When the idea was mooted for a mega party to confront the alleged ‘atrocities’ of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nigerians were skeptical of the sincerity involved but subscribed to the hokum while praying for the reality to surface.
Those who thought nothing good could come out of the mega-merger have since realized that their perception was not a foolery while some are due for mental equilibrium examination for believing in the trumpeted CHANGE now at the grave yard waiting for un-ceremonial burial in 2023.
At its registration, All Progressives Congress (APC) pretended to be nationalistic with its anti-corruption stance transcending tribe, party, region and religion at the onset so to say.
It pretended to be a shield to the hitherto deprived and a threat to corruption, maladministration, stealing and abuse of human rights.
The gates of hell could not prevail against it because the leaders who nursed the idea to mature were perceived to be visionary. They kept on injecting new ideas to keep the flames burning, although painful but still, determined to restore lost glory and human dignity up to 2019.
Unfortunately, the hitherto nebulously perceived 2015 PDP sponsored Transformation Agenda on billboards, on television screens, selected newspaper pages and radio jingles of the past suddenly resurfaced in most APC controlled- states within the first four years of APC brand of administration.
Instead of the people to witness gradual change from the past, are ‘forced’ to accommodate what internal opposition calls underdevelopment spiced with deceit and sweet talks. APC promised in 2015 to restore probity and light to illuminate the minds of the allegedly shortchanged and victims of official rascality, theft, deceit and high-handedness of the past, but that promise till date remains a mirage, where the Sheriffs went to bed earlier than expected. In some local government areas or federal constituencies, the presence of essential services from an APC led representation and government is still on the drawing board.
To demonstrate their unflagging commitment to a “nation that can achieve its full potential and promise” and a resoluteness to surmount all obstacles and “work towards a nation that is economically and socially vibrant, peaceful, just and secure”, leaders of PDP especially in Bauchi State have since denied themselves the comfort of their homes and offices to make sure things work, particularly in critical sectors as a civic responsibility.
The actions of those leaders are far from the expected commitment personified and worth appreciation. Most PDP governors and legislators are composed and determined with the required political experience to galvanize a solid party founded by democrats.
In his speech at their party’s first national convention in 2015, Bola Tinubu who is now a presidential aspirant underscored some perceived obvious facts: “That we pulled this merger off is something beyond punditry. It was a merger destined to fail, yet it survived. It was no easy task, but it was a task that needed to be done. This party, the APC, is here to stay. We have provided Nigerians with a credible alternative at a time that is most needed.
Therefore, we cannot afford to fail or falter. Our eyes are set on a goal bigger than all of us and our destination is a Nigeria where good governance subsists and millions of our people are empowered”. That was the perception of Tinubu and it remains with him till date.
In his remarks, Muhammadu Buhari, then a presidential aspirant lamented the obvious ineptitude, weakness and lack of capacity to solve the problems bedeviling Nigeria by then President Jonathan’s administration that was allegedly enmeshed in sharp corrupt practices. Buhari specifically denounced a situation where the government failed to secure the lives of Nigerians due to large scale corruption and unbridled impunity.
He assured that, with the APC, the security and the welfare of the people would be topmost priority.”What was the state of infrastructure in the country in 1999 and the situation today? We have taken all the pains and we remain resolved to build this country. This country will not be completely destroyed
”We came together in order to stop the impunity that has reversed the progress this country has made so far. This convention is strategic to the development of the APC. All those who lead should know that they have the trust of Nigerians to protect”.
Funny enough, those remarks have passed as mere folk tales as the situation as of today, is worse than what APC inherited from the Jonathan administration.
One of those pillars of the mega-merger, and former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara said, “We have fused together despite our imaginary differences to salvage our fatherland from imminent collapse.
We are determined to forge ahead no matter the odds until we restore probity and sanity in our political system for the unity and progress of Nigeria”. But he was later disappointed by the party leadership in his native Bauchi State that necessitated his defection back to the very PDP he had abandoned for the new bride and now back to the APC for reasons better known by him.
APC is a party that nobody internally gave it any chance of survival except its leadership and the massive support it received across the country in 2015 before it rigged its way back to power in 2019. The party’s membership registration at inception, the congresses to elect delegates to the national convention and the superlative convention and successful election of national, state and local government officers, claimed to have exposed the charade of the PDP all those years.
That formed the reason the erstwhile Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu led PDP and the Jonathan presidency had to congratulate APC on its maverick enterprise that was expected to gladden the hearts of Nigerians but failed.
That legacy has been abused and torn into shreds. APC now imposes candidates and dictates the tune to its surrogates and the blind followers that remain in membership for crumbs.
Wase Federal Constituency Five Ad-hoc delegates election of May 16, 2022 is a clear case of how APC from top to bottom operates. Despite the provisions of Articles 14.14 and 15 of the party’s Constitution, the local government organizing secretary of the party was denied his constitutional role of organizing the election.
Sixty (60) prospective delegates, who purchased the designed party forms with accompanying party issued receipts as prove of payment from the organizing secretary to participate in the election, were denied the right to exercise their franchise for a hidden agenda against a free and fair exercise. The rest is for litigation that may derail the entire democratic process.
Unfortunately, as APC pilots the affairs of government at the centre, its components in other states are enmeshed in internal squabble and dying slowly before the final burial in 2023. There is pronounced love lost between major key players in the Common Sense Revolution for Change piloted by the Generalissomo, Rotimi Amaechi now in the presidential race.
The internal squabbles started like a child’s play and through deceit and pretence, they have grown to full internal political battle necessitating total surgery before 2023. For the party to survive, it must sift the chaff from the grain that’s for confidence to be restored against 2023.
Within the APC leadership in Bauchi and other States, there are probably those playing satanic roles hence the escalation of the squabble to feed. Crooks and rogues in company of their clowns and sycophants now threatening the solidification of the party must be fished out and disconnected. That is a duty APC chieftains must embark upon if it desires.
Those allegations of malfeasance, fraud and corruption and other unpleasant sundry issues against some exiting governors, members of the national assembly etc must be addressed NOW to rebuild confidence by those piloting the affairs of government.
PDP as a reorganized party now in the hands of assiduous performers should learn from the mistakes of APC’s style of politicking that should be discarded because he who does not learn from mistakes will never correct the mistakes. Although the party still has those it relies upon for survival but it needs careful planning to defeat APC in 2023 as Nura Manu Soro or Dr Musa Babayo may fly the gubernatorial flag of the APC in the coming election.
Now that the national lawmakers and their associates are exiting for the good of the democracy, the electorate should be wary of electing such characters back to the national assembly but should support those with the intellectual capacity and patriotic instincts to transform the political landscape, redeem the image of the democracy, murder corruption and ensure that social, health and economic infrastructures are revamped and functional.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues