timi-frank

If things continue this way, the ruling APC is set on self-destruction which will become manifest in 2019. Perhaps, some day the story of how a party that supplanted PDP’s 16-year rule in an election that was akin to an uprising/revolution could only survive for four years.


The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has dropped all pretences and is now true to itself—a typical Nigerian political party that makes campaign promises without the slightest intention to fulfill them; a party that brooks no criticisms and without internal crisis management mechanism; a party that uses and dumps; and a party that dispenses with ‘erring’ members at will. Can you spot the dying PDP in the mix? What do you expect anyway? At PDP’s Olympian height, it was like the APC of today. A former scribe and chieftain of the party, once told me in an interview that the party can dispense with any member. It was in the wake of the party’s revalidation exercise in 2006 or thereabouts. “Why do you go to the treadmill other than to shed weight” in reference to the party’s attempt then to weed out people, aimed mainly at then Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was engaged in a bitter rivalry with his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo.

That the APC is repeating that history is not a surprise. After all, almost all the key members of the APC were once PDP stalwarts. There is no ideological and marked difference in manifestoes between the two. So, when the APC suspended its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank, it became clear to even the undiscerning that APC’s change mantra is but a fluke. Frank was accused of making disparaging (criticisms) remarks about the party and its chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, in the media. Suddenly, the APC is now averse to ‘criticisms’ and the ‘media’. Frank was already a critic, a public affairs analyst and a newspaper columnist, and these served a purpose for the APC during the run up to the 2015 election. As a person from the same South-South zone with the then President Goodluck Jonathan, he was a torn in the flesh of the government. It was a critical moment when almost the whole South-South capitulated and gave their son-president their unalloyed support; a time only a few courageous men from that zone could speak truth to power. Frank did all that at great risks to his life, without security apparatus around him like the Rotimi Amaechis.

His courage and fearless disposition, which endeared him to the then opposition party, is now his albatross. Does the APC expect Frank to change his persona? What stopped the party from making him a substantive national publicity secretary after the appointment of Lai Muhammed as minister? When did it become an offence to use/talk to the media? Is it not this same media that Frank utilised to the advantage and advancement of the APC in their halcyon days?

It is this kind of unfavourable business climate that makes importation of finished goods a lot easier and local production extremely difficult. It is the root cause of unemployment and death of almost all industries in Nigeria. It is what the APC government promised to reverse only for them to plunge the nation’s economy into an abysmal pit.


The story of Erisco Foods Limited, an indigenous tomato paste manufacturing company as told by its chairman, Chief Eric Umeofia, is a sad one. The company closed shop and wound up its Katsina plant. Erisco invested heavily and spent over N4 billion to buy dry and fresh tomatoes from local farmers, as raw material for tomato paste. However, after spending over N100 million to establish the Katsina plant, waiting for up to a year for forex to import machines, and not getting this, he took the decision to relocate the factory to China. About 1,500 people have also lost their jobs in the process, thereby swelling the already saturated labour market. Surprisingly, ever since this revelation came to light, no whimper has been heard from the government; a government that supposedly makes agriculture, food sufficiency, diversification of the economy and job creation its cardinal goals. Tomatoes waste away seasonally in the North, while farmers’ labour and money go down the drain.
We have lamented the lack of processing plants and wastage over the years, yet when one finally came to the heart of the North in Katsina, unfavourable government policy and politics made it impossible for what would have been the first tomato processing company in the North to kick off. This is an idea that could have been replicated in all the states of the North, but everyone has bought into the conspiracy of silence that will soon boomerang.

It is this kind of unfavourable business climate that makes importation of finished goods a lot easier and local production extremely difficult. It is the root cause of unemployment and death of almost all industries in Nigeria. It is what the APC government promised to reverse only for them to plunge the nation’s economy into an abysmal pit.

Last week, a businessman and politician from Niger State told me the story of how a US-based businessman transferred money to his brother to pay staff of a local industry he owns. The EFCC swooped into action, arrested and held onto the money. The man took the next flight home, harassed the EFCC and got his money back. He closed the company and laid off the staff. It’s alarming how the economic policies of this government are killing the patriotic drive of Diaspora Nigeria.

If things continue this way, the ruling APC is set on self-destruction which will become manifest in 2019. Perhaps, some day the story of how a party that supplanted PDP’s 16-year rule in an election that was akin to an uprising/revolution could only survive for four years.

zainabsule@yahoo.com, www.zainabokino.blogspot.com