by Godwin Etakibueb
The slogan of CHANGE was the magical tonic the All Progressive Congress [APC] brought into the arena of the Nigerian political dance floor immediately the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] qualified the association as a political party, albeit a mega one for that matter. And it worked in uniting the people for some reasons.
After 16 years of PDP [People Democratic Party] in the saddle of running affairs of Nigeria and Nigerians, people became fed-up with the status quo ante in what they were going through and they saw the language of ‘change‘ as a most welcomed alternative. The Nigerian people equally believed that the name of General Muhammadu Buhari; which has been an acorn in the market place of integrity, would actually produce the change from bad to good. In addition, the people saw the inability of Goodluck Jonathan [then president] to deal with perceived and real thieves in Nigeria as another major reason of embracing the introduced slogan of APC – CHANGE.
There were more reasons why the slogan [change] became a uniting factor for a country in search of societal sanity of course. At the end, change came when Nigerians went to the poll during the April general election. By May 29th 2015, the change the people demanded for was inaugurated when Muhammadu Buhari became the President. The “change” the people wanted desperately was thus anchored. But here we are, a few days of establishing the most desired “change”, the Nigerian people are back on the ‘road’ with the question of “where is the change?”
The real change expected to affect the lives of the people positively seems to be elusive because what we see, at least for now, is a situation where the “vehicle of the change” itself; the APC, is undergoing a serious metamorphosis. Yes, the APC is dancing seriously on the floor of confusion and the music it is dancing to, can be likened to that serious sickness doctors call ‘auto-immune deficiency’.
Auto-immune deficiency is defined by medical journals as “a state when one organ of the body rises in battle against another organ, seeing each other as enemy, until one destroys the other before picking on another organ for the same destructive battle”. Or in a layman’s language of the dictionary; “autoimmune [of disease] caused by antibodies or lymphocytes produced by the body to counteract substances naturally present in it”. Auto-immune deficiency is a dreaded disease that causes failure of most body organs like kidneys and other essential major parts of the body that ought to sustain life in the first place. It results into vitiligo that deforms the body on the surface and the greatest fear about this disease in the medical world is the fact that there is no cure for it, at least for now. The medicals would explain to you in confidence that cancer is even understood better in their world than auto-immune deficiency.
This is the exact “sickness” APC is suffering from now and unfortunately; Nigerians are expecting good change that is capable of making life comfortable from this same APC with this deadly and incurable disease. Let us identify some of the “organic self-destruct” in the journey of APC so far, that will convince us that the party cannot bring any good thing to the people in their expected “Jerusalem”. At its first outing at the National Assembly, it was a show of self-inflicted mortal injuries that may never heal within these first four years as the “warring Generals” that went to that ‘battle’ were all members of the APC with the factual result that the victim, the vanquished and the loser of that battle is APC.
The devastation of that blow brought a wider gulf among the controlling personae dramatis of this vessel of ‘change’ and further polarised the “boundaries cum definition of territorial integrity control” of the individual camps of the ‘mafioso’ that brought this concoction called APC together in the first place. This is the truth that we must accept because the earlier we learn to live with this reality the better for our understanding of the catastrophic point of anchorage this vessel of ‘change’ is heading. For now the centre cannot hold anymore in the words of our own most respected Chinua Achebe of blessed memory. What we have in present day APC is a clash of titans from different camps, battling for the control of the party with eyes on 2019 and beyond. And the winner of this fierce battle [there shall be more losers than winners of course] can only emerge after doing major destruction to “other major components” of the body of APC, just like auto-immune deficiency described earlier. If you are still in doubt of this submission then let us take a critical look once again at the dynamics at play.
Those who formed this mega political party [APC] came from different back-grounds and camps. They [the persons involved] were all victims of individualism, in this case as small political parties hence the wisdom of their decision to come together so that they can enjoy the advantages of collectivism. By so doing, the first thing to be done for the alliance or formation to sail successfully and enduringly, was to surrender parts or some parts of individual residue powers as such must be necessarily be given to the emerging centre of unity- in this case APC.
Let us now look at these individuals.
Muhammadu Buhari came with his CPC [secured the presidency slot more on the assumed integrity of his person than the CPC], Ogbonnaya Onu came with his ANPC [more with the integrity of Ibrahim Shekarau than the ailing ANPC], three personalities in a “flight of convenience namely; Atiku Abubakar, Bukola Saraki and Abubakar Baraje led the PDP [called new PDP then] to the concoction, Rochas Okorocha, of “my people, my people” fame, came in with “something or non-existing political party while the ‘Jagaban’ [of Lagos but not Nigeria as later proved by the election at the National Assembly] himself, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, with his vast knowledge of politics plus his stupendous wealth brought ACN to consummate the merger. All of these personae dramatis are, of truth, politically strange to each other and politically incompatibles.
Godwin Etakibueb is a commentator on national issues who lives and works in Lagos.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.