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3 Mar 2018

APC–Crises, Confusion and Contradictions

Anyone wondering why Nigeria is in bad shape could get an insight from the goings-on in the All Progressives Congress, APC; the party that formed the government in Abuja.
To wit, the level to which it has so shamelessly trashed its constitution, campaign promises and the values that the party and its leaders once wore as garbs during their messianic campaign for power.

Perhaps, one could set aside the narrative of internal crises in several state chapters as famously chronicled in states like Kano, Kaduna, Kogi that led to appointment of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as trouble shooter and focus on the party’s values for its own procedures.

Last Tuesday’s NEC meeting was the fifth in as many years that the party has been in existence. The Constitution of the party provides for the NEC to hold its meetings at least once every quarter, meaning that what was the fifth NEC should have been at least its 20th meeting.

If the party has been lackadaisical with its NEC, it has simply been defiant in inaugurating its Board of Trustees, BoT, a body that ordinarily should have weighed in to call party executives to order. Is it then surprising that when President Muhammadu Buhari spent six months to constitute his cabinet, or more than two years and still counting to fully inaugurate boards of federal parastatals that the party could do nothing? For a party that has failed to play by its own rules, it is not surprising that the government it formed has followed its path. Of course, many would be quick to extricate the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun from the foibles of the party he leads.

An otherwise cool gentleman, it is suggested in some quarters that Odigie-Oyegun may have been swallowed by the intrigues playing around him. His lot has not been made any better by his seeming deficit in political prowess and power which has made him swing along with different political power blocs in the party. Originally, a scion of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu bloc, he has tried to perch on the Muhammadu Buhari tendency, but to no avail.

So, he has now been adopted by the party’s governors who by providing the cash to run the party and the votes that Buhari needs for a second term, have formed a power bloc that everyone including the president now panders to. Last Tuesday, the party chairman won the battle against his former mentor, Tinubu with the extension of his tenure.

However, the fact is that Odigie-Oyegun’s victory came at the behest of the party’s governors who saw his retention as an effective opportunity to squash the resurgence of the Tinubu tendency in the party.

The chaos and internal contradictions of a party not being able to elect new executive officers as scheduled were eloquently expressed by the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, Mr. Timi Frank. In a statement following the extension of the tenure of the NWC, Frank who is estranged from Chief Odigie-Oyegun, said the violations of the constitution had made the party a laughing stock. It was not much of an exaggeration when he said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was itself better than the APC in the matter of internal democracy.

A party that not too long ago mocked the then ruling PDP for its vicious suppression of selected internal critics has not just aped its major rival, but gone ahead to set records in political naivety and incompetence in governance.

The Tuesday NEC meeting was foreshadowed with distressing news in the core competences that Buhari and the APC had promised to intervene before the 2015 elections, to wit corruption and insecurity?

In the matter of corruption, the 2017 Transparency International anti-corruption index released last week showed Nigeria to have dipped further in the anti-corruption index moving from 136 to 148 among 180 countries.

In the sphere of security, nothing more damning could have been slapped on the APC and the government it runs than the kidnap of 110 school girls by a group that the government technically defeated in December 2015 and recently completely defeated!


By Emmanuel Aziken

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