Apc Must Paper Its Cracks For Nigeria’s Sake!
BEVERLY HILLS, March 31, (THEWILL) – The importance of unity cannot be underestimated by any political party serious about making the people feel the impact of its manifesto. But in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the growing in-fighting and discordant tunes observed within its fold in the last few months, have called to question the party’s ability to deliver on its change mantra.
No doubt, the party has had many moments of anxiety. Nevertheless, the recent outburst of its national leader, Bola Tinubu, against the Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, over the worsening fuel crisis, has confirmed to the public that all is not actually well with the party.
Before now, Tinubu's daughter, Folashade -Ojo, had surprised bookmakers when she led a protest in Abuja against the policies of the APC-led government, under the aegis of market women/men association, of which she is national chairperson.
Tinubu's attack is seen as an indirect attack on President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as the substantive Petroleum Minister. Despite Tinubu’s criticism, the Presidency through the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated on a television programme that Kachikwu should not be crucified for telling Nigerians the true situation of things.
THEWILL recalls that a senior member of the party, Timi Frank, who is the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, had last week condemned the indifference of APC leaders to the ordeal faced by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, warning that “to abandon Saraki is to abandon a worthy comrade”.
Also quite worrisome is the filling of the vacant positions in the National Working Committee (NWC). Despite the provisions of Section 14, sub-section 11 of the party's Constitution, which states that, “the Deputy National Publicity Secretary shall assist and deputize for the national publicity secretary in his absence,” Comrade Timi Frank, has been denied the privilege of stepping into the shoes vacated by his erstwhile principal, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Reports are also rife that the supremacy contest may have been fueled by desperation to control party structures. Top party leaders have reportedly been making consultations way ahead of the 2019 presidential contest. This must have necessitated a recent statement by the party to the effect that there would be no vacancy in Aso Rock come 2019. These are some of the obvious cracks the APC must fix.
The party's fault-lines also came to the fore last week over the constituting of its Board of Trustees, BoT, so much so that it is already seeking to substitute the very important organ with Council of Elders. How much longer it would take for these destructive cracks to be papered remain to be seen. The fate of the Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, still hangs in the balance with some factions in the party bent on his removal.
THEWILL is concerned about the possibility of these in-fighting extending to governance. If the party that should serve as engine room to government cannot be united, this will no doubt result in factions that would very much distract the government’s attention from delivering on the programmes it promised voters during the polls.
These intrigues should not be allowed to continue, as they would further slowdown the pace of governance, which seem to have been wobbling since its inauguration in May 2015 largely due to the sudden crash in the price of crude oil, which funds over 80% the nation's budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari, as the actual leader of the party, should try to put his party in order so that it would not be a case of man who cannot effectively manage his immediate family coming to preside over the affairs of his kinsmen.
THEWILL urges the party to amicably resolve the supremacy battles among the legacy parties angling to control the party structure. The party must also fix the undercurrents arising from past federal appointments and pending board appointments, said to be tearing the party apart.
THEWILL calls on the APC to bring its acts together and quickly too in the interest of the nation. The party should know that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which lost power last year after ruling for sixteen consecutive years, is waiting in the wings to exploit any loophole to regain power.
The position of pessimists that APC is a result of a marriage of strange bedfellows should not be given credibility. Nigerians can only believe the ruling party can deliver on its promises when they see unity of purpose in the way it manages it affairs.