This is just the beginning, a tip of the iceberg, the formation of a breakaway faction, the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), within the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), early last week.
The idea behind the formation of R-APC was no doubt, to create a division in the APC so that hundreds of aggrieved members of the party holding elective political offices would easily defect without losing their political positions. Accordingly, we expect a tsunami, a major defection from the APC between now and the end of this month.
According to the time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the conduct of party primaries by various political parties for next year’s elections would commence from August this year.
In that regard, many politicians have begun to position themselves for the exercise. Those in the good books of their political parties have been going round their various constituencies to consult with the party stakeholders and to solicit their support, while the aliens or the “strangers” in these political parties, are however looking elsewhere.
In the ruling APC, there are many strange bedfellows, and a lot of them are currently seeking where to perch. According to the irrepressible Senator Shehu Sani, as a result of the crisis in the APC, many members of the party have already “left Egypt, and are now on the verge of crossing the Red Sea”.
Sani further maintained that even if the new APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, were to be a good doctor, he had come very very late, because the cancer that had afflicted the APC had reached its terminal end. No doctor, or rather, no medicine, can cure it.
On our part, we expect what is currently happening in APC. It is not surprising. From day one, we knew that the party has never been one. The APC is composed of strange bedfellows, people with different political outlooks, and who have nothing in common. The APC is a patchwork of expedients hurriedly put together for the sole aim of dislodging or chasing out the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the seat of power. Once that objective was achieved, it became “to your tents oh Israel”. Everything went harewire.
The public knowledge of the discomforting relationship among members of the APC came to limelight during the election of the leadership of the National Assembly in June 2015. Because the APC is like a Babel, a place of different tongues, its members in the National Assembly and the leadership of the party, spoke in different languages.
In the end, Principal Officers of the National Assembly quite different from what both the APC leadership and the Executive arm of government had desired, emerged. It was a bitter pill very difficult for the party to swallow. From then on, both the Presidency and the APC leadership drew a battle line against members of the National Assembly.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in particular, was picked up and dragged to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, changed with false declaration of asset. For 1018 days, the battle raged in the various courts of the country, culminating to last Friday’s acquittal of Saraki by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In between that period, Saraki was equally accused of gun running or of sponsoring bank robbery, together with the Governor of his home state, Kwara, Abdulfattah Ahmed. All these were aimed at dragging his image to the dust.
In the same vein, some vocal lawmakers from the same APC, like Dino Malaye, Shehu Sani, Suleiman Hunkuyi, etc., were made to suffer similar persecutions, either directly from the Presidency, or from the governors of their respective states.
The implication is that it was becoming increasingly very difficult for majority of these lawmakers who feel that they were unjustly being persecuted, to continue to sit on the same table with those they had started the journey with in the APC.
At the same time, some members of the APC had variously been complaining about being marginalized by both the party leadership and the Executive arm of government. They lamented that after labouring for the party, they were completely ignored by the Executive arm of government, while those who contributed nothing, and who were not even around during the struggle, were now reaping all the rewards. No less a person than the President’s wife had cried aloud about this.
What later broke the camel’s back and exposed the APC as a political party of incompatibles was the recent congresses held by the party across the country, which had resulted to parallel congresses in virtually every state in Nigeria. From then on, it was a cacophony of voices in the APC as party members openly fought one another. That when a good number of them had decided to make up their mind to bid farewell to the party. It was a point of no return.