Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are
Even the most effective of anemometers would find it hard to place the exact speed at which the wind of change has blown across our nation Nigeria. On just two Saturdays, a party that has ruled us for 16years and prided itself on being the only true “national party” was banished; applause for its matured acceptance of defeat has become its only farewell gift.
On second thoughts, I would call it a storm –a storm too strong for an umbrella.
Nigerians have finally got the change they have been yearning for: it has come in the form of the APC. This “change” has charted new courses for our two most prominent parties, the APC and the PDP.
When a majority of all the opposition parties formed the APC on February 6, 2013, in a bid to end the PDP’s misrule, not a few people predicted a break-up before the elections because of the ego packed in the average Nigerian politician. But, quite remarkably, APC held on and grew in leaps and bounds even after the influx of the nPDP members armed not only with their own egos but with GMGs (Ghana-must-go). And the party has now earned the fruit of its labour.
Due credit must go to its leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for his role. He is a man many respect for his never-wavering commitment to the deal reportedly brokered during its formation: GMB for the presidential ticket and he to man the affairs of the party. It’s no mean feat, considering the calibre of gentlemen who threw their hats into the presidential race and the ones in the DNA of the party structure.
Having reached its ultimate goal, the APC has a greater task ahead of it: running the party after its success.
A thorough review of GMB’s political career would prove he doesn’t interfere in party affairs. It didn’t come as a surprise to many when he distanced himself from the current Senate presidency and House speakership imbroglio.
With the many alliances, adoptions and renouncement going on, you wouldn’t want to be Asiwaju right now. He is saddled with overseeing a party portraying itself as capable of developing cracks in the shortest possible time and a president-elect who seems to have a “Do Not Disturb” tag on his door knob.
GMB has always been his own man and doesn’t quite strike you as one who would concede easily to what doesn’t sit well with him, to allow peace reign. He has already fired a warning shot by turning down a ministerial list reportedly sent by the APC governors. The very same attributes the APC composed songs about could very well turn out to be what will haunt its members.
With a leader who seems more concerned about his duty to the Nigerian people than the concept of the “ideal party man”, and one cautious about throwing his weight around in key party affairs in the typical fashion of the Nigerian political heavyweight, it would take a lot of skill to keep the troops united and happy. In the great words of Winston Churchill, “The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat but they are no less difficult.” Welcome to the real world, APC; change is indeed here.
The PDP, on the other hand, was always going to find it rough coping with its new status: the watchdog or opposition. The finger-pointing and blame-trading were expected but the absurdity accompanying them is what wasn’t.
We woke up to hear that GEJ had demanded that all unused campaign funds be returned to the party’s coffers to show evidence of the NWC of the party disbursing those funds among themselves. And the most ridiculous: Fayose alleging the party chairman sold the party out to the APC.
The president seems frustrated behind the scenes and the party chairman looks to be the chosen scapegoat. The PDP certainly hasn’t been handling defeat well. GEJ must understand his last actions as party leader have far-reaching consequences. The fact that he still can’t convince the party to make him BoT chairman is a pointer to that fact.
Adamu Mu’azu is unpopular among the PDP faithful at the moment and looks set to vamoose. Liyel Imoke, the outgoing Cross Rivers State governor, is being touted as his likely successor. With GEJ’s BoT aspiration as good as shot down, wholesale changes to the way the party is run are expected. Quite a number of prominent members have come out to say that much.
By my calculation, the south-west should produce the next party chairman; but Imoke is most favoured in the event of a Mu’azu exit – a pointer to the fact that the new major players in the party, the south-east and south-south, will make that status count.
The two chairmen who have served under GEJ spent more time keeping him happy than overseeing the affairs of the party; one managed to cause irreparable damage to the party. Whether the party appreciates the importance of appointing a “mobilizer” or not remains to be seen. Who is capable of ensuring no one gets disgruntled by the implications of the shift in power base? It’s a good thing there hasn’t been massive defection to the APC; at least not yet.
The wind of change has blown, leaving a few things upturned in both parties in its wake. Things are not the same again.
- By UMAR SA’AD HASSAN, a lawyer based in Kano