APC should face the real issues | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APC should face the real issues

Posted: Apr 28, 2015 at 1:54 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


Recently, the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. John Oyegun, was quoted as saying that he was “sad” that his party could not produce a lawmaker from the South East to be elected as senate president or speaker of the House of Representatives when the new national assembly would be inaugurated later in May. This was because during the last elections, the APC performed so poorly in the South East that it was unable to win a single seat in the two houses of the national assembly in the region.

Ordinarily, this should have been an exclusive problem of the APC, but given the way Mr. Oyegun spoke, someone might be deluded into thinking that some really monumental tragedy had hit the South East – for which the people of the area should be in deep mourning by now.

Since the presidential election which the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, told us was won by APC’s General Muhammadu Buhari, one has lost count of articles madly celebrating how the “wrong voting” of majority of South Easterners has now put them to “great disadvantage.” Mr. Oyegun’s assertion, therefore, would seem to have somewhat elevated such clearly pedestrian views and clothed them with the false robe of serious discourse.

Now, apart from providing another juicy job for another member of the largely parasitic and incompetent political class, what exactly will the South East gain if somebody from the region becomes the senate president? Or, put another way, the region has produced senate presidents before, and apart from the delusive emotional satiation some fellows from their villages might have felt when they heard that their “brother” had “crossed over” to join other fat cats as a distinguished member of Nigeria’s Eating Class, what exactly (in practical terms) did their communities or even states gain from their occupation of that position?  So, how would a South Easterner becoming a senate president affect the price of fish at Afor Umuaka or Eke-Ututu market, even in this era of “change”?

Okay, after the 2011 elections, the position of the speaker of the House of Representatives was zoned by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the South West. But the lawmakers from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the dominant party in the South West, reportedly, conspired with some PDP “rebels” and some power-must-remain-with-us elements from the North to ensure that Aminu Tambuwal from Sokoto State became speaker. Now, did the South West cease to exist because it neither produced a House speaker nor senate president? And where were these pundits who are now afflicting us with fantastic analyses of the “misfortune” just suffered by the South East? Why did we not hear some “sad” mourner composing boring dirges about the “great misfortune” that visited the South West?

The attempt to always profile South Easterners and brand any action undertaken by them is increasingly lacking in imagination. Our “experts” were quick to agree that the South East was driven by nationalistic fervor to vote massively for the PDP from 1999 to 2011. But in 2015, their voting for the same PDP has suddenly become “tribalistic”! But the North (including toddlers) that voted en mass for the APC and even the Northern PDP governors who sank their political ships by their double-faced politics were all driven by “nationalistic” spirit. As if “nationalism” is one long, tortuous path that leads to Daura while “tribalism” is a wide expressway that speedily takes one to Onitsha Bridge! I think we should be tired of this self-deceiving claptrap by now.

Well, although, Buhari has suddenly realized (after reeling out tantalizing promises during the campaigns) that he is not “magician” or “miracle worker” and asking us to tone down our expectations, the APC should not lose sight of the high hopes it unduly raised among Nigerians. I think that instead of going about looking for some inane matters to feel “sad” about, the APC leaders should hasten to rouse themselves to the yawning reality that the campaigns are over and all eyes are now on them to demonstrate that they are capable of providing quality leadership.

What exactly does the “change” they promised Nigerians mean in practical terms? Very soon, they would no longer have a President Jonathan to blame for everything that goes wrong in Nigeria. They would be the ones on the hot seat, and not even a friendly, collaborative media can deflect the impatience of a disappointed populace.  They had better face the real issues staring them in the face.


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