APC, its many crises and pull on governance

APC, its many crises and pull on governance

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The events that have trailed the All Progressives Congress since it took over power from the Peoples Democratic Party in May 2015 paint the picture of a party that sought power, but was unprepared for leadership and provision of good governance.
Sixteen months into its 48-month tenure, the party has yet to fulfil any of the promises it made to the electorate in the run up to the 2015 presidential election.
With the economy now in recession, the situation has gone from bad to worse, as prices of basic essential commodities have skyrocketed beyond the reach of the common man.
Signs of APC’s unpreparedness for governance began to show early with the party becoming enmeshed in one internal crisis after the other, from the National Assembly leadership crisis, which nearly tore the party to shreds, to the crisis generated by what Nigerians have come to refer to as ‘lopsided appointments’ by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the perceived division along the tripods that made up the party in the first instance.
At the moment, the party is currently undergoing another crisis, which came off the gubernatorial primary election held in Ondo State. This has resulted in a call by APC’s National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to resign for over-ruling the appeal panel, which recommended the conduct of a new primary election in Ondo.
To discerning political analysts, things fell apart for the ruling party from the beginning when it could not manage its victory and harmonise the election of the leadership of the National Assembly, a development that gave the office of the Deputy Senate President to Ike Ekweremadu, an opposition senator from the PDP. This was the fallout of the decision of the major contending forces in the APC to impose particular candidates of their choices for the various major offices in the legislative arm of government.
The party had since been wobbling, relegating the act of governance to the background, as it continues to grapple, in a seemingly clueless manner, with the enormity of problems confronting the nation. And in all of these, the masses have been the worst hit, even when some would argue, maybe rightly, that the APC did not create the problems in the first instance.
The present crisis tearing the party apart arose from efforts to strategise for 2019, while the party has yet to discharge its responsibility to the electorate in its first tenure.
In the Ondo APC gubernatorial primaries, where it was alleged that Tinubu supported an aspirant, Segun Abraham, the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2012 Ondo gubernatorial election, Rotimi Akeredolu emerged winner, against all odds.
A former president of the Nigerian Bar Association was alleged to have been sponsored by the duo of Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, preparatory to their touted 2019 ambition to run as president and vice president respectively. They were alleged to have spent N700 million to ensure victory for their candidate, Akeredolu in the election. untitled
This was done in their bid to make inroad to the South-West and under-cut the perceived influence of Tinubu in South- West politics.
In the aftermath, other aspirants, including Abraham, Olusola Oke, and Senator Robert Boroffice, among others, kicked against the result. Meanwhile, it was on record that Akeredolu, the eventual winner, had petitioned the APC national leadership on the conduct of the election, claiming that foreign names were imported into the delegates list.
An appeal panel was set up by the APC leadership to look into all the petitions and the panel recommended that a fresh primary be conducted. But surprisingly, the National Chairman of the party over-ruled the appeal committee and affirmed Akeredolu as the party’s candidate for the November gubernatorial election.
Herein lays the bone of contention between Tinubu and Odigie-Oyegun. Recall that Odigie-Oyegun was installed National Chairman by Tinubu against all protestations in the party’s national convention in 2014. But the romance seems over now.
Expressing his grouse, Tinubu said, “Odigie- Oyegun had breached the trust of the APC and is no longer fit to direct its affairs. The APC, a party born of the quest for democratic good governance, is under critical threat by those who managed to be in the party but never of it. From the party’s inception, the principles of democratic fairness and justice were to guide APC internal deliberations.
“If the party could not justly govern itself, it would find it difficult to establish and maintain just government throughout the nation.”
But can anyone give what he or she does not possess? If as the ruling party, the APC cannot manage its internal affairs well, how then will it be able to manage the affairs of the nation and steer the ship of state to a safe haven?
Already, the persistent crises in the ruling party are impacting negatively on the general wellbeing of the Nigerian populace. Yet, the President seems not to be bothered, even as his kitchen cabinet seems to prod him in that direction.
One would have expected the President, who said on his inauguration that he belonged to nobody and to everybody, to have instilled some discipline in the party and whipped every member into line as the overall leader of the party.
An analyst said of the crisis, “A leader ought to be decisive. Tardiness in terms of decision making is not different from indecision. Beyond his ‘war’ against corruption, time-wasting in decision-making should not become a habit for him.”
The same scenario has played out in the serial policy inconsistencies of the current APC administration.
It is high time the ruling party put its house in order and got back to the business of governance. To be sure, the expectations of Nigerians are high. And should APC continue on this track, its future as a ruling party may not only be bleak, the party may not survive till 2019.

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