By Chioma Gabriel
The All Progressives Congress seems to be having an owambe party all over Nigeria; from the North to the South and is getting all the media attention required. The party also appears to be mocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and celebrating the implosion of the ruling party.
But somehow, there is always this nagging feeling that just like the PDP, the APC is also an accident waiting to happen. The opposition party seems to be disappointing in many fronts and some nagging questions are beginning to come to mind.
If PDP is such a bad party and APC has the right answer, why won’t it leave PDP alone and do it’s own thing? Why is APC looking for the living in the land of the dead? What is responsible for this frantic efforts to lure aggrieved PDP members into APC? Is APC hoping the best people to run for elections still belong to the corrupt and ‘dead’ PDP? Would champions of corruption rebuild Nigeria? A dog should not go back to it’s own vomit. So why would opposition be looking for ‘corrupt and incredible’ PDP members to fill up their numbers?!
The last time I checked, APC leaders were begging Gov Rotimi Amaechi to join their party. This is not a surprise though as Amaechi inadvertently became a leader of opposition from the South-South against his will. Well, that leadership was bestowed on him by circumstances even though he still needs to consult with his people and ‘brother’ Jonathan before deciding to join APC.
But what is really baffling is the fact that opposition is contradicting itself. How can it be courting the friendship of members of a party it considered so bad? The way I see things, APC will implode in the nearest future considering the way things are going.
Come to think of it, will the G-7 governors, majority of whom are former President Obasanjo’s men, go contrary to the way of their master? Or is OBJ using them to let certain things sink in the psyche of the powers that be?
Before the APC leaders visited Port-Harcourt, there was the burial of Dame Patience Jonathan’s foster mother and Amaechi was there! Before the burial, Gov Amaechi reportedly flew in the same helicopter with President Jonathan and Bayelsa governor and I imagined, would the three of them just have sat in the same helicopter without talking or discussing their political differences? What transpired between them? Is it not possible that a form of reconciliation was initiated during the flight? Could it be the beginning of the end of the lingering crisis in the PDP?
Obviously, the ongoing feud between the PDP and the seven ‘rebel’ governors loyal to Baraje must have been part of their discussion.
Or why else would Amaechi tell APC leaders that he would consult widely, including with Mr President if a kind of reconciliation was not discussed ab initio? Wouldn’t the secret meeting have been an avenue for Jonathan and Amaechi to talk over their differences and find a possible solution to the crisis that has divided the political class in Rivers State and Nigeria in general?
Did APC imagine that Amaechi would just have accepted to join the opposition just like that?
Before the visit to Amaechi, the APC leaders visited Gov Nyako of Adamawa. General Buhari told Nigerians after the visit that G-7 governors have unofficially joined APC! Buhari said the G-7 governors had accepted the party’s invitation to join it. “We now have the G-7 governors in our fold, our tour is yielding positive result for the party,” Buhari said.
What is really baffling is why the leaders of a party formed to save the masses from PDP bondage would be junketing all over the federation trying to win over members of the same party that has held Nigeria in bondage? And to imagine Nyako saying afterward that he is still in PDP is another thing.
Will he ever dump PDP?
Going back to history, Nigerians were once upon a time swayed by the politicking going on in Adamawa between Murtala Nyako and Muhammed Buba Marwa, a top notcher of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and now merged into APC.
Governor Murtala Nyako has had brushes with some top politicians within the Adamawa political landscape.
Would Nyako who was into rivalry with General Buba Marwa want to belong in the same party with Marwa? How will the APC leaders reconcile the interests of this former governorship candidate of the defunct CPC, Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) with Nyako’s? General Buba Marwa is allegedly leading the campaign against Governor Nyako’s bid to join APC. Yet, he was at the airport to welcome APC leaders!
In Sokoto State, one is not sure how APC would fare as the former Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, rejected any possibility of the party structure being handed over to Governor Aliyu Wamakko?
One doesn’t need to dig deeper to realise that the succession game in Adamawa in the forthcoming elections is the root of the face-off between Nyako and the PDP.
How far will APC leaders go? Do they really think these aggrieved PDP Governors would eventually join APC or are they just on a merry-go-round across the federation?
Everywhere they went, the pattern of the response of the G-7 governors was ultimately the same. ‘We will consult!’ And nobody ever hears anything from them!
Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State spoke his mind. He would remain in PDP despite the party’s internal crisis.
But would it be possible for G7 governors to convince their supporters to embrace APC? There have been reports that some members of the faction in the Senate and the House of Representatives are prepared to let by-gone be by-gone and reintegrate themselves into the mainstream PDP because their 2015 can only be achieved if they remain with the PDP rather than joining a new political platform.
Would Shekarau of APC be able to work in tandem with his political rival, Kwankwaso, in Kano State? Governor Ibrahim Shekarau had reportedly rejected Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso’s bid to join the APC and described them as rebels and trouble makers. If APC succeeds in Kwara,where will that leave the governor’s godfather, former Gov Saraki?
Will he still have the control of the party in Kwara?
It is not hidden that apart from the G-7 governors, the APC is also targeting to have the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal into their fold and even aspiring to have him as their presidential candidate in the forthcoming election! If this is true, my question is, will the APC, which before now had painted PDP and its members in black, not be painting itself black by allowing leading members of the same “dirty PDP” to join them?
The way things are going, these desperate moves by APC to lure the aggrieved PDP top notchers into its fold may spell doom for the opposition party. In the same vein, I don’t see any of these governors joining the APC.
The clock ticks for Anambra
Exactly a week from today, gladiators from various political parties in Anambra state will be voted for and against to decide who will take over after Peter Obi’s exit in March 2014. I have never seen a state with so much political mudslinging like Anambra. Shouldn’t electioneering campaigns be about convincing the electorate why they should vote for a particular candidate? But the case of Anambra is something else. Every candidate wants to out mudsling the other and it’s really scary! Everything at a candidate’s disposal is used as a weapon of blackmail and newspapers are aghast with the manner of materials being sent for publication.
The one nagging allegation is the perceived shoddy manner of the election body in registering voters, compiling, maintaining, revising and updating voters register on continuous basis.
A group had claimed that some voters didn’t know when, how, and where INEC conducted its continuous voters registration and revalidation exercise as ordered by Section 9(1) and 10(1) of the Nigeria’s Electoral act of 2010.
The number of polling centers and registered voters which are given as 4, 608 and 1,711,061 respectively could not allegedly be verified .
It was also alleged that a total of 300,685 names were altered from the list of voters while the 93,000 double registrants alleged to be in the state’s voters’ register could not be ascertained.
As if that wasn’t enough, further allegation claimed that stringent conditions were imposed on those that lost their voters cards and those that relocated from their previous residences. These had to fill certain forms, get police extracts, or court affidavits before re-registration. Was their re-registration process successful?
INEC at one time allegedly announced that 53 polling centers were missing in the voters register which included 34 in Awka South LGA; one in Ayamelum LGA; two in Anambra East LGA; two in Ihiala LGA; one in Idemmili North LGA; four in Nnewi South LGA and five in Nnewi North LGA. Have these missing centres been replaced?
It would be shocking for these allegations to crop up without getting due attention. Why should the electoral body not be able to secure its data with effective anti-virus or back-up devices which are available and affordable at open markets? Were the causes of these lapses investigated? Did the end exercise really capture as many eligible voters as ordered by the Constitution and the Electoral Act at the end of the day?
November 16 is only a week away and the people are praying and waiting for a miracle of fair and free election. Will this miracle happen?
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Chioma Gabriel/Vanguard