Let me use this unique opportunity to wish Nigerians happy Easter as they collectively celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Let me also state that this period should offer us an opportunity for sober reflection of our deeds here on earth and the sacrifices we make to add value to our collective wellbeing.
Celebrations of the heroic accomplishments of Jesus Christ should not be about wearing new clothes and eating plenty of rice; it should be about imbibing the moral lessons of such accomplishment and breakthrough. Jesus Christ was selfless, priceless and special in many ways. He suffered for humanity in order to bridge the gap between man and God.
The political reality in Nigeria today is one that disconnects the governors from the governed. There are too many issues contesting for space and attention. We talk about arrest and detention of corrupt persons; we pre-occupy ourselves with discussion about performance and non-performance.
We talk about restructuring of the Nigerian nation. In the South-East, you hear talks about marginalization and under representation, and also Biafra. In the South-South, you hear environmental degradation and resource control. In the South-West, it is all about Afenifere and Oduduwa Republic. In the North-West, you hear about economic rejuvenation and development.
In the North-East, it’s about reconstruction and reparations in the aftermath of Boko Haram unholy activities. In the North- Central, it’s about Fulani herdsmen and ransacking of villages. All these discussions point to one direction: there is no country. What we have is a conglomeration of many nationstates each fighting for space and recognition.
The ruling political party which ought to provide the compass to navigate the landscape, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is presently shirking in its responsibility.
The president who ought to assume the leadership of both the party and the country is not strong enough to reach out to all the disparate groupings for a robust interaction that could yield ground for him.
The APC leadership appears too taciturn, taking its unwilling steps with staccato rhythms as if it is still in opposition. The organs of the party, the National Working Committee [NWC], the National Executive Committee [NEC] and the Board of Trustees [BoT] have not shown any manifest representation and presence in the scheme of things.
In the last two years, I haven’t heard of any meeting of members of the Board of Trustees nor have we witnessed any meeting of the National Executive Committee. Typical of any political party that entered into a merger of some sorts, you have different group interests competing for superiority. Within the groups, we also have individuals competing for control.
There is no clear-cut synergy between and amongst all the different groups and organs of the party; and the different arms of government. You hear talks about the President treating former members of Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] preferentially. You hear talks about Saraki Group, Tinubu Group, Oyegun Group and of course, Buhari Group. In such struggle for hegemonic control, the party suffers and Nigerians too suffer.
Why, for example, does the president find it difficult to call meetings of party chieftains to discuss issues of national importance before they are churned out for public consumption? What has held back the Board of Trustees, such an important body made up of elderly party chieftains, from holding meetings and playing its advisory role at the point of need?
What is holding back the NEC of the party from meeting to review issues and take decisions that would be binding on party members? Why? Why? Why? The cacophony of voices oozing out from the legislative arm markedly underscores this lack of synergy and absence of party supremacy in our current political dispensation. The Senate, dominated by APC Senators, has become an opposition unto itself.
Apart from reaping from PDP comedy of errors, nothing suggests that APC is the ruling party in the Senate. Even when it becomes important for the party hierarchy to intervene on matters of national importance, the absence of functional hierarchy denies the public such essential role.
While some party chieftains are looking backward, some are looking forward while others are just fixated, looking helplessly benumbed by what has become the fate of a party that offered so much promise.
While some are trying to fathom out what could have been the reason for this present disconnect, others are already looking forward to 2019, driven by ambition, to see how the politics will play out.
Yet, some are rotating on the same axis, lost in the wilderness and trying hard to see which political permutation fits the bill. And because PMB appears unwilling to play party politics, it has become a fertile ground for all manners of politicking. I am still trying to understand where the APC lost its political fibre; how it has suddenly become an opposition unto itself with crass indiscipline and political trickeries becoming the order of the day. A ruling party that is worth its calling should know where to dot its “i” and cross its “t”.
It must know when to create a robust platform for cross-pollination of ideas in the interest of the party. Once the supremacy of the party is called to question, it becomes a matter of struggle in lunatic asylum; often unruly, free-for-all contestations, ego bursting, horse-trading and a typically galling crowd.
The APC rather than offering the ultimate elixir to PDP’s macabre dance, appears cloistered in its own incoherent monologues and uncoordinated dance steps. The party must wake up from its slumbering rhythms to offer Nigerians thoughts for food.
Where is the voice of the APC? Where is its moral authority? Where is the discipline in the party? Where are the platforms for engagements and constructive bargaining? Where is the symbiotic relationship amongst its different organs on the one hand and the arms of government on the other hand? Where is dialogue in all of these? Where is the effective communication that gave birth to this APC victory?
Where are the individuals and party chieftains who toiled from the dawn of the day to the setting of the sun to make this victory possible? Where are they? The APC seriously needs an overhaul to strengthen its organs, structures and personnel at different levels. A visit to the party headquarters presents an unsavoury outlook of what a ruling party should look like.
The other day, news abounds about staff of the headquarters being owed salaries. It doesn’t portray healthy image of a ruling party that offers hope for the generality of Nigerians.
The APC must call a stakeholders’ meeting, retool its strategies, speak home truth to herself, and be prepared to offer plausible leadership to Nigerians. The fact that PDP is presently engrossed in a make or break political battle is not an excuse for complacency. In fact, it should be the very reason why APC should put its house in order.
In the interest of one Nigeria, the APC leadership must define its locus and provoke initiatives that would help create a political harmony amongst her several chieftains and power blocs.
President Buhari must resume his role as the leader of the party. His present silence is becoming somewhat unproductive for proper politicking and healthy debate to flourish. If the APC must realise its full potentials, it must interrogate itself and speak the gospel truth to all the power blocs. Buhari should take the first shot, while others follow.