cannot in truth and in deed claim to be as clean as whistles. And the president who had to borrow N27m as he claimed, to buy his presidential nomination form cannot truly believe that the monies spent for his elections were strictly drawn from legitimate sources.
Lasting regime change and putting a full stop to corruption cannot start as an adjunct of governmental change. Its point of departure must be the goal of system change and this can be driven and won only by working class-people, through and in our struggles against the bosses, PDP and APC alike. Beyond the gate of Dasuki are several gates stretching from Lagos to Maiduguri, Port Harcourt to Kano. They will all be revealed when the bosses and workers’ power reigns supreme in the service of building a socialist Nigeria.