APC: A Dod Giving Itself A Bad Name

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Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception.

                        – Joan Didion, American Essayist

I have been told by many APC members that photo-chromic ballot papers were used. I think the allegation is bunkum. Unless the party is ready to confront the reality of the election it is not going to draw the vital lessons from it. There were protest votes against the government. Instead of questioning the credibility of the election the APC should engage in a critical review of the verdict of the electorate.

                         – Femi Falana, (SAN), Social Critic, Activist and Human Rights Lawyer

 One has just read the piece by Joe Igbokwe on the attempt by the detractors and critics of the Alliance of Progressives Congress (APC) to give the opposition political party “a bad name to hang it.” In the article Mr. Igbokwe cobbled together a rash of inanities and platitudes extricated from a pathological mind of an incorrigible doctrinaire. Through his tinted vision, the prism with which he looks at issues on the ground is straight jacket and it leaves no wiggle room for other possibilities that may or may not be of advantage to the APC. Pitching “victimhood” on behalf of the APC, he is robbing the party the honest opportunity to take stock as it moves forward. In fact Mr. Igbokwe engaged in deliberate obfuscation of the subsisting condition of APC as a political party in that article, “APC: Calling A Dog A Bad Name.”

 Often, best friends could easily come across as enemies if one is not disposed to constructive criticisms. In addition, if one is wrapped up in his or her own self importance and as a result over values self, the ability to do what is called “critical self-examination” in lieu of the criticisms directed at him or her would be a difficult thing to contemplate. As a result, honest criticisms are thus perceived as unfair and undeserved attacks. Rather than take a step back, have a reflection,  do a review of actions and reassessment of what is being done and the way it is being done, such a person or group of persons would look for someone to blame.

 To arrive at this pathetic position, the person or group of persons would indulge in self denial and blame all misfortunes on third party just like Igbokwe did in that piece. In psychoanalysis we call this “transference.” It could be a “transference” of responsibility or guilt in order to make the client feel absolved from the variables that contributed to his or her challenges. Unless this is seriously tackled, it would be difficult to help the client, in this case the APC, and put it on the path of healing. This is the challenge of the APC and its leadership. The inability of the APC leadership to look inward and make amends is a major obstacle to its future as a viable political organization. That cadre of leadership seems to be represented by Joe Igbokwe as opposed to another cadre of leadership represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu who recently did a review on what is needed to be done in his article “APC – The Dangers Ahead and The Way To go” if the party hopes to make any impact in the next elections. One is just hoping that Senator Ojudu is not a minority in his view. Senator Ojudu had written inter alia:

“If we were to conduct a survey across Nigeria today, we would discover that Nigerians cannot yet recognise the core messages of our new party. They may see some of our leaders as different from the present crop of PDP leaders, but most would find it difficult to identify our core messages – what our party stands for.”

 Thus reading through Igbokwe’s article, it was easy to fathom someone cocooned in the garb of “self righteousness” and or “righteous indignation” that is stubbornly resistant if not allergic to critical self examination. It is the likes of Igbokwe within the APC who refuse to accept the obvious fact that the APC as a political party was the one that has been consistently giving itself a bad name rather than others giving it bad name. The PDP is in no way responsible for the woes of the APC, rather it is the APC that is always cutting its nose to spite its face. The school of thought represented by Senator Ojudu seems to have the right frame of mind, the right psychological approach and the right vision for the APC. He is one of those who recognized there are problems in and with the APC, and are spelling out specific ways to address those problems. Thus looking at APC’s trajectory, it is evident that the APC has itself to blame more than any third party it might wish to point accusing fingers at.

 As Barrister Femi Falana pointed out in his interview by the PUNCH’s Olusola Fabiyi on July 14, 2014, the core of APC’s challenges stemmed from its “ideological crisis.” The APC desperately seeks political power. In the course of this, it has thrown all cautions to the dogs. The APC has no ideological framework with which to distinguish itself from the ruling party that it seeks to replace. It became amoebic in form and amorphous in character. APC, it seems wants the trust and confidence of Nigerians, but it is not ready to contemplate the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians. The APC seems to assume that criticizing President Goodluck Jonathan day in day out would be enough to give it gravitas and the legitimacy it needed. It seems that the APC’s major strategy is to continue to blame everything on GEJ without proving to Nigerians it is any credible alternative in terms of vision and mission.

 No one could say for certain that this is what the APC represents in clear terms. Other than its goal to replace the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the center, even members of the APC do not know what the party stands for. The only mantra they throw around is that the PDP is full of corrupt people. While that might be true, it certainly is not enough as to why Nigerians should give the APC a benefit of the doubt especially when in its midst are some of the most corrupt elements in Nigerian history. The fact that EFCC’s Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was prevailed upon to look the other way on so many cases with the promise of a presidential ticket that he eventually got before he was betrayed does not mean that Nigerians have lost memory of several  personalities within the APC that were accused and later let off. Banking on mass amnesia of Nigerians in this respect seems not a very smart thing to do after all.

 The APC, it seems, is willing to even give a party membership card to the devil as long as this would buoy its ability to win power at the center. Thinking that Nigerians would overlook any step it takes to win anyone, regardless of the trajectory or credibility of such a person, into the fold, APC accepted all comers, some of them are criminals, some are sadists, some are religious fundamentalists, some are certified kleptomaniacs, while some are incorrigibly dictatorial. But Nigerians were and are still paying attention. They are watching every little and big step being taken by the APC. It is true that Nigerian want change, but they want real change. Nigerians are not prepared to make do with cosmetics, which seem to be what the APC is offering.

 It is because Nigerians are paying attention that they seem flabbergasted when APC accuses the PDP of corruption when allegedly the most corrupt Vice President in  Nigerian history who was in that office for 8 years on PDP ticket is now a major backbone of the APC and could be its presidential candidate. It is because Nigerians are paying attention that they find it difficult to accept a person who enacted retroactive law to kill fellow human beings, three innocent Nigerians and has shown no remorse about it. It is because Nigerians are paying attention that they are afraid of religious fundamentalism as espoused by some in the leadership of the APC. It is because Nigerians are paying attention that they could not understand while those who seek to govern Nigerian derive joy in making “Nigerian ungovernable” because they lost election.

 Nigerians are still waiting for an explanation from the APC’s leadership about their courtship of the destroyers of Nigeria. Nigerians would like to know the motive behind the friendship with someone like General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) a self-proclaimed “evil genius” who annulled the cleanest election in Nigerian history and set Nigeria on the path to destruction. It was IBB who set the conditions that were responsible for Asiwaju Tinbu’s escape into exile among many other prominent Nigerian. Nigerians are still waiting for the explanation of the APC on its romance with General Abubakar Abdulsalaam (rtd), the man who supervised the assassination of Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the winner of the June 12 elections. It was also under his watch that General Tunde Idiagbon died mysteriously.

 The APC and its leadership is still owing Nigerians an explanation as to what kind of “solution” they are expecting General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) to offer for the problems of Nigeria. This is a man who once advised Nigerians that the best candidate did not have to win the election in 1979. That 1979 election produced Shehu Shagari who’s ineptitude invited Mohammdu Buhari’s coup with its concomitants of untold cruelty and Fulanism that paved the way for IBB’s alluring rapacity which in turn gave birth to the June 12 imbroglio with which we are still grappling as a country today. Senator Ojudu has this to say about Obasanjo:

“Doubtless, President Obasanjo is the least credible person to raise the issues he raised in his controversial letter to President Jonathan, because he, for the most account, is “the author and finisher” of the fate that has befallen the country since he became president in 1999 and since he violated every rule in the book to install his two successors.”

 What kind of “solution” is the leadership of the APC soliciting from this degenerate leader? Nigerians need an explanation.

 Nigerians could not understand as they watch the leadership of the APC undermine and undercut democratic ideals when they impose candidates within the party without regard for the feelings and the aspirations of the cross section of the party rank and file. Nigerians are wondering what kind of alternative is the APC when it has no qualms about admitting certified pedophiles into its midst in the name of politics and seeking political power. Nigerians could not understand the level of insensitivity of the APC to their agonies and frustrations as the party moots the idea of a Muslim/Muslim ticket especially in this era of brutality by Boko Haram. Nigerians are wondering why the APC would think this would be a good idea at this harrowing times in the country. The refusal for the leadership of the APC to come out and deny this flatly, vociferously and convincingly implies a lot for the observing public.

 The threats of violence by the APC leadership are being noted by Nigerians. Nigerians are wondering if APC is interested in allowing peace to reign in the polity. The incitement of General Muhammadu Buhari, a chieftain of the APC is seeing, rightly or wrongly, by many as having emboldened Boko Haram. The “rig and roast” philosophy of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu took many by surprise and it was deemed so dangerous that the US government through its Nigerian embassy had to issue a rebuke. The open encouragement of supporters by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to take up charms with which to fight opponents has been reverberating across the land. The escalating rascality on the part of the APC leadership is giving Nigerians concern and they are very leery about accepting the Party as a credible alternative to the ruling PDP.

 The inability of the APC to distinguish between newspaper/internet politics and grassroots one is emblematic of their corrugated understanding of the limits of propaganda. Yes, propaganda works, but it has its limits. You can publish in newspapers, write on the internet, distribute pamphlets, paste postal, make bill boards to pass across a message that the people are well fed. But the people who are hungry would not be convinced otherwise because they are the ones “wearing the shoes.” Dishing lies to the public could work for some time but not all the time. You cannot fool the people about the reality of their lives that are their daily experience. Rather than look good, one would lose credibility, would become distrusted and utterly disliked. The other time Lai Mohammed lied about Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso’s plane being detained in Akure, when the gentleman was in Kano attending to a function! When one lies too many often, the people become wary of what they are told through that source.

 The need by the APC and its leadership to listen to the people, the ultimate repository of power is of paramount importance. Doing away with arrogance and condescension in dealing with the rank and file party members, pressure groups, the voting public and concerned sympathizers would serve the APC better. The inability of the APC not to have a clear cut policy on education is scary to many Nigerians. The kind of crises being witnessed in the APC controlled states are seen by many as signs of bad things to come should they have the opportunity to control the reigns of the Federal government. Astronomically high school fees, insensitivity to the needs of the students, disregard of the concerns of lecturers, lack of swift response to strikes in higher institutions and indifference to the complaints of the parents and contempt for the public clamour are considered symptoms of confused and visionless opposition party.

 At this point in time, Nigeria has no conducive atmosphere for any Hausa/Fulani presidency. The Hausa/Fulani should take a step back for now and give room for others. Any party that ignores this sentiment of Nigerians would meet its waterloo. Let any of the prophets come down as Hausa/Fulani and become the presidential candidate of the APC, Nigerians at this point would reject him. The APC should look for a credible Christian middlebelter as a presidential candidate, if the party wants Nigerians to actually take it serious. Given one’s experience with the party leadership, this advice would probably go unheeded. But that would not be a problem. The problem would be those within the party with the frame of mind of the Igbokwes of this world who believe that others are giving the APC’s dog a bad name in order to hang it. The PDP is not to be blamed for the woes of the APC. Neither is the Labour Party, Accord Party, APGA or any other party. It is the APC that is giving itself a bad name. Whatever others might be doing in this regard pales to the background when juxtaposed with what the APC is doing to itself.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”   – John F. Kennedy

Remi Oyeyemi- Source url: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/apc-a-dod-giving-itself-a-bad-name.html

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