by Tope Atiba
‘I heard the old old men say all that is beautiful drifts away like the waters.’
– William Butler Yeats
I am one of the many people that were excited by the potential and eventual amalgamation of the major opposition parties to crystallise the All Progressives Congress (APC). Nothing could have been more brilliant at a time when obviously the ruling PDP had gotten too comfortable in its incompetence without a formidable challenger of near equal numerical strength and national spread.
For the newly formed APC, the mandate I believe was clear or ought to have been clear, which in my opinion remains to create for the people a popularly accepted alternative political choice, with a well-structured foundation guaranteeing internal democracy, opportunity for the best man for any elective office to emerge and entrenching the international best practices in party politics without prejudice to its membership or ‘wooed’ members.
Competition is vital in politics, competition is key, competition inspires development and creativity. In politics, it inspires political office holders to outdo themselves in order to remain relevant, however this sort of competition can only be sustained and infact spurred by a healthy alternative which for us was and could still be the APC.
In the past few months, that optimism seems to have been demystified owning to the realities of the fact that the APC still appears not to have gotten its act together in the aspect of internal democracy re: state congresses and national convention.
Furthermore, the result of the Ekiti general election is even more instructive and the APC ought to have learnt that there is no such thing as a blanket permutation. The days of thinking that the ‘APC’ will sweep the South West are over. The truth is Ekiti without prejudice to pending litigation is gone, Osun is 60:40, the Odds for PDP in Lagos as well as Kano are fair depending on who they field as their gubernatorial candidates at the elections.
The mandate for the APC has not changed and there is no love lost literally, the APC only needs to realise that between now and the next Valentine’s day, they cannot afford to play it as selection as usual or business as usual, the APC needs to play a better game at perception, shed the elitist toga and strategically appeal to the ‘grassroot’ majority without necessarily appearing desperate like the “corn eater of Osun state” or shedding its progressive mien, the APC via Lai Mohamed has to raise the discourse and own it not react everytime Goodluck Jonathan takes himself to the cleaners. Afterall GEJ seems to be getting his political arrangement right at the moment.
The APC remains the vehicle for driving that competition in the Nigerian political sphere. Its potency now lies in the hands of the party rank and file. Whether or not it will be the most coveted maiden in the bevy on Valentine’s Day next year or whether its ‘beauty’ will drift away like the waters remains largely a matter of time and it will tell.
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