APC, Nigeria’s ruling party is an unfortunate father with highly fortunate children. Before we go further, it is necessary we consider how this has come to be the way it is.
It was Harold Laswell who defined politics as who gets what, when and how. This definition is even truer in a country like Nigeria where the discreetness of who gets what, when and how is tossed in the bin. It is clear for even kids to see that politics is pure business in this country.
It is in this faulty line that party politics has found itself in Nigeria and this is to a great extent the making of the politicians in the early years after military rule ended and democracy began, 1999 till date.
The early politicians themselves might want to blame their shortcomings on the system they met on ground, established by the military through coups, countercoups, corruption and bad leadership.
PDP took power as Nigeria reverted to democracy in 1999; it was able to hold it for 16 years with its many shortcomings like others before it. It fought off competition from other great parties at different times like; AD, APP, ANPP, CPC, and APC. The game of holding or fighting for political power during the PDP era is what has produced today a highly intelligent madness in party politics today.
In the height of its reign, PDP became almost too strong for all other parties in Nigeria to the extent that it took the merging of three great parties (ANPP, ACN and CPC) which produced what today is known as APC to be able to wrestle power from the almighty PDP, the largest political party in Africa at the time. It is important to point out that members of PDP had to join the new merger in order to defeat PDP; this shows how strong it had become.
APC took power in the year 2015 under the change mantra; people had no reason to except much from it except on the basis of its manifesto and the integrity of its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
Not long after taking power, APC began to fair worse than the party it had taken over from. It employed all forms of propaganda to reassure Nigerians that it was in control of the situation but the realities on ground were beyond the lure of propaganda. Insecurity remained as before, sometimes getting worse. Prices of commodities experienced astronomical rise, people were losing jobs just as unemployment rate increased.
What APC loyalists said at the time was that they were unlucky to take over governance at the time they did, they insisted that any government, even that of PDP, might not do as well as it had done with what was on ground.
It is clear now, between and beyond party lines that the past 6 years of the APC administration has continued to wobble in a plethora of bad and destructive drama, falling behind its predecessors in pecking order. Anyone who says otherwise may just be sentimental or be a beneficiary of the party.
The truth is that on a deeper look, it is not an ‘APC’ problem. It is an issue of politicians being starved from the main dining table for 16 years, now that they have gotten a chance at the kitchen; they have become mean gluttons with reckless abandon. They cannot see that they have recovered from the political kwashiorkor that came over them in the PDP years. These APC ‘children’ are in paradise while the family name lacks respect and dwells in shame.
While they struggle at the kitchen, it is logical that the Nigerian state will suffer many ills and suffer malnutrition; inflation, dwindling foreign exchange, banditry and daredevil attacks on institutions. While they struggle, they will trade blames, raise dust to distract the unsuspecting masses, award ridiculous contracts like billions of naira for mosquito nets. While they struggle, our finance which should go a long way in administering the country will never be close to being enough and so we must borrow. In short, the people are left to fend for themselves because the chefs will not leave the kitchen.
PDP fared better, not because they are saints but because the people of Nigeria at least found crumbs from the kitchen during their time.
It appears that the end is near for APC. It has maintained some level of sanity hitherto due to the Buhari factor, but the president will be stepping down after his second tenure come 2023, so what becomes of APC after then. With the drama in the past weeks, the signs are clear that APC may be lost in its own big mess.
The drama is being intensified already. The party recently fixed its convention for February 2022 with the approval of the president after there had been internal threats and conflicting court judgments. Not satisfied with the date for the convention, a break-away group of the party sacked the current chairman of its caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe state and named a new chairman.
Whether APC holds a successful convention in 2022, whether it solves its internal problems, whether it succeeds in maintaining power after 2023 elections, these will matter less except to the party members who are caught up in the underdevelopment dilemma of Nigeria; it is definitely beyond them as it is, to solve Nigeria’s woes, they are mere business people.