With the exception of Rivers State, this year’s general elections seemed to have been concluded, and as the Igbo would say, “after the race, we count the number of miles covered”.
When Adams Oshiomole was elected National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in June last year, the party was controlling the Presidency, the two Chambers of the National Assembly, and 24 out of 36 states in the country.
The main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the other hand, controlled 11 states, while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), controlled only one state.
Shortly on assumption of office by Oshiomole, due to his gangsterism and indecorum, the APC lost its leadership of the two Chambers of the National Assembly when the two principal officers of the legislature decamped to the PDP. This was followed by other legislators who equally jumped ship.
At the state level, the APC lost the governors of Sokoto, Benue and Kwara states, who equally decamped to the PDP. Reprieve however came by way of the APC when it took Ekiti State from the PDP after the governorship election held in 2018.
Thus, before the commencement of the 2019 general elections in February this year, the position of the political parties were as follows: APC, 22 states, PDP, 13 states, and APGA, one state.
However, at the conclusion of the elections on March 28, 2019, save for Rivers, Zamfara and Osun states, the position of the political parties were as follows: APC, 17 states, PDP, 15 states, while APGA still retains its one state. The PDP had lost Kwara and Gombe states, while the APC lost Bauchi, Imo, Adamawa and Oyo states.
Elections were suspended in Rivers State due to heavy military involvement in the exercise, and would probably be concluded in two weeks time, but the APC is not taking part in that election because both INEC and the courts had said the party did not conduct any primaries and thus barred it from participating.
In Zamfara and Osun states, the courts are to take the final decision. Specifically in Zamfara, INEC said the APC has no candidate for the election, just as in Rivers State, because the party did not conduct primaries.
But few days to the commencement of the election, a federal high court gave APC in Zamfara State the nod to participate in the exercise, which the party won. This was later nullified by the Appeal Court which overruled the high court, insisting that the APC did not conduct any primaries where such candidates emerged. The case is now before the Supreme Court.
In the case of Osun State, the Election Petition Tribunal had nullified the Governorship election conducted in the state last year, but the judgement is now being appealed.
The superlative performace of PDP in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, in spite of obvious challenges, has made many people begin to question the credibility of the votes alloted to the APC by INEC in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections. Upon all the abracadabra that happened during that election and the militarization of the process, the APC was able to win only one additional seat in the Senate, up from the 64 seats it won in 2015, while the PDP has 41 seats.
The conclusion by many people therefore, was that the APC did not in reality win the Presidential election. But since the case is now before the tribunal, we shall leave everything at that.
From the facts presented above, it has become obvious that Adams Oshiomole, rather than grow the APC, has led to its downfall, with the party losing grounds previously gained. If it was not for the use of the military and the ignoble role played by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the APC would have come out of that election very much worsted.
As National Chairman of the APC, Oshiomole thought himself to be Headmaster, dictating or brandishing instructions to some kindergarten pupils, while imposing candidates for elections, right, left and centre. With the already bad image of the APC, which for four years, had not recorded one single achievement, but only engaged in blame games, it was not surprising that Nigerians would turn their backs on the party.
But did Oshiomole learn any lesson? It is very doubtful. The other day, we saw him gave marching orders to Senators elect and Members of House of Representatives elect on who they should vote and should not vote as principal officers of the legislature. Perhaps, they may adhere or may not adhere to his instructions.
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