lBy the time the crisis within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) reached a head in June last year with many of the governors insistent that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had to go, there were only two options left for the party.
One, get two thirds of the National Working Committee (NWC) members to invoke a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where a motion for his removal could be tabled and executed. Apparently because the governors knew this would not work given the support Oshiomhole enjoyed within the two organs, they avoided going this route.
The second option was for the governors to get President Muhammadu Buhari to apply the ‘Obasanjo Formula’ ala Audu Ogbeh: Visit Oshiomhole at home, request for a bowl of ‘tuwo shinkafa’ (which should not be a problem for a man who lived most of his life in Kaduna) and after the sumptuous meal, ask Oshiomhole to append his signature to an already prepared letter of resignation.
I don’t know how that would have played out with a man the late Mrs Oluremi Oyo used to call ‘Adamant Adams’ but that was at least a legitimate option. This route was also not appealing to the governors because that would still leave behind many NWC members who may not be sympathetic to their own agenda.
Ignoring those two options, the governors goaded the president into deploying powers he does not possess; to sack the party’s NEC and install Mala Buni, Yobe State governor as the interim chairman. Buni’s specific mandate was to lead a 13-member caretaker committee to conduct a national convention within six months for the election of a new leadership.
This is the 15th month and Buni, who abandoned his state (well, not totally, because he claims he spends three days in Yobe every month!) has been criss-crossing the country, poaching the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to the APC. Meanwhile, like he abandoned his state, Buni also abandoned the task he was given until he had no more sit-tight cards to play. Now the party he ‘chairs’ is in crisis.
What has transpired in the APC in the past two years is similar to what we witnessed under the PDP. The jury is still out as to whether that party can survive the current imbroglio that has pitched some of its NWC members against national chairman, Uche Secondus. Incapable of managing either victory or defeat, political parties in Nigeria are there to advance the personal interests of politicians and not the larger society.
There are also no shared ideals propelling members. Which is why the APC, like the PDP while in power at the centre, has become notorious for disregarding its own internal rules in the bid to help powerful members achieve predetermined ends, especially as they relate to cold calculations for the 2023 general election. That is what is behind all the current illegalities and the attendant convulsions.
How the APC digs itself out of the ditch is its problem. But the spirited recriminations among their leaders and the violence that greeted last Saturday’s ward congresses undermine the peace we require in an already heated and chaotic political environment. The party must put its house in order.
Wisdom from WhatsApp!
In the April 2010 presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Allassane Quattara, (the current President) defeated the then incumbent Laurent Gbagbo who refused to leave power. He caused the Constitutional Council, comprising mostly of his cronies, to annul the results of the area won by his opponent before declaring him (Gbagbo) winner.
That precipitated a violent national crisis during which at least 3,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others, displaced. Gbagbo was eventually arrested and sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague where he was tried for crimes against humanity.
Acquitted in 2019 for insufficient evidence to prove the charges against him, Gbagbo recently returned home to a rousing welcome. He was also received like a hero at the State House by President Quattara.
The 79-year old Ouattara, who last October won a boycotted extra-constitutional third term presidential election, with 95.31% of the votes, is now a friend of convenience to the broken Gbagbo.
That tragic political drama in Côte d’Ivoire has elicited a WhatsApp post by a Mr Sagir Yana who reminds us that just about a decade ago, “poor Ivorians fought and killed themselves” for these same political leaders.
“Today, the two have made peace, hugging themselves while the poor innocent supporters are in their graves; and their wives, children and other family members are languishing. Trust me, neither Quattara nor Gbagbo will help the families of their dead supporters. So, those who blindly fight for African politicians should be wise.”
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