(By Iyobosa Uwugiaren)
“I hold this view strongly that APC is not a credible alternative to the PDP. Some naive minds may not agree with me, but who cares? That was the message the owners of the APC sent to Nigerians last Saturday morning in Abuja while presenting the Oyegun-led executive members to the public.“
To those who may try to instigate someone or some people against me after reading this piece, I say: don’t attempt it because you will fail woefully. Like every columnist, my aim here is provoke a scholarly discourse in order to deepen our understanding of how our politics and political players work, think and reason. My focus here is the process that led to the emergence of some national officers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last Saturday in Abuja and the possible feeling of one of the stakeholders in the party – somebody I have huge respect for. He is party-disciplined quite all right but we need to provoke him to make his position known in this matter. Follow me.
His credentials for democratic norms and values are uncommon. In the last three decades or so, he has used his regular column in newspapers to defend and protect these values. Sometimes he goes to the extreme to shout it very loud. You may not like his style but you cannot fault his patriotism, nationalism and genuine motive in whatever he does. Having been on the side-lines shouting, protesting and criticising, he elected recently to throw his hat in the ring in order to play an active role – in an attempt to right the wrongs in our national politics under the platform of the self-styled “progressive party” that does things differently from the most criticised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). And, in the last few months, he has invested hugely in the political project from his hard-earned resources and with the help of those who believe in his “big ideas”. I am sure by now you know whom I am talking about. Many of his admirers and followers call him Sam.
I have not asked him but I am sure he waited for the Friday/Saturday national convention of his party to see whether his progressive party was ready to chart a new course for some Nigerians who are not happy with the present socio-political and economic happenings in all levels of governance in our nation. And, after the APC convention, how did this patriotic Nigerian see the outcome? Is the celebrated columnist and aspiring president of our country satisfied with the process that produced the new executive members of his party? Does he see hope in our country? Like many followers of the regular Monday column, “Last Word”, I thought he would discuss the matter this Monday but I waited in vain to read him. I don’t know why he chose to address another topic this Monday. Nevertheless, as one of the ardent followers of his column, I demand to hear from him on this matter.
Before then: My take on the outcome of the convention is that the leaders fell short of glory before God and the electorate. They fell flat on the core principles of democracy: the right of people to decide who leads them; they failed woefully on their widely advertised selling points — “change” and “new ideas”. What happened at the Eagle Square, Abuja, between last Thursday and Saturday morning, was a sham; it was a selection, not election; it lacked the basic minimum elements of internal democracy in a party that prides itself as a “progressive party”. Indeed, the conduct of the APC leaders was retrogressive. Those who based the outcome of the convention on “conscious arrangement” were only looking for an escape route to justify their dubious, unkindest and uncommon disrespect for the will of the people; they only succeeded in stamping the many criticisms of their opponents that the party is owned by a few people and they alone decide who gets what in the party. Thanks to the Nigerian media, many aggrieved party members, those who are not happy with the dictatorial conducts of the so-called “elders of the party”, might not have the rare opportunities like Chief Tom Ikimi, Alhaji Ali Modu Sherrif, Chief Segun Osoba and others to express their anger, but truth is that many people were not happy with the process that led to the emergence of the John Odigie Oyegun-led executive last Saturday.
What evidence do we need? Somebody who never showed interest in any party position was appointed national secretary of the party, and, apart from the positions of national chairman, national secretary, a few zonal chairmen and national publicity secretary, I learnt the owners of the party were still trying to fill other positions as at the time of writing this piece. Tell me: where lies the code of belief of democracy in APC? It is a big shame! I am sure those who left the party before the convention would be sipping their shai (tea) and champagne by now, telling those who cared to listen to them, “But we told you that these people do not have respect for democracy.”
I hold this view strongly that APC is not a credible alternative to the PDP. Some naive minds may not agree with me, but who cares? That was the message the owners of the APC sent to Nigerians last Saturday morning in Abuja while presenting the Oyegun-led executive members to the public. I am sure our respected Chief Segun Osoba and his huge followers in Ogun State share the same view too.
From the look of things, Nigerians will have to choose between the devil and Lucifer in the 2015 general elections. This is the unfortunate situation we have found ourselves in. While some APC members may still be nursing the political wounds inflicted on them by a cult in the party, I predict that it is also a sign of what will happen in the party’s presidential primaries fixed for November. Except those who do not believe in themselves, sound political minds already know the direction of the owners of the party on the matter. I now believe what an insider told me a few months ago: that the merger of the party was planned and executed for the interests of two persons. Don’t ask me who they are; you know them..
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