The APC, G-7 governors romance
The intellectual Femi Aribasala, in one of his articles, wrote: "our politicians form and join different political parties, but it is all one big lie. All Nigerian politicians belong to one single party: Politicians Party of Nigeria (PPN)." Those who failed to grasp the import of this theorem now have every reason to with the palpable romance between the G-7 governors and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This week must be the busiest week so far for the APC apparatchik. Their being so occupied was informed by what Gen. Muhammadu Buhari termed “recruitment drive” for their party. But, this form of recruitment is a peculiar and awkward one. A type which many would find it difficult to situate within their body of experience. The norm is to have prospective employees go to employers for jobs not vice versa. But, that's not for APC.
The 'avant-garde party' emptied its who-is-who into Sokoto, Adamawa, Jigawa and Kano states in the course of the week. Its mission? To cajole the prime citizens of these states into joining its amalgamated fold. The party didn't wait for them to come knocking on its door, instead it did the knocking. And what a deafening knock it was, considering the number and status of those who went from the party.
Check out the role call: former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, interim National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, Interim Deputy National Chairman, Aminu Masari, a former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, Governors Rochas Okorocha, Raji Fashola and Kayode Fayemi of Imo, Lagos and Ekiti States respectively, former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff amongst other APC chieftains.
You may at this point want to know what they got for all the troubles. The Kano State governor said: “I will sit down with all stakeholders because there is no decision I can take as governor without consulting the stakeholders of the party." His counterpart in Jigawa State was evasive but assured he would support anything being done to rescue the country as the country had been good to him.
The 'recruitment drive' of the APC team appeared most productive in Adawama State where Governor Nyako told them: “As far as I am concerned, I have already distributed kola nuts to the entire Fulani nation and like-minds in PDP to leave enmass to the APC,” In Sokoto State, Governor Wamakko seemed set to join them but for vital consultations he must make.
You would be wrong thinking the National Secretariat of APC would now rest its quest to extend the party's tentacles with the 'successes' it has so far recorded. The energetic party is not yet done as it is billed to hold talks with Governor Ameachi of Rivers State this Monday. After that, talks with the remaining G-7 governors will follow suit.
What an Oliver Twist we have in APC! Having cornered major opposition parties into its kitty, the coalition is yet to be satisfied. It is still craving for more, hence its tenacity to use all the big names it has in courting these beautiful brides. Then again in equal measure, what a behemoth we have in PDP such that even after collapsing itself into a coalition, opposition elements are still not sure of their ability to uproot the ruling PDP from power.
What would you have me say? APC's overtures to the renegade PDP governors suggests it is still not sure of its current potentials. Better still, it implies that the party still sees PDP as insurmountable notwithstanding its present gains. Little wonder PDP was boasting on Thursday that it is not perturbed by the development. In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP accused APC of 'poaching' the G-7 governors by 'desperately coaxing' them.
The PDP, in the statement, took a dig at APC describing the party as a “hypocritical party lacking in genuine ideology and principles”. It added that the opposition party lacked true followership and electable materials at all levels. APC got served, you may say. It was a super-cut that the party and its handlers asked for. Candidly, what PDP said seems true judging from the context.
It is really hypocritical for APC to publicly condemn the bad governance that PDP has brought to bear on the country, heap all the blames for our under development on it, yet seek to have critical members of the party within its ranks. Is APC implying that the quartet of Wamakko, Lamido, Nyako and Kwankwaso who are governors under the platform of PDP aren't part of the maladministration of the country it has relentlessly accused PDP of?
If PDP could have up to four, nay, seven 'hardworking and progressive' governors, as APC described them, then the party isn't as terrible as APC had always portrayed it. Unless by hardworking and progressive, the party is referring to politicians who are rebellious to their party leadership. Verily, it is incongruous for PDP to be declared as the disease plaguing this country, only for some governors on its stable to be acquitted just because they fell out with the leadership of the party.
Drawing further from this, the advances of APC towards the G-7 governors give it away as actually lacking 'in genuine ideologies and principles'. The aggrieved governors it is currently chasing after already have the philosophies of PDP ingrained in them. It, therefore, remains to be seen how APC would easily substitute these entrenched ideals of PDP in the governors with its own. By finding it convenient to reach out to these established PDP members, APC simply betrays itself as lacking in genuine ideologies and principles.
Else, it would have even been worried when they seek membership. It would be bothered about compatibility and adherence to what it stands for. Ideologies and principles, where they exist, are sacred. So hallowed are they that whatever or whoever would taint or undermine it is never permitted. Warts and all, APC has simply made us know that it doesn't have any of those. It may have it on paper, but, it means little to them.
Nonetheless, is PDP that brought this to our knowledge any holier? Of course not! If the party had or adhered to its ideologies and principles, it wouldn't have found itself in the terrible pass it is today. But let's just deal with the message and leave the messenger for another day. Metuh also said APC lacked true followership and electable materials. That may not be true, but again, judging from APC's new found hubby, it may be true.
Do not be deceived, in the Nigerian political terrain, it is a verity. For no other material can be more electable in Adamawa as of now than the Admiral himself or his stooge. Ditto for Jigawa, Sokoto, Kano and the other states. In our country, the incumbency factor is very veritable in deciding who gets elected or not. It even bestows true followership as can be seen with the Kwankwasiyya movement that has engulfed Kano state. Thus, Metuh is spot on to the extent of those states where APC doesn't have one of their own as head.
I guess it is in recognition of this that APC is throwing shame and caution to the wind to cajole the troubled emperors of their states into joining its ranks. If it succeeds, this will technically translate to APC raising the number of states it controls even when it did not undergo the rigours of the election process there. It also promises to swell the number of votes the party gets in the 2015 presidential election. Then again, it would boost the party's revenue base.
Now you can better appreciate why they had to trample on whatever ideologies and principles they have. But, are these grounds cogent enough to allow what a party represents be subjected to the miasma of corruption? Your response is as good as mine.
However, the odds go beyond APC making mockery of its ideologies and principles into causing disaffection and unease among its old members. Some of them see the drive to attract the governors and their supporters into the party as a prelude to the imposition of leadership in the party. They fear it is a move that would alter the choice of candidates in future elections.
These fears are well founded but APC can allay them by upholding the tenets of democracy, rule of law and justice. As the party courts politicians to whom these values are strange, the party must ensure it doesn't concede elective positions to them or their loyalists in disregard for primaries. The party must be careful not to undermine those who have laboured for the opposition for several years. Given that we have just Politicians Party of Nigeria in our country, this makes it all the more compelling for us to, at the least, have internal democracy.