BY UKANDI ODEY
There is need to return to the basics, and the earliest beginnings. At the inception of the coalition, especially when it successfully fused into a common fold and agreed to proceed by the name of All Progressives Congress (APC), the government of the day was experiencing its worst review ever. This was taking place at a time emotions in the country were verily superior to reason; and sentimental surmises were at war with reality and truth. The national temperament was characterised and ruled by tempests, while tampers were at bay or relegated to some abyss.
Thus, at the successful launch of the APC, not many bothered to look at the quality and pedigree of the ‘progressives’; and, whether, indeed, the ‘congress’ was properly convened and founded on enduring and proper traditions for it to be worth that name; or whether the name, as the amalgams themselves, was an emergency creation – just anything in the manner that a name does not necessarily impinge on, or suggests the character of the person bearing it.
For many a commentary and commentator, it was ‘APC’ and the imagery it evoked of an outlived
drug – a meticulous pain killer, they said, that used to go by the same abbreviation as a brand name.
I have little or no memory of this erstwhile pain killer and healer ‘APC’ to which therapeutic exactitude the All Progressives Congress was likened to by its salesmen in the context of the clinical finesse it was going to bring to bear on national challenges,
especially economy and security matters.
The impression was created and touted that the opium of the national malaise had arrived with the APC; and it was left to the electorate to do the needful and desirable to move Nigeria forward by voting out the political party that was in power, which was adjudged ostensibly as the cause and harbinger of these undesirable times. The commentators were rigorous in reinforcing the message, and succeeded passably by blackmailing the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Goodluck Jonathan, out of power in a general election which arithmetic remains unsettled up to this moment.
Three years or more away and on the eve of another general elections, old aggregates seem to have exchanged roles, to the effect that contending variables within the APC are disaggregating at imponderable ratio and proportion. Like one of my history teachers at college loved to cap it, “it is an irony of circumstance and inconsistency in the scheme of things that….” The scenario is a curious one and quite replete with inconsistencies; as it appears that the medicine in the APC drug has departed it; and it cannot even heal itself! With all the savvy and charisma and clinical punctiliousness that were attributed to it, the APC has proven beyond reasonable doubt that it has been a mechanism without a chassis; and so could not manage its success even to the end of one tenure. It is an inexplicable irony that APC is being annihilated by the same circumstances and causes that shaped its birth and initial impetus.
After an embittered convention which ended expectedly in the emergence of splinter groups asserting parallel authorities and identities,
casting aspersions and slurs on the mainstream, and dismissing it as ‘house of hell’, the gale of defections that have afflicted the APC and continue to plague it is not the best experience for a political
party going into a general election. The development has certainly depleted the rungs of the party and pillaged its electoral appeal, no matter how Adams Oshiomhole and his delusions want to pretend about it.
There is a trend of partisan scamper presently in the APC; and no spin doctor can convince somebody here that losing troops on the way to election is part of healthy competition and can produce sumptuous
The APC as a party led by Adams Oshiomhole and its government led by Muhammadu Buhari are not helping this free fall and cataclysmic drift back to base. So far, Oshiomhole has proved he is inept and bereft of political party ethos and democracy civility and grounding. It is likely that the man is still dreaming paradigms in labour activism such as combat readiness and counter aggression posturing, while actually trying to run a political party that is severely battered and in need of reinvention. Thus, he has not been able to appreciate the amiability of the instruments of mobilisation and subtle diplomacy to stem the ugly trend and refurbish party rungs as part of servicing it for the next elections. His dismissal of a departed army of APC founders as mere crowd without “electoral value”, his double speak on the potentials and service delivery propensity of Governor Ortom of Benue State, and his unnecessary wielding of power and threatening of some of the serving ministers with sack and expulsion are not helping the party’s moment of distress. It is like no lesson has been learnt; and internal democracy is still the worse it. Not really to say that Oshiomhole’s physical ugliness is impacting on the emergent distraught psychology of the party, it is quite clear that Oshiomhole cannot arrest and reverse the anti-democratic tendencies that have
neutralised the medicinal values that were originally expected from the APC. The worst thing is that those left in the party are getting annoyed and disgusted by the day; and Oshiomole cannot now tell the state of unity and loyalty in the party. You can argue as it is whether Oshiomhole is not a bigger problem for the survival of the APC than the fleeing renegades in search of ventilation and redemption.
The APC government of Buhari is even worse at it. The lopsidedness of its entire structure, especially its security leadership, has generated a national outcry that has refused to abate. The government’s intimidation and harassment of other institutions of
government and public office holders and opposition members critical of its failures and hopelessness has created perception problem for the government. The situation is so bad that handlers of the second term marketing of the candidacy of the President have fallen short of ideas and intelligence to revamp the President’s depleted authority and diminished – if not out-rightly deflated ¬- moral standing.
Abandoned by those on whose back and means he rode to power, and with the ghosts of innocent citizens murdered in cold blood by rampaging
herdsmen stalking the land, and the coordinated echoes of the cries of displaced persons yearning for justice, and more insecurity and dangers of hunger, diseases, and sundry pestilences issuing threats from earshot locations, many would agree with those scampering out of the APC for refuge elsewhere. Public opinion and the opinion polls may
be ignored but cannot be mistaken. The reader indicates that Buhari is vulnerable as APC’s presidential candidate for Nigeria 2019 Project.
The semblance of way out of total demystification and to save some integrity, if at all he has any left, is for him to make a tactical withdrawal from the 2019 presidential race.
For it is very clear that market looks bleak and vacant for the APC. It is an interesting narrative, all the same: the drug came; the medicine did not, or failed to work; and, finally, both the patient and the nurse are bed-ridden for intensive care.
APC: When Medicine Departs the Drug
BY UKANDI ODEY