APC: WALKING A TIGHT ROPE TO 2023
BY UBAKA OKOFU
Almost 13 months after Governor Mai Mala Buni led Caretaker/Extra ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC was put in place to douse the mounting tension in the party following the ousting of Adams Oshiomhole over his garrulous grandstanding, peace and stability seem to have eluded the All Progressives Congress at the national level. On a broader level though, it’s now a recurring decimal that ruling parties hardly conduct itself in decorum whenever the time to pick flag bearers who may succeed outgoing Presidents approach.
It’s no longer news that the ruling APC might again shift its national convention to an unknown date after previous adjustments. Formally, Dr. James Akpanudoedehe, Secretary of the party had cited insecurity in the country as the reason why the present Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress has failed to organise a National Convention in preparation for the 2023 election. However, it’s in public domain that the real reason the Mai Mala Buni led Caretaker /Extraordinary Planning Committee had failed to organise a national convention of the party is the festering crisis among the leadership of the party.
The party, ever than before is embroiled in plethora of internal wrangling. There are strong indications that the President and leader of the party may ditch the gentleman’s agreement allegedly earlier entered into that power should return to the south on completion of his two terms in office. Sources hinted that Buhari’s body language is averse to power returning to the south after his two terms in office.
The festering crisis rocking the party almost immediately after Adams Oshiomhole was removed as the national chairman of the party is a clear indication that although Oshiomhole might have contributed to the problems of the party, he was not the main problem of the party per se, and this is part of the reason the internal wrangling has not abated 13 months after his exit from the party as its national chairman.
Pundits believe that the Governor Mai Mala Buni led committee was destined to fail. First, President Muhammadu Buhari is not a deep-down democrat even though he had claimed to be a born again democrat. The biggest problem of the president is how to completely jettison his past as a military dictator. And because President Buhari is not a great inherent fan of democracy and democratic tenets, concerns are that the ruling party may never get out of its current internal crisis mode given the way things seem to be playing out.
It’s not accidental that the boat of the ruling party has been wobbling. Those at the leadership of the country are also the same people at the party’s leadership. So, whatever happens to one affects the other. Expectedly, the All Progressives Congress has inherited all the hydra-headed problems of the country. Clannishness, nepotism, favouritism are several of such problems plaguing the party. Within the party fold, members linked to the defunct Congress For Progressive Change, ( CPC) or their nominees are seemingly better treated and compensated with juicy appointments while others are left unattended to.
Top members of the party have also complained of the President’s uncaring attitude to matters of national urgency. This, they said had left them with no option than to maintain silence while weighing their options as 2023 approaches. They added that things had really gone messy with the leadership of the party at the national level.
Those who believed, and had fingered Oshiomhole as the main problem of the party must have regretted their hasty conclusion. On the other hand, it might not be completely on the side of truth to absolve Oshiomhole from the multifaceted problems that beleaguered the party when he was there as the national chairman. However, the inability of the Governor Mai Mala Buni led committee to get to the root of the problems of the party 13 months after, has led some to conclude that the President is actually at the centre of the problems of the party. There is also no doubt that Oshiomhole contributed to the problems the Mai Mala Buni led Caretaker committee had inherited.
Also, it’s not true that Oshiomhole was an early victim of the Buhari’s one faced disposition. But, it can be said that Mai Mala Buni and other members of his Caretaker committee may go the same way of Oshiomhole, and possibly end up harvesting more enemies at the end of their stay in office. Although, Oshiomhole lacked a great modicum of diplomatic finesse while in office, it’s evident that what is currently playing out in the party would continue as long as President Buhari remains the seeming dictator that many see him to be. Events in Zamfara, Imo and Edo are some of these faux pas many believe would continue to haunt the party.
One of the recurring failures of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) is the failure of the leadership of the party to sustain internal democracy and fairness in the same way the party has maintained the winning streak since 2015 when the PDP was booted out of office after 16 years of recycling corruption . The waning popularity of the All Progressives Congress amongst ordinary Nigerians is chiefly as a result of the promised change mantra and the lashes which the people are now getting in return. It’s not a skewed view to opine that the APC has unabashedly drifted into moral bankruptcy and ideological barrenness.
If care is not taken, what might consume the Governor Mai Mala Buni led Caretaker Committee quicker than expected is the task of picking the party’s presidential candidate from the array of aspirants hustling for the party’s presidential ticket, and this appears to be the reason why the committee is finding it difficult to fix a date to hold the party’s national convention.
The consensus view is that power should return to the south after Buhari’s two terms of 8yrs in office. While the South east caucus in the party is laying claim to the presidency in 2023, the South west believes it’s their turn to produce the president in 2023. So far, only Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has indicated a seeming public interest in contesting the presidency in 2023 on the platform of the party from the South West. Besides, he appears to have the financial muscles and a bit of seemingly fringe northern support to go into the 2023 contest. Be that as it may, there are indications that President Buhari is not comfortable with Tinubu’s candidacy, and this has divided the party leadership along pro Tinubu and anti Tinubu.
Given all that has transpired, and still festering at the national level of the All Progressives Congress, it will be difficult for the Mai Mala Buni team to pick a candidate and stabilize his party as the date for 2023 general election inches closer.
Adams Oshiomhole: Still in the shadows