The disintegration of APC
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) took a turn for the worst last Wednesday when the nPDP members, a bloc which fused to form an alliance with other political parties to establish the APC in 2013 announced its decision to pull out of the party and form a new bloc, the “reformed APC”.
The former nPDP members, who were then led by a former acting national chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, had in a strongly worded letter several weeks ago to the then national chairman of APC, John Odigie–Oyegun, complained of their marginalisation and persecution by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Leader of the rAPC, Buba Galadima, had at a news conference accused the APC of failing to fulfil its campaign promises to Nigerians, noting that the party lacked internal democracy and respect for the rule of law.
“I stand here before you as the Chairman of the reformed APC to remind you that preparatory to 2015, the nPDP merged with APC to wrest power, but the contents of that agreement were breached. The APC in the last three years has performed poorly and refused to sustain its core values. The APC government was a monumental disaster even worse than the government it replaced,”
“The APC conducted the worst national congress so far and it is likely that the outcome of judicial decision on the Congress would further lead to protracted crisis. There were crisis in four states. The National Congress Committee Chairman and governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru declared 18 seats unopposed contrary to the Constitution of APC,” it stated.
“The APC has run rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people; it has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity abuse of power, complete abdication of constitution and statutory responsibility, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism. The APC has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to an unacceptable height.
“The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation. There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigeria owes our party as a matter of right”.
Despite denial of the rAPC by the APC leadership hierarchy and its threat to sanction the rAPC actors; it is however, obvious that the APC is on the verge of precipice.
The current travails of the party did not come as a surprise to political observers in the country. In 2014, when the nPDP members moved from the PDP to form an alliance with other political blocs to setup the APC, analyst, had said that there was no ideology which bonded the politician together, calling the alliance a merger of ‘strange bedfellows’, predicting that the ‘marriage’ may not last long.
The disintegration of the APC did not happen in a day; this is as a result of series of crises which have hit the party since it won a historic election in 2015 and assumed power.
This failure of the leadership of the party to resolve crises in several state chapters across the country and the president’s lopsided appointments in which several party members who contributed to the party’s electoral victory in 2015 had been side-lined has further fueled the situation.
Recently, about 10 state chapters held parallel congresses, in which several factions emerged with cases still pending in courts.
Political analyst and National President of Voters Awareness Initiatives, Wale Ogunade, said that crisis was normal in a political group, especially in the run-off to elections in which members could be seeking relevance, stressing that the current crisis in the APC could either make or mar the future of the party depending on the way it is managed.
“Yes, the current crisis in APC is expected, don’t forget the way they came together, strange bed fellows, and it was predicted. But I think crisis is part of politics, and even in a family setting there is always crisis. As elections approach, members would be struggling for relevance and it may affect the party’s chances; anything can happen in politics. The APC has to deal with this issue well; the ability of the party to resolve this issue is crucial to its survival especially as the elections are here,” Ogunade said.
Fouad Oki, factional chairman of the APC in Lagos State, said the current crisis in the party was expected considering the alleged injustice which had existed and characterised its operations in recent times.
“The crisis in the party has been there for some time now; don’t forget I told you recently that there would be an implosion in the party; this is just the beginning of the game, very soon the Kwankwaso camp would come out with its position. It is good for democracy.
“But it does not necessarily mean it would lead to the end of the party; we would all come together, just that the voices that have been denied opportunity to speak for some time now are now talking. But I must commend the national chairman of the party in its current effort, he gave a very good speech while coming in and he has been moving round to meet people,” Oki said.
Considering the political heavyweight involved in the rAPC, the APC should be ready to lose some states and large chunk of votes in several others.
Perhaps, the greatest mistake of the Muhammadu Buhari administration would be the underestimation of the splinter group.
……………………………………………………………………………… Ikpeazu’s proverbial signs in Abia
You cannot take it away from him: Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is a born humourist, a witty country boy that is groomed in the best of agrarian and cosmopolitan values. During the campaigns in 2015, he left his followers with a message: Unu ja akota sign. This message has since become a popular cliché in Abia State, transforming into a socio-political construct that recurs in every political discussion in the state.
For many, that message is an entry point into an understanding of the man and his politics. For others, it is the essential compass to discerning his moves, his hidden intentions, the intrigues, his priorities and his maneuvering patterns.
But, essentially, that message has been transmuted into the cardinal projects that have formed the signature of the man in his three-year strides in Abia. For the projects communicate signs and messages that are both connotative and literal.
In an attempt to interrogate the message, one begins to see a body of symbols, ideas and meanings in the footprints that have changed the narrative of Abia in a short time. Take the case of the Osisioma Overhead Bridge.
It is no more news that Governor Ikpeazu is building the first ever over-head bridge in Aba at Osisioma Junction. If you understand the science of semiotics, the Osisioma flyover in Aba must come to you with far deeper meanings that transcend value and convenience. To me, it communicates meanings that are somewhat esoteric. The first interpretation is that it is a project that will add value to the city of Aba and create convenience in transportation for motorists and other road users. Osisioma Junction is a hotspot for traffic jam, a place where madness is taken as part of the daily chore, a place where man and mermaids compete for space within a small radius. The overhead bridge will end this bad narrative.
It will add beauty and change the landscape of the entry point into the old city. The bridge will provide a warm atmosphere of reception to visitors driving into the city and for those driving across to Port Harcourt.
The bridge will improve the quality of our lives, create a whole new convenience and lift Abia to a new status. Call it dividend of democracy. It is one great thing, among others, for which Ikpeazu will be remembered.
But, beyond the aesthetics value and the structural importance, I see a message of transition from one milieu to another. I see a revolution but not of victory of arms but victory of change. Revolution is not just about taking up arms and overthrowing an existing political regime, it is also about taking drastic steps and actions that progressively expand the frontiers of our human existence. In discerning the signs embedded in the Osisioma Overhead Bridge, I see a meditated intention at social transformation. Ikpeazu is looking beyond transportation values to creating a new world order for Aba and Abia State. He is creating a new life, a new man and a new season. Indeed, it was part of his campaign promises.
A little ride of about 400 metres and you are at Brass junction. Here a sign beckons on you. The newly paved T-junction and the median that leads to the famous Faulks Road resonate beyond the message of environmental design to a sign about the destination of this all-important road – the Ariaria International Market. There is a concerted effort to turn Ariaria into a great centre of business not only for Nigeria but for the entire West African sub-region. This dream led to a synergy with the office of the Vice President which produced the Ariaria Independent Power Project financed by the Rural Electrification Agency of the Federal Govt. The power project is giving an uninterrupted power at the market to 2,000 shops, on a pilot basis. A second power station that is under construction will provide uninterrupted power to another 34,000 shops in the market.
The construction of Faulks Road and the technology employed in combating the challenge of storm water is another all-important sign. The Ifeobara artificial lake and the effort in recovering Ukwu Mango signify a sincere political will for the victory belies the long-drawn legend of buck-passing, a lazy resignation to fate and a substitute of reason with superstitious beliefs. The sign is that man is indeed the master of his fate.
The sign extends to the large-scale work of comprehensive infrastructural renewal of the commercial city of Aba which has given a new lease of life to the residents. The achievement in fulfilling the primary obligation of government is the maintenance of law and order. The governor has excellently fulfilled this primary obligation of government by ensuring that there is adequate security in the state. His fight against kidnapping and other violent crimes has yielded maximum result. There is also the strategic public-private partnership with various institutional agents in the area of human capital development and skill acquisition.
Significantly, the effort in developing the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Abia has produced great results in developing the latent ingenuity and creativity for which Aba is celebrated. It has led to a renewed attention to the artisans of Aba and a review of the future of the fabled Aba Made Goods. In the first year of his administration, 60 shoemakers were mobilised to Turkey to understudy modern technologies in shoe production. And later another 30 youths were also mobilised to China as the first batch of 100 ambassadors selected for the training in China.
Today, the vision of the New Enyimba City, an economic hub for entrepreneurial integration of the South East and South-South regions with a free trade zone status is a landmark project that will raise the bar of development in Aba. Indeed, Ikpeazu charges his people to try to discern the signs. Today, the signs have come alive.
Adindu is Special Adviser on Media & Documentation.
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