APC: A BAd Model of Opposition
The political foxship being exhibited by the All Progressive Congress (APC) reminds one of the biblical scene in 1 kings 3:16-28 where King Solomon evinced wisdom by sparing the life of the disputed baby and giving him to the real mother. The other woman in that episode did an uncharitable thing. She placed are dead child next to her neighbour who was asleep and took the latter's baby that was alive. When the matter was brought before Solomon, the second woman was willing for the baby to be killed so that both of them would lose out. So far, since its evolution last year, the APC has been conducting its affairs in the polity with the cavalier attitude of the second woman in the Bible story. The APC's mission is to annex power by all means from the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)and if that goal is not met, then Nigeria should go up in flames!
The APC, which is a party claiming to have superior ideas of development to those of the PDP, has introduced what Glynn Ash called hate-politics into the polity– politics of fear and exclusion, of divide and conquer, of intimidation and character assassination, and of 'us' versus 'them'. This is why it has amply demonstrated to Nigerians in less than one year that political tolerance and accommodation are registers not found anywhere in their operative lexicon. By its mood of doing things, it is now glaring that if the APC assumes power in this country; it will suffer no opposition nor brook the recklessness of the media its members are instigating. The APC and its army of supporters seem not to have the stomach for the abuses they are committing against the present administration.
Nothing the Jonathan Administration does that pleases the APC. In fact, some of the actions of the APC verge on treason –actions deliberately masterminded to cause a legitimate government to fail in order to topple it. What is even more worrisome, however, is the fact that the APC has yet to present any marketable political ideology to win public support or following. Its preoccupation so far is to destructively criticize and condemn the PDP-led administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to make it unpopular, without offering better alternatives for the Nigerian people to buy in.
The designs of the All Progressive Congress on the Nigerian Presidency have helped expose the hot desperation of the self-styled mega-party, that it can do just anything under the sun in the name of politics to gain power. The mouthpiece of the APC has said at various fora that the Jonathan Administration was incompetent. That is the partisan opinion of the APC. But the principal issues is, the act of causing a government to fail by whatever means so that it can be defeated at the polls is not an acceptable practice in any democracy. This is the strategy of the APC ahead of the 2015 elections. The APC must be told in very unambiguous terms that what it is currently doing is not opposition politics but acts of subversion.
There are many things Nigerians should worry about the APC and its brand of adversarial politics. To begin with, the national leadership structure of the party betrays a lot of whimsicality, to such an extent that all its principal officers are Muslims, negating the principle of secularity of Nigeria as a multi-religious country. A national executive with all its 16 or so officers being Muslims is not a sheer happenstance.
Can Nigerians in good conscience trust a party seeking to take power from another, which can direct its members to 'shot down' government without taking into account the dire implications for the citizenry? Can we repose confidence in a party which asks its members in the National Assembly to ground the confirmation of service chiefs at a time the nation is grappling with grim security exigencies? Can the Nigerian people trust a party which sees nothing good in others- a party that is only quick to find faults and criticize, but never admits any achievement made by others? Can Nigerians trust a party that says it is either it wins the presidency or hell will be let loose on Nigeria? Can Nigerians stand by a party whose desperation to clinch power is now an obsession? Can Nigerians rely on a party that exhorts its members to be ready to resist the Nigerian Police in 2015? Can Nigerians trust a party which accuses the PDP of being 'the seat of corruption' yet openly embraces the 'corrupt' PDP members into its fold as the new clan of politicians to liberate(sic) this country? What kind of message is the APC passing across to Nigerians_ that in true fact it is a party that stand by principles or an-end-justifying-the-means type in which all is grist to its mill?
One honestly thinks a political party seeking to gain power with the best of intentions for this country can't be spitting fire as the APC is doing. In better organized climes, the opposition is a critical element in the equation of democracy. Opposition parties are known to offer themselves as alternative platform the electorate can fall back on, when the ruling party is not doing well. In a metaphorical sense, an opposition party is the spare tyre kept in the car booth and comes handy when any of the wheels gets burst or is deflated.
Elsewhere, opposition parties are veritable think-tanks and solution centres that evolve ideas which seek to improve society and find solutions to get around national challenges. They don't threaten war, anarchy and lawlessness if they lose a future election. They are not known to engage in activities to pull down a government; they only sell their ideas to the electorate. They seek ways to solve the problems of the country, rather than becoming a problem for the country. They establish rational basis of selectively criticizing policies, in the overall national interest.
The APC doesn't conduct itself as a typical opposition party. The party's unbridled attempts at eclipsing every achievement of the present administration through unrelenting, calumniating media statements lend credence to this position. The APC should spare the further dissipation of energies on the media onslaught it is preoccupied with, which looks everything kamikaze as it is doing more harm than help to the polity.
Nigerians, particularly the APC faithful, should be grateful to God today for the kind of president we have, who doesn't see the abuse of press freedom and the incendiary and calumnious statements against his administration as reasons to use hired goons to go after journalists and political opponents. Indeed Nigeria has never had such an accommodating and tolerant government in its entire history. Nigeria's political space would have been littered with corpses of assassinated politicians and journalists if President Jonathan were like those politicians in the opposition fighting tooth and nail to have him removed from office. This point should be well noted by all patriotic Nigerians.
As one did state earlier, opposition parties elsewhere don't take actions to cause governments to fail in order to supplant them. They see themselves as part and parcel of the political enterprise and openly extol or support policies of government that are suitable and serve the national interest best. The militant character of the APC seems to suggest to one that if the party takes over government, there is the likelihood of a resurgence of unresolved political assassinations in the country.
The people of Nigeria shouldn't be deceived by the ostrich attitude being put up by men like Atiku Abubakar, Rotimi Amaechi and others of their ilk in the APC, who are alleging that the PDP is the problem of Nigeria. Practically, there is nothing new to this holier-than-thou carriage. Their moving from the PDP to the APC doesn't turn them into the saints they want the world to accept and believe they have become. After all, they spent several years in the PDP- a party they used as platform to climb to the pinnacle of their political careers– which they are condemning today. These defectors from the PDP can't be absolved of blame for the problems facing Nigeria, if they are making claims that the PDP is the problem of this country.
For its pharisaical disposition and repeated threats to make Nigeria ungovernable, the APC is a bad model of opposition. We must remind ourselves the words of Benjamin Disraeli, “There is no act of treachery or meanness which a political is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.” What we should then be asking is, whether the APC is truly a political party seeking power or simply a pressure group that wants things done in the way it likes.