B Dele Sobowale
“All political parties die, at last, of swallowing their own lies.”
J. Arbuthnot, 1667-1735, VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ p 191.
The sermon last week was about PDP reaping the whirl-wind of elected members decamping from the wind Obasanjo sowed from 2001 to 2007. Anybody in the All Progressives Congress, APC, who is rejoicing is akin to a man whose boat, unknown to him, has sprung a big leak, who is laughing at occupants of another boat bailing out water. Only providence can prevent the two boats from sinking. PDP and APC have, in many respects, become two sides of the same fake dollar bill. Many of those now shouting at the top of their voices in APC today were once proud card-carrying members of PDP. Granted, only few current PDP chieftains crossed over from APC, yet, Governor Obaseki decamped from APC and moved straight to the top of the PDP structure in Edo State.
Only a dunce will waste too much time or thought on which party our politicians belong to. Perhaps, it might help if we regard all of them belonging to a party called APPDPC. Don’t ask me what those letters stand for. When you live in a country whose political leadership consists of people who mostly cling to “Politics without principles”, then the labels mean very little. In fact they dont mean anything – except an excuse to seize power and loot the treasury.
The PDP lasted only sixteen years in government despite the desperate effort to receive stolen mandates in a bid to secure a devilish third term. The plan ended in ignominious defeat. The main architect and expected beneficiary is now sitting on a hill top mansion dispensing advice and wisdom which he failed to practice when in Aso Rock – consulting with demons who Reuben Abati informed us are resident there. The APC is sinking so fast that it is a safe bet that it might not survive beyond the Buhari presidency. At any rate, after eight years of atrocious performance by the FG what will APC have to tell Nigerians to win in a free and fair election? Obviously, unless elections are rigged in 2023, APC has very little chance for survival. Buhari, who provided the glue holding the party together, is going home. So, with defeat starring them in the face, the temptation will be strong to scuttle the 2023 elections altogether. Don’t dismiss it.
APC: A HOUSE SAVAGELY DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF.
“APC national convention under threat, party postpones congresses indefinitely.” News Report, July 11, 2021.
Behind that report buried inside a national newspaper lies the fact that the alliance of incompatible political elements which formed the APC in 2013 has been destroyed; and the semblance of a party exists now only on paper. The APC conceived and given birth in 2013 is dead. The parties to the coalition merely lack the guts, the wisdom and the exit plans for it to crumble.
The Caretaker Committee, a body which is not recognised by the party’s constitution, masks the fact that the APC had finally become a one-man show. President Buhari calls all the shots. He unilaterally appointed the members of the Committee and approves their measures with scant regard for the views of anybody else in the party. That was not how the APC was supposed to be run. But, APC did not become a one-man show after the fall of Adams Oshiomole. It became a sole property of Buhari right from the minute former President Jonathan called to congratulate the newly-elected President. Right there and then, APC members started swallowing the first of several lies. Here are is one.
LIE 1: “The Party is supreme..” That would imply that the framers of the APC constitution expected the President to consult widely, at least with the leaders of the party, when making very important decisions. I recollect asking four of the leaders in 2014 if the members actually believed that Buhari would accept party supremacy if elected. The answer was the same. The man has accepted democratic rule and party politics. He promised he will be guided by the party. And, we believe him. He is a man of integrity.” Or words to that effect.
“Scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.” Lowell, 1819-1891.
I was not convinced. It is one of the most abiding lessons of history that habit is usually stronger than reason – especially after the age of 50. All the members of the coalition were hanging their hopes on the possibility that a 70+ years old man would discard his deeply ingrained instincts and become a born again apostle of democracy. The first twenty appointments Buhari made, could not have been so lopsided in Northern, Fulani, Daura appointees if the party was consulted. Thus, on the very first important decision he made, it was clear that party supremacy had been thrown into the dust bin even before the government got underway.
LIE 2: “He will change his approach as he progresses towards implementing the party’s manifesto.” That was the response of two of the Southern leaders when I asked if they were consulted before the lopsided first appointments. They were wrong. Buhari paid only lip-service to the manifesto.
LIE 3. “A political party deserves the approbation of [Nigerians] only as it represents the ideals, the aspirations and the hopes of [the people]. If it is anything else, it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”
US President Dwight Eisenhower, November 7, 1956. (Amended).
The APC, in its manifesto, deceived Nigerians in 2015 and 2019 that it would represent their ideals and hopes for a better society. Among the false promises made in its manifesto were the following:
· to create at least one million new jobs every year….Create additional middle class of at least 1 million home owners in our first year in government and 1 million annually there after….
· Reintroduce the teaching of Nigerian History and Civics in all secondary schools…Offer free and quantitative primary and secondary education to all.
· Increase the quality of all Federal Government owned hospitals to world class standard within five years…
(Source: FROM OPPOSITION TO GOVERNING PARTY: NIGERIA’S APC MERGER STORY by Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, APC Founding Father.)
No need to list seriatim all the other lies packed into the manifesto. All Nigerians need to know is that Buhari, after building “world class hospitals” at home, now patronises “inferior hospitals” in London every time. Furthermore, instead of creating one million additional middle class annually, Buhari has been creating approximately 5 million more destitutes annually. Under his watch, roughly 40 million more people will sink below the global poverty line. If only half of the promises made on security in the deceptive manifesto were redeemed bandits and kidnappers would not be holding 1000 kids and driving farmers from the land. And, nobody would have dared to shoot down an Air Force jet.
Nigeria is now being governed as if this is a Banana Republic headed by a Confusionist-In-Chief. Yeye dey smell!!
The failure of this government is so colossal that it will require two other governments to clean up the mess and get us out of the debt trap into which they have led us. Only the most incorrigible liars, in a party full of them, can reasonably expect the party to win a free and fair election in 2023. Here is why.
LIE 4. “A secret is best kept if it is between two people with one dead.”
The greatest threat to the existence of APC was revealed recently by Alhaji Hanga, an ex-Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, headed by Buhari. According to Hanga, “there was implicit agreement Buhari will hand over to Tinubu.” That conspiracy formed the basis of their forming the coalition which others joined. Buhari had sought to discharge his obligations under the agreement when he first proposed Tinubu as his running mate in 2014. It was the national outcry against a Muslim-Muslim ticket which scuttled that plan.
Tinubu mostly bank-rolled the APC for the 2015 elections; and his print and electronic media, as well as his political organisation delivered the South West votes massively. It is widely believed that he intends to hold Buhari to his promise. That, however, is one of the reasons why there might be no election in 2023. Anybody supported by Buhari will be difficult to “sell” to voters – after the atrocious performance of the last six years – and fears of worse to come. Yet, Buhari will not endorse any candidate who is not prepared to lie about his performance in office. Buhari’s endorsement will amount to a kiss of death.
LIE 5. “The most obstinate illusions are ultimately broken by facts.”
T. Roper, 1914-2003, VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ p 100.
Perhaps the most important reason why there might be no election in 2023 lies in the inescapable break-up of the APC. The Interim Caretaker Committee has done its best; but it has failed to repair the cracks within the party in every state. Kwara State serves as proxy for most other states where congresses might not be concluded peacefully. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, is now an outcast from the mainstream of the party in Kwara. For him, it is a matter of life or death. As things stand right now, political death stares Lai in the face. He will not go down quietly without a brutal fight — in any form imaginable.
Federal Ministers from at least ten states are also at war with the rank and file of the party in their states. APC will most likely repeat the mistakes which led to the loss of Rivers and Zamfara in 2019 – all over Nigeria.
Lastly, there can be no credible congresses or conventions or elections in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Kebbi and perhaps Yobe states – among others. Unless there is a drastic change in security, INEC will find it difficult to recruit officers to conduct elections in several states. The combination of imminent APC defeat and insecurity points to the fact that no credible election can be held in 2023. Rather than lose honourably, the APC will throw the country into confusion. There after, anything can happen.
READ ABOUT TWO FABLES BY APC: THEY JUST CAN’T STOP LYING.
“FG created, saved 2m jobs through economic sustainability plan –OSINBAJO.
News Report, July 7, 2021.
Nobody can take politics as a profession and be honest – not even if you were once a Pastor. Two million jobs mean 54,000 jobs per state and the Federal Capital Territory. Just ask the Vice President to provide the list of beneficiaries of this plan; and wait for the response. You will receive no reply and no list to substantiate the claim. I just wish that men of God will stay in the churches or mosques. Everyone venturing into Nigerian politics gets stained. It is difficult to spend so much time with Devil’s Angels without losing virtue.
“Agric subsidy: Farmers fault FG, govt claims six million operators registered.”
The FG claimed to have registered six million farmers. The All Farmers Association of Nigeria’s President said: “I am not aware of any of such and we have not been registered. We are not part of what they are doing.” I asked at least 24 bid time farmers if they were registered. None has heard of the exercise. End of story. “Liars ought to have good memories.” Algernon Sidney, 1622-1683.