It is a difficult proposition for me to make and one likely to be interpreted as preposterous by a lot of its members and supporters, but I believe that the All Progressive Congress (APC) is a dead party.
Let the propagandists and lobbyists do or say what they wish, leaders of the party are heading towards sticking the final nail in the coffin of the party. I think they have struck the hammer too hard for any redemption. They cannot help themselves again, even if they agreed to.
To say the truth, it would be hypocritical, at best naïve of any keen observer of Nigerian politics to pretend that this was not an obvious end from the beginning.
The APC was, from the outset, a mere Special Purpose Vehicle set up to defeat Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who had incurred the wrath of Nigerians for (what some perceived and what members of the opposition parties, who later congregated in the APC, told the majority) believed was his non-performance.
Nigerians were too drawn with the emotions of that moment to carry out any reasonable due diligence on the party that promised to change things. Like a heart turned lame by the promises that a new love affair holds, we surrendered our gumptions to political infatuation. And when discerning minds like former CBN Governor, Prof Charles Soludo pointed us towards questions that should agitate our minds, we looked away.
We did not realise that the slogan of change which APC professed meant as many different things as there were stalwarts of that burgeoning party. Events have proved to us that fundamental considerations like properly contextualising the change idea had no pride of place at the formation of the party. The result is that everyone now pursues the concept of change in accordance with his personal understanding ab initio,
So you had those to whom change meant the shift of power from one section of the country to another; we had those to whom change was an opportunity to have a feel of power at the federal level; those who just wanted an opportunity to control the allocation of national resources and appropriate as much of it as possible to themselves and finally, an almost insignificant number who saw change as an opportunity to restructure Nigeria and entrench a system of even distribution of national resources.
So the APC was formed with a cacophony of motives and it has gotten so bad that the left hand of the party has no idea what the right hand is up to. So when the porridge of change was ready for the table, all shapes and sizes of plates were presented by members and confusion began to reign.
Even then, the situation would have been remedied were the President more alert to the responsibilities that he bears as the highest elected person in the party. But he couldn’t be bothered. This President is taciturn and unyielding. When he writes off a people, they remain written off forever. He does not appear to forget or forgive, neither is he gifted with the large heart that leadership demands. He is limited in many respects by his age, exposure and relationships outside his area of birth and residence. And to cap it all, the President seems to think he has all the answers, a reason for which diplomacy does not seem to make much sense to him.
Now, do all of these explain his mismanagement of the issues that has brought the APC to this point? Check the elections of principal officers at the national assembly, the appointment of ministers, the appointment of ambassadors and boards of parastatals and the recently concluded choice of gubernatorial candidate in Ondo State.
Aware of the tension generated by the primary in Ondo State, something which saw the National Leader of the party in the south west, Senator Bola Tinubu call out the party leadership, the President went ahead to declare that the gubernatorial primary was free and fair. A statement that is not only untrue but totally uncalled for.
Even if it were, the level of acrimony that this exercise still generates within the party requires a level of quiet discretion from the President.
Here is what I think, a national leader, especially in this part of the world, has a measure of paternistic clout, especially with people in his party. So when he is not able to resolve disputes amongst them, he should refrain from magnifying the disagreement. But, that is not our President.
This is the kind of behaviour that would make the APC a near impossibility in the 2019 elections. But even if it does appear on the ballot, it would only be a pathetic shadow of the force that unprecedentedly swept a ruling party out of office in 2015. And as the name Buhari was central to the success of the party then, it will most certainly be mentioned when we speak of the party’s other fate, as a liability.