I can emphatically say that the victory of the APC as a party in the last general elections is premised on the platform of sacrifice and indeed I stand to be corrected. It was the spirit of let go exhibited from the least to the greatest in the merger formation that led to a victorious outing. Although Nigerians yearned for change, that yearning would have been punched as usual if not for the selfless attitude of key players in the opposition which has now been sworn in as the leading party. Many people who were in support of former President Jonathan argued that the only mandate of APC was to remove the president from office and nothing more. They claimed the party had no developmental agenda for the country. Seeing that their party had failed at improving the lives of the ordinary Nigerian in the last sixteen years of occupying the centre, they went as far as saying both the PDP and APC are two sides of the same coin, a claim I vehemently opposed in a number of my commentaries.
The notion of whether the major characters in the APC are better in the opposition camp is definitely yet to be established but one thing that is now getting clearer by the day is that we might likely be having in the current leading party countless wolves who are in sheep clothing. Many would have thought to ask just like I’ve been doing in recent times that where is that seeming spirit of sacrifice? Or is the claim of the current opposition (the then incumbent) true about the APC figures? Are Nigerians been fooled one more time? These questions certainly need quick answers else I would assume a yes for their silence.
I have listened to several party chieftains as well as many political commentators say that this is political development in Nigeria but my response to all of those assertions is that if truly this is political development in Nigeria, then I’m not sure if that development is right for us as a people. I have followed carefully the post-election attitude of the APC and its members but it doesn’t seem clear to me that we have anything different from the usual. There are insinuations everywhere that some party chieftains are trying to hijack the party against 2019 when we have barely started any governance issues for the current mandate. Others say some party warlords are working to keep the party in their pocket by trying to influence the emergence of party officials for top ranking positions at all level. They argue that one person cannot always have it his way pointing to the South West in that regard and specifically the Asiwaju of Lagos.
I am not sure Dr. Bukola Saraki diagnosed properly the body language of Nigerians at this point for him to have appropriately assessed the after effect of the step he took to emerge unopposed as the senate-president of the red chamber. First it was a case of right of first refusal granted the immediate past president of the country and many scolded the PDP for its undemocratic nature of burying interests without proper contest. I have also called this new move by Dr. Saraki the right of first betrayal in the new scheme of things. The question to answer as this point would be: why is Dr. Saraki shying away from democracy? Why is he afraid of a contest? I know him to be very bold and confident at all times. At least his recent moves in the red chamber indicated that he is a man who is not afraid to constantly speak out his mind on any issue whatsoever and I will subscribe to that as true democracy. Democracy is the power of every individual to make a choice whether right or wrong.
If democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people in other words the ability to choose and have your choice work for you then I ask again, why is the Saraki camp denying Nigerians that right? Why are they mocking the democratic norms upon which they claim they stand? It must be re-emphasized one more time on this stage that I’m not in support of Senator Lawan and this piece is not an instrument for such as a matter of fact, I tipped Saraki over Lawan to become the next president of the senate in all my conversations before now. What I do not support is to have someone emerge unopposed in a race that had clear and living opposition.
Dr. Saraki walked out of the mock primary organized by his party on the account that the organization of the primary was undemocratic. He was even quoted on his facebook page as saying “the party adopted a voting pattern that is “undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.” Another question is when has denying people the right to chose their leaders become democratic as exhibited by the Saraki camp on the day the 8th assembly was inaugurated? Or would they claim the other camp was simply absent when indeed there was a meeting scheduled to find a lasting solution to the crisis?
Senators-elect who claimed to be of like minds were quoted as saying “As responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party. This has raised yet another question which is: of what consequence has the display of this type of undemocratic political character of the senators-elect who claimed to be of like minds is if not that it has further thrown the party into a more bitter state of chaos and has even deepened the sense of distrust among many of them.
It is now clear that the party that majority of Nigerians worked to support have now been thrown into a fragile condition and it is not apparent how the party will be able to sail through safely in this ocean of distrust and selfishness. The saying that every politician no matter how nice on the outlook is selfish is becoming more glaring to us as a people. Nigerians had thought that for once in our life time, we have come to the same page with these new set of leaders but it is disheartening to know that we are actually still far from such. I want to use this medium to urge party leaders in the APC to in the interest of the ordinary Nigerians who went through many hassles and possibly those who voted for change with their lives by paying the supreme price in the last elections to shift swords, find a common ground and restore that selfless nature that began the work of a new Nigeria.