This panic would have been unnecessary if the APC learnt anything from history… The die is cast! With active politicking for 2019 in top gear, it is unclear if the president and his party have what it takes to serve the country now, and check the apprehensions from which the country is suffering so profoundly.


Panic is detrimental to reason. It corrodes it. Over time, panic defeats the notion and basic belief that everything will turn out right, because it never does. Panic is a destroyer of will, it poisons the mind, and creates a distorted version of reality. It forces everything and everyone involved into a terrifying swirl. Like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before it, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a party in panic and at war with itself as 2019 approaches. It learnt nothing from the hubris, missteps, failures and eventual fragmentation of the PDP. It is no secret that the APC is a curious amalgam of patriots, thieves, feudalists, saboteurs, recovering and active looters and even religious and ethnic jingoists, formed for the sole purpose of wrestling power from the PDP at the federal level. Once that goal was achieved, the force of disintegration manifested. Despite the party’s historic achievement of defeating an incumbent, it was unable to recognise the enormity of our expectations and its solemn obligations to long suffering Nigerians. Within weeks, cracks emerged in its ranks, being unable to manage its success, and the executive demonstrated no sincere desire to harmonise conflicting interests, and restore confidence and peace to the party. Those in the party who wear power like body suits formed caucuses which sought power above peace, finesse and equity. After all, those who desire peace, are bound to aid its restoration.

Nothing has contributed more to the present unhappy state of the party and Nigerians, more than those initial destructive missteps. The president helped solidify the impressions, to a very great extent, by his interested aloofness. By some deft conspiracy, the Senate was traded and outrage was left to ordinary Nigerians in a move that was in strict conformity with the purposes and plans of a powerful faction, until it unfolded wrongly. In line with his character, the president surrounded himself with loyalists who are incompetent or people from his circle who contributed nothing to his victory. For nothing in return, he ceded his presidency to a powerful obligate cabal with no sense of accountability nor responsibility. With the security architecture successfully ethnicised, the handling of the herdsmen issue echoed calumny. There was no other natural response from us, other than our belief that the president does not care!

How is it possible to appease the indignant resentment of the alarmed and scouted South-West? The declaration of June 12 as Democracy day, the posthumous national honours to Chief M.K.O Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi are part of the answers. They are calculated remedies to soothe the missteps of the last three years and reclaim lost political ground.


As the death toll rose, it became clearer that the herdsmen issue had become the trigger, politically. Suddenly, the president realised he could loose the 2019 election. The North-Central is looking dicey for the president and his party after the untold neglect of the rampages of the herdsmen, leading to many losses of lives. With the Senate in rebellion, the party is facing the absurd dread of the youth and mushrooming coalitions, whose ascendency is at the bottom of the change the change movement. How is it possible to appease the indignant resentment of the alarmed and scouted South-West? The declaration of June 12 as Democracy day, the posthumous national honours to Chief M.K.O Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi are part of the answers. They are calculated remedies to soothe the missteps of the last three years and reclaim lost political ground. President Buhari, seeing his moral and political currency in decline, plotted that political stunt for political credit. We welcome it, even though it is widely seen and received as a scrupulous concession to the South-West’s interests and apprehensions.

This panic would have been unnecessary if the APC learnt anything from history. The administration is sabotaged from within. The legislature is adversarial to the executive branch. The judiciary gets conflicting signals as the executive plays favourite with rogues; adopting some, while rejecting others. Add to that is the internal partisan rancour that cannot arrest the hollow but fatal terror rampaging the Senate. The die is cast! With active politicking for 2019 in top gear, it is unclear if the president and his party have what it takes to serve the country now, and check the apprehensions from which the country is suffering so profoundly.

Unfortunately, it is going to get worse. As Nigerian, we are being triggered and gaslighted. We must agree on a shared reality to understand our politics and political landscape. We must confront the 2019 elections with shared anxieties and shared hopes.


All said and done, whether he wins in 2019 or not, the legacy of his four years in office will not be remarkable, as we had hoped. Buhari has demystified himself as all hype and little substance. No matter how we view it, President Buhari’s health and politics are the symptoms and cause of our national anxiety. His kind of leadership is the cause of the sensation of being trapped that most Nigerians have been feeling for the past three years. Unfortunately, it is going to get worse. As Nigerian, we are being triggered and gaslighted. We must agree on a shared reality to understand our politics and political landscape. We must confront the 2019 elections with shared anxieties and shared hopes. We must react in 2019, to end alienation, isolation, rejection, and powerlessness.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú a farmer, youth advocate and political analyst writes this weekly column, “Bamidele Upfront” for PREMIUM TIMES. Follow me on Twitter @olufunmilayo

Image credit: Sunday Aghaeze/State House.

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