APC's congresses: If it were PDP
By Francis Ehigiator
Recently, the self-styled party of “change”, the All Progressives Congress (APC), held its states and local government congresses. What is of concern here is how the information filtering from almost all the centres of the congresses have shown that the APC is anything but democratic.
Ordinarily, one would have ignored the exercise since it is a party affair. However, what would have been the reaction of the APC if the governing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the party that conducted such sham congresses? Indeed, what would have been the reaction of the often-combative publicist of the APC, Lai Mohammed?
One thing is clear from the conduct of the APC's state and local government congresses: the party lacks the democratic norms to govern Nigeria under a democratic setting. It is an established fact that a majority of those who emerged as the representatives of the party for the national convention slated for May 24, 2014 were imposed.
The surprise here is that the ever-loquacious publicist of the party has not deemed it fit to tell the members of the party why delegates to the party's national convention had to be imposed on the party members.
Reports have it that in most wards across the nation there were no elections. Some of the participants at the congresses reported that there was nothing like voting; instead, candidates were imposed on the party members. What happened was that some party officials at the state level came and announced that one Mr. XYZ had been chosen by the party to represent the ward at the forthcoming national congress of the party.
The so-called states and local government congresses of the party therefore unveiled the real APC and what the party is capable of doing if power is handed over to it at the centre. This show of shame has placed a big question mark on the ability or otherwise of the party to be a viable alternative to the ruling PDP at the centre. The failure of the party to conduct its congresses democratically shows that if power is handed over to it, Nigerians will be subjected to the dictates and whims of the leaders of the party.
In Lagos State, for instance, party faithful will not stop expressing their displeasure at the way candidates were imposed on them by the party stalwarts. A staunch member of the party told this writer that the party he has followed for some time now is an enclave of deception, and that doom looms in the country any day the country decides to hand over power to the hawks in the party.
My friend was so disappointed by the conduct of the congresses that he told me in confidence that he has made up his mind to defect from the party because it is not a party worth identifying with. His stance appears to be symbolic of the disaffection that has plagued the party since the conclusion of the tattered APC congresses across the nation.
I am not a card-carrying member of the PDP, but, I am curious to know what would have been the reaction of the APC if the shame exhibited by the party during the congresses across the nation was the lot of the ruling PDP.
It is on record that every slip by the ruling PDP is magnified by the APC, which interprets such slips to mean that the ruling party does not have the interest of the masses at heart and therefore should be discarded at the 2015 election. However, each time the APC lashes out at the PDP, it forgets that the states controlled by the APC have rolled out many anti-people policies. Take Lagos state as a case study and you will agree with me that people residing there pay through their noses to meet up the taxes imposed on them by the APC government in the state.
The anti-people policies being churned out in all the southwest states controlled by APC are clear indicators that the party lacks what it takes to improve on the lot of the masses. The administrative style of the APC government in these states has rendered many citizens poor and made some families to relocate to the hinterland to avoid the rapacious activities of the many touts unleashed on the citizenry in the name of task forces of various hues and colours.
And yet the same APC will never acknowledge that the PDP has put the nation on the path to greatness through the transformation agenda of the current administration. It also beats my imagination that the APC publicist has not condemned the shame that characterized the party's ward and state congresses recently. If it were the PDP that imposed candidates against the wishes of the people, the APC publicist would have invented all sorts of vocabulary to denigrate the ruling party.
The APC should tell Nigerians why it wishes to rule this country under a democratic dispensation when the party lacks internal democracy in the conduct of its own affairs. Until it does that, the APC should stop deceiving themselves with the bogus claim that it is a viable alternative to the ruling PDP.
Ehigiator sent this piece from Benin City, Edo State.