APC Crises: Turning Tables?, By Olalekan Waheed Adigun
There is disquiet in the once-peaceful house of the All Progressives Congress (APC). To put it in another way, all does not appear to be well. After the March 28 presidential election, most people only imagined “doom” for the party’s bitter rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after it lost the presidential election. The APC strategists must have thought that with the presidency in the bag, all will be well, after all. But this was never to be. Can it be the case that the tables are turning fast?
I have written severally on the need for the party to review its post presidential election strategies and attitudes. Like I have always maintained, it appears the party overestimated its position against the PDP. Another possibility is that some APC “optimists” might have felt the PDP would give up completely just because they lost the presidential election. But if recent events are anything to go by, it appears to me that the tables are turning fast against the APC, except things are done urgently.
Even the most optimistic party supporter will acknowledge the existence of “irreconcilable” differences within the APC today. There were early warnings which the party strategists, for reasons best known to them, simply chose to ignore. The only logical explanation is that beyond winning the 2015 presidential elections (defeating the PDP), a number of factions or “trends” within the party had no other ambition, hence this post-presidential election crisis.
Bad enough, more than a month after President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in, Nigerians are still left in the realms of speculations over the administration’s cabinet selection, ideological orientation and policy direction. To me, this only confirms the observation of those who say the party was not really prepared for the Presidency. With the recent events and crises in the National Assembly, it is obvious that the APC government is yet to properly form after a month of its advent into power at various levels of government. In parenthesis, it was reported in national newspapers in the heat of the presidential campaign that the party had given up winning the election, and has decided to mortgage the presidency for winning the gubernatorial elections in some states.
The warnings of the escalation of crises within the APC have gone largely unheeded. They only expressed in the recent National Assembly crises. This does not mean the PDP doesn’t have its own set(s) of internal contradictions; the only difference is that the latter was able to properly diagnose its problems and root them out ruthlessly, while the former pretended all was well. Can we now see how the tables turn?
Immediately after the presidential election, there was loud noise in the former ruling party over its loss of power. Suddenly “factions” arose with regard to who was to blame for the party’s loss. The situation calmed down with the “removal” or “resignation” of the party’s erstwhile National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mua’azu. At least for now, there appears to be a boost of morale for the PDP, following its ‘control’ of the National Assembly, with which it could use as a protective shield for itself in the next four years. All these the PDP did, while APC strategists were on holidays enjoying their honeymoon.
One should be surprised the APC strategists could not see or pre-empt the present crises with a view to preventing this mess. One would equally have doubted the party’s foresight for thinking the well-known PDP would just give up a fight after losing in the first round. If the party did not see the fact that the PDP infiltrated its ranks before the elections, then one is left to wonder if they did any proper diagnosis of the PDP at all. If the APC missed out on all these, then my unsolicited advice is that the party leaders should get into the market to shop for strategists.
Some things can be very painful. It can be more painful when you are bitten in your own devices, your own game. Just some four years ago, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), one of the merging parties in the present APC, openly celebrated the victory of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives, which the PDP had to live with for four years. For those who know, the APC’s position was strengthened by the PDP’s loss of that position. The APC has every right to kick, to weep, to make loud noise or to scream because the tables are turning and fast!
I will not end this piece without the mention of the chorus in the beautiful lines from the British song writer, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins’ (better known as Adele) song “Turning Tables” which goes thus:
I won’t let you close enough to hurt me, no
I won’t ask you, you to just desert me
I can’t give you what you think you gave me
It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables, to turning tables
Turning tables, yeah, turning
So, whoever must turn the table must always be in the position of strength. If the APC must take any advice I gave or have given, it must be this one.