APC And The Challenge Ahead

As the fragile wave of optimism gradually gives way to political realism, the henchmen of the main opposition must be engrossed in the enervating task of salvaging their party’s political fortune. Renowned as the solution to PDP’s unbecoming excesses, the alliance of strange bed fellows were believed to be the answer to all our political anomalies. However, as they might have found out, it will take some beating to finally dislodge Africa’s so-called largest party, PDP.
It was a sheer political statement in Ekiti state when Ayo Fayose displaced the APC’s incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi. Interestingly, it is apt to know that Fayemi was acknowledged to have had a sterling first stint in office. A lot of commentary have been made on why the debacle for APC in Ekiti. Some are of the view that the governor’s paramount undoing was his inability to establish a pulse with the grassroot, while others maintain that PDP’s politics of ‘bag of rice’ was a masterstroke. Whatever the deductions are, it is instructive that the incumbent was quick to congratulate Ayo Fayose in the wake of his victory. That APC has lost a part of the region where they were solely undisputed should give sleepless night to Tinubu, Akande et al. As if the misery was not enough, the impeachment of Murtala Nyarko of Adamawa state as governor is another shocker for the APC. The storm surrounding governors Kashim Shettima (Borno) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nassarwa) could end up sending the political fortunes of the party to Siberia.
The foregoing events beg the question: Is APC ready for the daunting tasks ahead? Perhaps, it goes without saying that while many of the aforementioned misfortunes of the APC might have been self-inflicted, one must say that the undue advantage that the PDP enjoys as the incumbent is a great factor. Sad to note, our political space is set up in such a way the incumbent (And incumbent here primarily refers to the government at the centre) enjoys a special privilege over the opposition. Somehow, the structure of the state is tilted to make the incumbent all powerful. Having said that, the APC must take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves ‘what went wrong’? Without mincing words, it is obvious that the APC is bereft of a clear vision as a party. In the minds of many Nigerians, their blueprint of change rides on the checkered image of the PDP. In other words, they merely come across as an alternative to the PDP. To their credit, the PDP is in no pretense form that they are who they are. Having been in power since the watershed of 1999, we have all seen the many sides of the reckless party. However, same cannot be said of the APC. A chalk of Nigerians is still unsure of what they are about, and one must remember that a good number of the party members are ex-PDP stalwarts who had jumped ship fundamentally for personal interests. Suffice it to say, many Nigerians are still uncomfortable with some of the gladiators in the APC camp. The faces of some of the kingpins are familiar and inevitably associated with everything that is wrong in our political life.
The general perception that PDP is synonymous with electoral malpractices, political jingoism and financial shenanigans might not be far from the truth. The problem, however, is to disassociate the APC entirely of all these sins. If the facts from some of the primary elections that have been held within the APC states are anything to go by, then it becomes worrisome to many Nigerians if truly APC is the change we demand. In addition, the progressive credentials of the APC have been in serious doubts of recent. It must be stated that the misdemeanor of our local governments, the obscene image of our legislature and the political recklessness of many politicians have not vindicated the APC. Thus, APC lawmakers, governors and Local government chairmen have also displaced all the ills associated with their PDP counterparts. The charade between APC and PDP lawmakers in Edo and Rivers states have shown that greed, desperation and personal interests remain the guiding motivation of our politicians, irrespective of their party allegiance. It is both sickening and terribly sad that the expectations of many Nigerians have been etched in nothingness or low at best. Hence, it is now cliché to hear ‘Oh that governor is the best in the world; see the roads and schools he built’. When did providing the very basic things of life which is government’s fundamental role become synonymous to excellent governance? No thanks to fourteen years of sheer political rudderless and failure as entrenched by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Now, the trouble with the APC as Rudolf Okonkwo noted, ‘Is that they are pretending to be the brightest crayon in the box, but we can see from afar that they are not.’
Having said that, APC’s recent failings should not tempt the PDP to start chanting uhuru. History suggests that nothing is ever cast in stone as long as politics is concerned. As for the APC, the times provide a platform for them to either restrategize and answer some salient questions on the road ahead or this will be the beginning of an end, as predicted by the PDP disciples. The outcomes of the events in Nassarawa, Borno and the impending elections in Osun state will further confirm if the APC is here to stay or we have been sold a dummy all the while.


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