By: Jerome-Mario Utomi
An elderly man in a sleepy but egalitarian community was diagnosed ulcer and cancer-related complications which of course, had excruciating pains as its companion. One fateful morning and still on his sick bed, the old man resolved not to continue as the pains were becoming unbearable and just immediately, sent for his children.
On that day, at that time and in the place, the children gathered but helplessly gazed at their father as they could do next to nothing to ameliorate his pains. Suddenly in that milieu, the look on his face changed as he began to beam with smiles. Surprised at this turn of event, the son in excitement screamed Papa is getting better. And the old man smiled the more before responding thus; I am not, but was just savouring the mirrored fight that will ensue when I must have gone. Bewildered at this response, the daughter pressed further; Daddy, so, you envisage disagreement among your children?
The old man again remarked, no, I was only imagining how ulcer and cancer will be locked up in a fight of supremacy in order to ascertain the real hero that is responsible for his death so as to claim his carcass.
The above scenario depicts the rancorous All Progressive Congress (APC). The fight to hijack and domination of the soul of the party were fierce and total unsettling tales of blood characterizing the exercise across the country sickened sane minds.
Like the old man that enjoyed the ecstasy of the visual presentation and pictorial identification of what is to come, Nigerians were in the name of party congress physically presented with what analysts intelligently appropriated as the reenactment of the scramble and partitioning of Africa by the then colonial overlords.
From Ekiti to Rivers state, Adamawa to Delta state and the vast majority of the states of the federation shared but a common denominator; a party fractured into factions with each having parallel congresses.
Considering the caliber of people involved in this exercise that customarily supposed to be an intraparty affair, Nigerians are shell-shocked with the event that unfolded and such feeling has understandably necessitated the question as to if that is what 2019 general elections holds for the nation.
Indeed, the episode which was laced with mixed reactions has come and gone but not without torrents of lessons for the party and the masses with the most radical being that the jostling was not about the people or an effort to end their cries, but was primarily orchestrated by the politicians persistent resolve to consolidating on self-aggrandizement and ostentation associated with the political class. To the gladiators at the Congresses, it was not about service but selfishness and ego.
To an appreciable extent, the Congress as organized has become a pragmatic pointer that nothing afterwards has changed politically but apparently nosedived from bad to worse with critical minds wondering what APC has become after travelling a long windy road to power.
This, in my views, explains why the party and of course its government has been emblazoned by the critical minds as the telling proof that success is a ‘lousy teacher that makes the winner feel that he cannot lose’.
What is even more curious to Nigerians is the Party’s choice of this inglorious part in the face of several knocks its led Federal Government has recently received over not too impressive performance with the former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo 3573 worded letter echoing the same position.
Aside this baffling dust raised by the Congress, APC like other political parties in the past, when viewed from a wider spectrum has by this congress demonstrated their penchant for ignoring political prophecies and non belief in the saying that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ If not, the party should have hitherto designed preemptive strategies that would have nipped this unpalatable incident by the bud.
Regardless of what others may say, personal interest may have prepared the ground for this squabble but definitely was not the only factor that propelled this widespread acrimony across the states of the federation.
From observation, it was evidently glaring that leadership challenge acted as the enabler to the rancour as the party is currently loaded at its head with people that are more interested in leading than obeying; an arrangement that made the party invert pyramided and collapse inevitable.
This situation was further fuelled by the party’s leadership inabilities to expose this conflict that has fractured the party long before the Congress; a challenge that is mirrored in the mechanically manufactured amalgamation of what is today known and addressed as the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the build-up to 2015 general election. If the party’s leadership had attempted having these cracks mended before now, maybe, it could have provided the party with a gateway to a rancour-free congress. But allowing this ‘drama’ come to the open has as consequence brought untold difficulties to the image of the party.
Part of this difficulty looking at what Nigerians are saying is that the APC in the estimation of Nigerians is now reputed as a party that is lacking in internal democracy and their government unable to; accelerate economic growth, social progress, promote peace and stability or stop the generation of disadvantaged graduates among others.
Very instructive also, as the intraparty brawl continues unabated, other political parties are patiently waiting to feed on whatever that is left of the party via the provision of alternative platforms to the aggrieved members.
In the light of the above, it will in my views be politically unwise for the party to ignore these red flags as contrary to speculations, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may become the greatest beneficiary of this impasse.
In the same token, any attempt to view the recent alliance between Obasanjo coalition and the ADC as a paperweight move can only come at a heavy political price. And of course, the people’s will should not be in any way underrated as they have acquired the power that knowledge gives in readiness for the recently 2019 general election.
Catalyzing this fence-mending process, therefore, it’s imperative that the leadership of the All Progressive Congress urgently gets the fears of the masses allayed by finding a set of iron-willed political strategist within that can proffer durable solution; by dealing with the conflict more comfortably with better action logic, and handle members resistant to change.
Jerome-Mario writes via;firstname.lastname@example.org