Fredrick Nwabufo writes that our political system needs a rebirth
All Progressives Congress (APC) is on the cusp of an implosion. The crisis in the party has reached a frightening crescendo. It has been a gradual but steady plummet for the party since its 2015 unanticipated triumph. I believe, the APC is in the thrall of a curse – the success curse.
In March, I wrote ‘Are we having the funeral of APC so soon?’ putting the tumbling fortunes of the party through a dialectical quarry. I said, and I still think working together in a struggle is a much easier enterprise than banding in victory. In 2013, the PDP galloped from one crisis to another until it imploded and lost power at the centre in 2015. The APC is toeing the same path. As I said, since the party cruised to power, it has been embroiled in tremulous wrangling.
To say the obvious, the APC was never a party – in the real sense of the word – but a special purpose vehicle to grab power. To put it lucidly, it is just a club of disparate people desperate for power.
The parties and personalities – Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and the new PDP – that dissolved into the APC had nothing in common. The only common ground or to put it sternly, unifying enemy, was former President Goodluck Jonathan.
While Bola Tinubu’s ACN was somewhat liberal and attuned to restructuring with less emphasis on the centre, President Muhammadu Buhari’s CPC had a conservative outlook. Strange bed-fellows.
Soon after the APC breasted victory in 2015, the two ‘’organic’’ political parties in the union – the ACN and CPC – sparred, though they become united when sharing the spoils of war and in dealing a discriminatory hand to the disgruntled immigrants from the PDP. A caste quickly developed in the party. While the ACN (bride) and CPC (groom) became aborigines, other groups which worked themselves into the merger became outcasts and expendable baggage. This largely effectuated the leadership crisis in the party at the national assembly in 2016.
Again, when political parties do not run on ideologies, but on interest, there is bound to be head-on collisions. Obviously, the merger which resulted in the carnation of the APC was oxygenated by one interest – to grab power. But the brokers of the deal did not ask: “After we take over power what next? How do we manage it? How do we manage the pool of interests? And how do we deliver good governance to Nigerians.”
And as the cauldron boils over, where is President Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of the APC? The vacuous argument that the president should not concern himself with internal party matters is what it is – obtuse. He is the most senior member of the party on which platform he ran for election twice and won. He cannot be apathetic to what is happening in the party now.
There are murmurs within the APC that the president unhitched himself from issues in the party because he has fulfilled his political ambition. But really, if he cannot keep his own party, where he should naturally command winsome influence, together, how can he keep the country together?
As a matter of fact, it is the same tepid disposition that Buhari takes to the leadership of the country that he takes to the affairs of the APC. His failures come closer home with the crisis in the APC – a party ragged by leadership crisis since 2015.
The seal holding the tatters of the APC at the moment is Buhari. I know the APC crisis can only get worse because the party was never meant to be. And this is good development for Nigeria. All desperate structures propping the status quo need to give way for the country to burgeon.
Like the Third Reich collapsed for Germany to thrive, some political parties holding the fortunes of Nigeria need to run out of oxygen for the country to breathe.
With the raging crisis in the APC, Nigerians can see clearly the failures of the ruling party in handling its own matters and can relate them to the approach the party takes to the governance of the country.
It is failure all around.
Our political system needs reborning. The more non-ideological and predatory political behemoths collapse, the more room for people-interest based political parties to mushroom and grow.
Nwabufo is a writer and journalist