Is APC Dead On Arrival?

August 08 21:13 2013 Print This Article

Tunde Babalola

By ‘Tunde Babalola

When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) approved the application of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for registration as a political party on Wednesday July 31, 2013, majority of Nigerians were full of high hopes and aspirations on the future of politics and politicking.

Their joy knows no bound as the euphoria and encomiums that followed the registration of the newest party in Nigeria almost reached to the high heavens.

Majority of Nigerians were happy not because the three political parties – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) that merged into one had really performed exceedingly well in the time past but because history was made since the amalgamation of the country in 1914 to have registered political parties to shelve their identities, ego, and aspirations and merged into one party.

Also, Nigerians were happy because they thought the new APC would give the ruling party – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) a good fight and ‘a run for their money’ in 2015 as a major opposition party with several political gladiators paraded by the APC.

The development sparked a long celebration that has yet to die down. In its very first reaction the APC congratulated Nigerians on the emergence of the new party, saying “with the birth of APC, Nigerians now had an alternative to a ruling party that had taken the people for a bad ride in the past 14 years.”

Commentators who have analysed the situation insist that, rather than celebrate, the new party should, above all, realize that the stakes have risen, now that they have arguably become the voice of opposition.

Similarly, coming as it were as a surprise after the sponsors of APC had repeatedly threatened fire and brimstone over their fears that the proposed party would not be registered, the coming into reality of the APC is considered some as a watershed by political observers.

But, all that euphoria seems to be weakened too soon going by the feelers from the elder statesman and interim National Chairman of APC, Mr Bisi Akande who on Tuesday August 6, 2013 during the inaugural meeting of the executives of the new party reportedly asked President Goodluck Jonathan to come and run under its platform.

That development makes me to feel and begin to ask a question whether APC is dead on arrival.

Does it mean that APC has no credible people to sponsor for the office of president and vice president, and has been agitating all this while to ask Mr Jonathan to step down?

Recalled they once asked the National Assembly to impeach President Jonathan that they are now asking to contest on their platform! What a shame?

My first grouse with the APC was the reported luring of former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to join its fold. Who in its right sense would consider the former military president a progressive?, bearing in mind his antecedents, if not anything else, he is the man who annulled the first fairest and freest presidential election Nigeria ever had on June 12, 1993, not to talk of the way he managed the economy of the largest country where majority of the black resides in the world.

In my candid opinion, the invitation by the APC to President Jonathan is an open declaration of the party’s unpreparedness to govern Nigeria.

It should be apparent to Nigerians that this new political party is directionless, lacking substance, and without a clear purposeful leadership. How would APC leadership convince me and most Nigerians that they are not ‘Association of Past Criminals’ as some people have alluded, that just want to grab the Presidency at all cost?

With Mr Akande’s invitation to President Jonathan to fly its flag in 2015, APC is confirming the belief of some people that the crop of politicians that ‘gang up’ to form the party are like expired drugs that can no longer be administered or if administered would rather cause more damage or would not work at all or both.

Having ‘fall my hand’, the slang most common among Nigerians when somebody mis-fired, the earlier APC and its leadership re-trace their steps, the better or should I say ride on to 2019 to the Otuoke-born President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan since the only hope of sending him packing from Aso Rock in 2015 are already ‘begging’ him to come and fly its flag?

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