Remember the war over acronym between African Peoples Congress and All Progressives Congress? Remember how some politicians approached INEC to register another political party called African Peoples Congress, APC? I thought that was the beginning of the end of the All Progressives Congress. But the African Peoples Congress didn’t have the Lion of Bourdillon leading its charge, so it lost.
After winning the acronym war, APC was faced with another battle of selecting interim executives, with the merging political parties (Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party, the Congress for Progressive Change, and a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance) insisting on holding the “juicy” leadership positions.
Again, the party successfully weathered the storm. A third war soon broke out when some erstwhile leaders of the parties felt they were short-changed as the APC eventually decided to hold its first national convention to elect party executives, with Tom Ikimi, who was one of the forerunners of the merger plan schemed out of becoming the party’s first elected national chairman. Nasir El Rufai, who made it clear that he wanted the position of the national secretary of the party was also shortchanged by the party. Another formidable member of the party, Ismail Ahmed was also schemed out. Again, the Lion of Bourdillon intervened and ensured that the battle within was dealt with. Now the APC and the Lion of Bourdillon have been called to what is being considered in many ranks as the mother of all battles, the Armageddon. The Lion of Bourdillon has been pitched against the tiger of Ilorin. It is said that when two lions are fighting, it is the forest that suffers. Is this the “Change” Nigeria needs at this time?
As a political party, doesn’t APC have a constitution? What does the constitution say about party disloyalty and insubordination? The impression some of us have is that all principal officers of APC would be people without any taint of corruption or scandal surrounding them. In line with change and zero tolerance for corruption manifesto, however, Saraki doesn’t seem to buy into the ideas of the party and has decided to form alliances with opposition parties and got elected as senate president. How does one define anti-party actions?
If the number three citizen of the country is disloyal to his party’s wishes and the party fails to take disciplinary action, doesn’t that spell weakness? If strength of character is the primary ingredient we need to turn the fortunes of this country around, then it raises question whether the party leader, President Buhari and the APC can really steer us on the right path. As a political party, APC has too many lions from different parties in its den and as a result stands the risk of having these lions enforce their personal agenda over party interest.
Saraki’s fervent ambition which can be seen as a form of desperation could have been dealt with immediately if APC is serious in curbing future insubordination within the ranks of the party. Could it be that Saraki sees the senate presidency as a necessary step towards achieving his ultimate ambition of becoming the president of Nigeria in 2019, seeing as we have been made to believe, that president Buhari will only be a one term president? With all this, should he still be allowed to use the same party machinery to fulfil that ambition?
Won’t it be safe to assume that Senator Saraki has set a precedent for his defection back to the PDP? After all, former Vice President Atiku defected from the PDP twice. How do you punish a soldier that has handed power back to the enemy or opposition? What kind of message do you send to other members of the party with this? I don’t see a way out here that won’t end up in the expulsion of Senator Saraki from the APC, because the bad blood has been set and damage already done. Sometimes, failing to take disciplinary action can be worse than taking a drastic action. Won’t it be better for APC to expel him now and save itself from future embarrassment?
It is becoming clear as the days go by that the only thing that united APC as a political party was the battle against Goodluck Jonathan. And if this son of Otuoke has placed a curse on APC, then this is only the beginning.