The designation of a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the head of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reconciliation committee is one that has drawn attention for different reasons. JOHNCHUKS ONUANYIM reports on the implication
Undoubtedly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is enmeshed with crises in all fronts going by reports from the ward, state, zone and national levels of the party. Therefore, to most stakeholders of the ruling party, the reconciliatory committee recently constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari though long overdue is a welcome idea. The committee led by the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, according to the presidency, is to consult, reconcile and build confidence for the party.
While the national leadership of the party initially kept mum over the development, apparently over the claim it was not consulted before the decision was arrived at there is no doubt that the committee must do everything possible to put the APC house in order before the party holds its national conventions ahead of the 2019 general elections.
This is against the backdrop that as at today, only very few APC states is free from crisis. Most of the states across the different geopolitical zones have one problem or the other capable of tearing the party apart. In the South West APC, it is only in Ekiti State one can say there is no seemingly crisis.
From Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Osun, there is one or two crises that if not properly manage could cause political misfortune for the ruling party. In Ogun State for instance, there are two factions led by the governor, Ibukunle Amosun and a former governor of the state, Segun Osoba. In Oyo State, the political difference between Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu is in the public glare. The situation is not different in Lagos, Ondo and Osun as one can easily point out divisions between the governors and some APC stalwarts in the states.
In Lagos for example, there are alliances capable of undermining the victory of the party in the forthcoming elections. The governor (Akinwumi Ambode) and Tinubu are on one side, while some party stalwarts like the National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola (also a former governor of the state) are in different camps. The story is not much different in Ondo and Osun states. It was glaring that it was as a result of internal wrangling that made the party to lose the recent senatorial bye-election in Osun State.
The story is the same in the South-East. In Ebonyi State, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu is pitched against some other party chieftains in the state. So it is in Enugu, Imo and Abia states. Similarly, the APC in the South South geo-political zone is not spared of crisis. In fact, the national leadership of APC has just waded into the feud between the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Ameachi and the senator representing Rivers South East senatorial district, Senator Magnus Abe.
In Edo state, there is a cold war between the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie -Oyegun and the former governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The latter and the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki are in the same camp against Oyegun. Up North, the only states which are free of crisis are Sokoto, Katsina, Borno and Kebbi. The party in the other 15 states of the region is battling one crisis or the other.
The states that are worst hit are Kogi, Kano and Kaduna. Describing the APC crisis, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus said: “What we have ruling Nigeria today is a broken party and a broken government. Spiritually APC has already left the villa, what we must fine tune is the physical accomplishment.”
To many, Secondus only stated what is on the public domain that APC as a political is not doing well and that this has affected its administration. For a government in power to do well, the party must do well, analysts argued. The analysts further opined that for a party to do well, there must be discipline, party loyalty, party cohesion and party supremacy.
These many APC members believe are lacking in the party. Former National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Engr. Buba Galadima, who lamented lack of party supremacy in APC said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC ought to have deregistered APC. These defects may have informed the President’s decision to set up a national reconciliation committee.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President, Garba Shehu, which announced the setting up of the committee, read in part: “As part of on-going efforts to improve cohesion within the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts. “The assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation.” But as noble as the President’s decision may be, some party members have faulted it.
Those who queried the decision said it was not under the purview of the President to do that and if he needed to do that it would have been in conjunction with the APC National Working Committee (NWC). For some other persons, the choice of Tinubu is wrong. They reason that the APC national leader is also an aggrieved person and therefore he is not in a position to reconcile the warring factions.
It was further advanced that Tinubu has an ass to grind with some leaders of the party in Ogun, Kogi, Ondo and Oyo states as well with the APC NWC members. Some members of the party, against this backdrop, believe that there is no way his reconciliation would not be tainted with bias. However, for another political school within the party, Tinubu should first reconcile himself with members of the party leadership before he can have the strength and morality to reconcile other aggrieved members and avoid escalating the problems in the APC.
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