Recent political events in Nigeria have been with an admixture of tragicomedy and funs, and political watchers have been keen watching the space and predicting the next set of moves. While some are predictable going by the body languages of Nigerian politicians, some caught the analysts unaware and gasping for breaths. The spate of defections, deceptions and counter-defections have taken over the political space that one wonders whether these fractured and mended parties will really triumph in the 2019 General Elections. But these events are not without a precursor. Politicians of the 50’s and 60’s have left a legacies of cross-carpeting and defections through realignments and joining of forces against a common adversary. From those period up until now, such activity has continued unabated either for relevance or for monetary gains. As recent as 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the coalition of political forces, and especially benefitting from mass defections that befell the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) triumphed at the Presidential and other elections in Nigeria, thus becoming the main political party in Nigeria. Following the elections triumph, the flagbearer of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated as the new President bringing an end to the era of impunity and wastages, mass squandering of the nation’s wealth, institutionalization/frank adoption of corruption and free for all stealing and squandering of our commonwealth with impunity under the leadership of PDP’s.
Whereas this process above put an end to a political era and rulership of the PDP, it marked the beginning of another opportunity for Nigerians to get it right again using the APC platform. Prior to the 2015 General election, 2014 was an era of cross carpeting it was primarily uni-directional from the then ruling party PDP to newly formed mega party the APC; it will appear that many defecting politicians were tired of restricted opportunities available in PDP due to a large drain pipes attached to the organization. Although some changed party in a genuine attempt to promote service delivery and leadership and support the change agenda, it is not unlikely that some other cross-carpeted because they foresaw that their aspirations and dreams personal and otherwise cannot be achieved in the PDP, hence the need to join the winning team. Overall, the birth of APC was welcomed with jubilations across Nigeria giving fresh air of hope across our land.
Post-presidential election fought and won by the better alternative, the APC, the former President Jonathan was magnanimous in defeat because he accepted the obvious outcome despite pleas by many of his greedy “supporters” who wanted him to abort the electoral process and stay-on, to date, he enjoys that credit. With APC as the ruling party, PDP instantly became the opposition party, at the national and in most states of the Federation. Most of the PDP converted to APC got powerful offices, Tambuwal and El-Rufai became governors of Sokoto and Kaduna respectively, Saraki and Dogara heading the upper and lower national assembly to mention few.
The president, true to his character is steadfast on fighting corruption at all levels within his power, governance is no more free for all for stealing as it used to be, the former Presidents and those that believed Nigeria is their personal property are no more comfortable with Buhari style of governance and were so shell shocked. It will appear that certain elements have pre-formed opinions, they were surprised to see a Buhari, as resolute as he used to be in time past. Perhaps, they were expecting something different.
Senator Bukola Saraki, using the instruments of politricking and underhand tactics, got the position of the Senate President without the consent and goodwill of the party leadership; the same applied to Honourable Dogara, who went on to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Although the Party leaders were not happy, Buhari intervened and supported the duo to stay on believing that he can work with any member of his Party Contrastingly, these two and similar elements within APC were not as open minded as the President, they came with agenda of mutual suspicion and mass looting as was the case under PDP. As usual, the games started: budget padding, slow attendance or delayed budget approval, mass rejection of President’s nominees to some key position, including but not restricted to that of the famous EFCC Chairman. This incidences brought to realization that the leopard never change its skin. The President realised somewhat late that without the cordial relationship and loyal members support at the helm of the National Assembly, he is bound to be frustrated, an objective Saraki and his team achieved to certain degree. Hence, the marriage between the progressives and the usurpers-capitalists and self-centred individuals was headed for the rock.
Interestingly, calls for the preparations for the 2019 elections are here, the stakes are high and the marriage of convenient between the progressives and the wicked capitalists is over,; it is high time APC prepared to achieve the pursuance of the agenda for better lives for all Nigerians, tackled the issues of sponsored security problems, stopped the killing of the innocents in order to score political points, pointedly and vigorously.
This is time for all progressives at home and abroad to come together as a formidable force to continue the change agenda and renew the mandate for not only the president, the state governors but also including the focused members of the state and National assembly members who believe in the change agenda and development mantra in APC.
With the new APC Party Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and the commitments of all like minds home and in diaspora, 2019 will sure be another time to celebrate in APC and Nigeria.
APC South AFRICA CHAPTER is ready and willing to support the National headquarters our party and the Presidency to defeat the enemies of our nation. This has been our focus, right from the inception of the party and going forward. The Diaspora chapter contributed immensely during the last election, and we hope that the support will be more formidable this time especially with APC Diaspora Chapters in many Countries presently.
We started holding town hall meetings and online campaign to synthesize Nigerians in Diaspora to understand the politics at home and why they should constantly mobile their family back home to support the current administration and also those that are have the means of travelling to Nigeria frequently to use the opportunity to get PVC to enable them vote for APC.
APC South Africa is also working with other diaspora chapters to actualize voting in diaspora which will enable Nigerians abroad to vote in their countries of residence.
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Engr. Bola Babarinde
APC South Africa Chapter