2015: Why PDP Should Not Freak Over APC’s Busybody
That the All Progressives Congress (APC) has come to stay in Nigeria is no longer news, but, what is news is its mode of recruitments!
Following the wide jubilation that greeted the registration of APC as a political party last year, one had expected that it would have done things differently! Differently in the sense that, both its recruitment processes, ideology, funding mechanism, manifestoes and leadership structure would have been different from what we have seen and known in the country before. Hence, if I may read meaning in to the reason behind the jubilation of Nigerians over the success of APC at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 31st of July 2013, it simply means that many Nigerians had thought that, with APC's mouth watering and too-good-to-be-true promises, all their dreams, wishes and expectations would have become the reality they live-in by now! Why I say so is because, APC as a conglomeration of opposition political parties is in control of some states in Nigeria. So, their expertise in governance in some of those states would
have given us the inkling of what to expect in 2015, if peradventure they sneak to power at the centre! But, all the hoopla during the registration struggles of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the defunct All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) and some factions of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form the APC was dismissed by Yinka Odumakin, former spokesman to General Muhammadu Buhari when he alleged that, “… the corruption going on in the South West States under ACN is far greater than what we witnessed under PDP”. He went further allege that, “I buttressed my point with the fact that where I dragged Mr. Alao Akala to EFCC in 2010 for asking each Local Government in Oyo State to award a 5kms of road at N250 million to a particular contractor, a company linked to ACN National Leader is collecting a kilometer of road at N1bilion each in the region”
Similarly, if one should take a cursory look at the leadership structure of the APC at the national level, one will mistake APC for ACN or one can still assume that, the ghost of the defunct ACN is still in charge! This is because; there is no difference in the positions of the National Leader, National Chairman and the National Publicity Secretary of the APC when compared to the defunct ACN, which was notorious for its imposition of candidates on the electorates and its one-man-show style of macabre-dance! In fact, if Senator Bola Tinubu should be called the National Leader of APC, what then is the position of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) in the party? Does that mean that “Asiwaju” is greater than “General?” Apart from Buhari, where are the CPC doyen of crème de crème that made the party what it was before the merging of the defunct parties?
If the truth must be told, I must admit that I still find it difficult to believe that General Buhari, Prince Tony Momoh and other notable members of the defunct CPC who built the party from nothing to something could lose their golden voice in the new All Progressives Congress (APC). Or is it because; the two arrowheads of APC both had the pedigree of dictating the direction their former parties took, and as a result, one must bow for the other? For example, when General Muhammadu Buhari was the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the defunct CPC, the party leadership denied Mohammed Abacha who won the party's governorship primary election for Kano State its ticket, and gave it to Retired Brigadier General Lawal Jafaru Isa who later crashed out of the 2011 governorship election in the state. The same thing can be said of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was the then National Leader of the defunct ACN! It will be recalled that Attahiru Bafarawa who has just
dumped the APC for PDP, was on his way to winning the party's Presidential Primary Election, but, because of the one-man-show status of the party, Bafarawa was asked to step down for Mallam Nuhu Ribado, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who lead the party in to the Presidential Race, but was beaten hands down by a better prepared President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan.
Just like what some commentators and analysts have said about the APC, that, it is an old wine in a new bottle, the party is now wooing elected members of the National Assembly on the platform of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) to its fold, not to talk of some governors who were running away from being disciplined by the former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee of the Party; and have decided to defect to APC unconditionally! There is a saying that, what happened to the dry leaf should serve as a warning to the fresh one. Based on this, the question I want to ask is, can they be progressives without disciplinarians?
Nonetheless, unlike in the United States where the Republican Party recruit members with their conservative ideology as well as the Democratic Party recruits members based on their liberal ideology, the APC is welcoming those who were resisting discipline in their former party in to their fold. I have no problem with that, but, my problem is, if you say you are a progressive party, you should be able to recruit those who share the same progressive ideologies with you and not the usual “Anything goes” style of membership drive where people who know little or nothing about party discipline and ideology are welcomed unconditionally just for the sake of making headline news stories on the pages of our newspapers!
In conclusion, it was Confucius who said that, “If you want to define the future, study the past!” Hence, based on this, I can confidently say that, APC is a booby-trap waiting to explode as the party approach their Primary Elections. It is only a question of time, and then the party will know that, salt water and fresh water cannot flow together. Therefore, PDP should not freak!
Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara, an Activist, Media
Consultant and Public Affairs Commentator is the National President of Young Nigerians for Change.
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Temporarily writing from, No., 9, Imgbi Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.