APC Must Seize The Moment

APC Must Seize The Moment

Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:55 pm

By Egbuns Kemakola

The APC must seize its triumph of the moment and the mood of the people to hit the ground running. It cannot hope to endear itself to the electorate by doing things a la PDP. It cannot also hope to outclass the PDP if it refuses to re-structure the sclerotic political architecture of Nigeria which the PDP exploited to rule and ruin Nigeria as well as dupe her people. The APC must be reminded, as a precaution, that it would be judged by the same metrics that were deployed to depose and defenestrate the PDP. It should, therefore, set up and activate the structures for its own progress and momentum so as to remain the flagpole or totem and memento for the people. The APC must prove, by words and deeds, that PMB is its true ideological incarnate and not the difference between it and the PDP.

Sweeping measures are imperative and required to re-base the political lattice and sub-text of the Nigerian nation-state. The late elder statesman, Chief Anthony Enahoro, submitted that “Nigeria is sailing on a broken vessel”. It is now apparent that not only is the “vessel broken” but that it has knocked engine because of a dearth of leadership lubricants. In my humble opinion, it must mean that the “broken vessel” is the failed and flatulent class of Nigeria’s post-military political elite. This is so because, without PMB, the APC and PDP are largely seen and perceived as two facades of the same bad coin. It is quite possible that the late Chief Bola Ige, the Cicero of Agodi, were he still with us, may have described them as “two fingers of a leprous hand”. Another discerning mind had also observed that Nigeria is “in tatters” but it would seem that the gravity of the rot was latent until the twilight of Dr. Jonathan’s inept, clueless and corrupt administration that cascaded Nigeria to a misery of biblical proportions.

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, APC chairman

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, APC chairman

In order to unleash a revolutionary new lease of life and devolve the burden of the enormous challenges to the people themselves, PMB should dismantle and dissolve the parody or travesty that is the extant 36-State and 774 – Local Government Area structure of this country. I do not subscribe, however, to a confederation but recommend Chief Areoye Oyebola’s contribution in TheNEWS of 1st June 2015 to the APC and PMB for study and implementation. I had serially espoused and canvassed those same views in my earlier essays or letters in TheNEWS.

The APC honeymoon will not endure if Nigeria and its national facets and structures remain the way PDP left them. Snooper, the dominant and indefatigable Tatalo Alamu, submitted in his ecclesiastical and seminal essay in THE NATION newspapers of 3rd May 2015 that “the ouster of the PDP is not the end of a process but the beginning of a working-out of national contradictions which may eventuate in the birth of a new Nigeria or the dramatic dissolution of its present iron format”.

The precepts, pretexts and sub-texts of Nigeria’s political peregrinations can no longer cope with the dialectic of her contemporary reality. Virtually every facet of Nigerian existence is now laden with corruption, cronyism, cultism, impunity and indiscipline. And this is not a recipe for development or progress but internecine attrition. The APC must reject and resist, therefore, the torrents of opportunism, as in decampees, before they spoil the broth. There is also the need for the bad eggs already in the APC to demonstrate a verifiable, baptismal epiphany of penitence and a corrigendum of accretions to be expiated if they are to be taken seriously.

The APC and PMB should, in my view, declaim and adopt George Bernard Shaw’s dictum that “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man adapts the world to himself; therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable”. They should adapt Nigeria to the APC’s progressive agenda and ideals. Drawing from the mythology of my locality, they cannot afford to carry on their heads a dead elephant, as in Nigeria’s broken political architecture, while dragging along by feet a dead cricket, as in the development agenda voted for, awaited and expected by the people.

The dissolution of the 36-State structure of Nigeria has become, therefore, an imperative immediacy. Many of the so-called States, in any case, are acutely indebted both to their workers as well as in huge unpaid loans. And that is a sure sign and index of economic unviability. It also means that Nigeria is over-governed, as in the duplication of organs and structures of State. It is a widely acclaimed and settled position among patriots and Nigeria’s well-wishers that the six geo-political federal structure would best subserve Nigeria’s developmental needs, especially in a parliamentary system of democracy. Each zone must live by and within its resources, create its own wage structure and requisite number of Local Government Areas. The congregation of Governors for each geo-political zone shall be subjected to run-off election(s) to choose the substantive Governor of each zonal federating unit. The erstwhile colleague-Governors for each zone must revert to provincial administrators or whatever suitable acronym while their States would revert to the provinces, or groups of them, that they hitherto were.

Such a shock therapy as aforestated would keep Nigerians busy, finding their feet and latent talents rather than expecting improbable miracles from PMB. The APC should seize the initiative before the ovations subside, recede into a guffaw, cease, proceed on compulsory reticence and retirement or even transmute into palpable contempt, plain altercations and diatribes. The people’s patience and resilience would snap if it turns out that the conundrum and humdrum that governance was under the PDP are to be merely recycled. But the Nigerian people are ready and willing to partake of and share in the bounden duty to launch this country into proper orbit and rightful motion with the economy and social well-being as its focus. I was most enchanted on Tuesday, 09 June 2015, to hear Alhaji Lai Mohammed declaim, in an interview with Channels TV, that the President is a product of the political party. This must mean that the APC, indeed a ruling party, must solely be held responsible for success or failure in governance.

For this to happen, the political structure must be the right and proper matrix before development can occur. The APC should be wary and cautious of the many dubious partisans in its membership so as not to entrust “the protection of the yam to the goat” as was the case under Dr. Jonathan when oil pipelines were placed under the charge and surveillance of vandals who deactivated and disrupted those same pipelines. It is not the beginning but the end that counts and matters most.

The irrepressible Snooper in his subliminal essay afore-quoted averred that “what brought the APC to power is not an endorsement of its platform but a rejection of the platform of the PDP”. I admonish the APC, therefore, to jettison the decrepit quartet of zoning, rotation, federal character and quota in matters of offices in the National Assembly(NASS) and government. The credence and relevance of the quartet must abate and be of no consequence once members of the NASS have been elected in to the hallowed chambers. We do not need this vexatious quartet or a quadratic equation of its components in the election of leaders in these chambers. For us to have profitable and positive returns on our electoral investments, competence and merit must rule the roost. Once a member has acceded to the National Assembly (NASS) on the basis of the aforestated disreputable quartet, he/she should represent Nigeria and not ethnic interests, tongues or tribes. This explains why it is now mandatory to decongest the Exclusive Legislative List so that local or zonal issues would be handled at that level. And this brings me to the amusing acronym or sobriquet “South-South”. According to the great British physicist, Stephen Hawkins, south of the geographical South Pole is vacuum. I suggest, therefore, that South-Central would be a more appropriate appellation and substitute.

The change mantra of the APC aggravated the frustrations of the Nigerian electorate with a haughty and hollow PDP that had lost touch with reality and was bereft of progressive ideas to ensure and enhance social welfare and national development. The PDP busied itself and was bewitched by a mindset to perpetually retain power at all cost through the debasement and degradation of the organs of State, entrenchment of corruption and institutionalisation of mediocrity. Again, the redoubtable Snooper comes to the rescue and clarifies that “the PDP is a political brand soiled beyond soap and water. It was conceived as a party of big men and pan-Nigerian power-brokers who exercised a veto power over their subjects in what is supposed to be a modern nation-state”.

Consequently, the APC’s philosophy of change brings to mind Sergei Yesenin’s memorable poem:

The hurricane swept by,

few of us survived

Many failed to answer

friendship’s roll-call

Whom shall I call on?

Who will share with me

the wretched happiness of

staying alive?

It is said that “pride goes before a fall”. The PDP fell at an annual rate 22 times faster than the German Third Reich collapsed in 1945. All its extant flatulent boasts about re-positioning itself for a credible opposition is mere hot air or water running off a duck’s back. The deserved defeat of the PDP, the debacle of its calamitous descent in disarray and downfall are an imagery of the poem aforestated.

— Egbuns Kemakola writes from Port Harcourt

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