APC’s Looming Bloodletting | Independent Newspapers Limited
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COLUMNIST, The Roundtable

APC’s Looming Bloodletting

Posted: Jul 8, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Only those living under the worst kind of naive delusion would fail to realize that the widening cracks developing among the leadership of the reigning All Peoples Congress (APC) are symptomatic of a looming bloodletting. It would seem that APC has learned nothing and forgotten nothing from the fall of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from grace to grass, which, come to think of it, is hardly surprising considering the deluge of ‘New PDP’ dissidents that swelled its ranks in the mad rush to topple the PDP from power. 

Truth be told, what’s happening in the APC was both predictable and predicted, given that the typical Nigerian politician – regardless of the name of the political contraption – is unprincipled, untrustworthy, obtuse, capricious, dishonest, mentally lazy and opportunistic.

It must, however, be said that bloodletting by itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one, it is a rapid, potent and cost-effective method of expelling poison from the body of an afflicted victim by removing some of his or her blood through a sucking action. But practitioners of this mode of healing are keenly aware that apart from ensuring that a tourniquet must be in place before sucking commences, great care must equally be exercised in order not to cause needless death from either of two common errors.

The first is the possibility of making an incision at the wrong point, in which case good blood is sucked away while the poison enters the blood stream to cause maximum havoc. The second is getting the spot right but inadvertently sucking too much blood, a situation that can equally cause death if the right type and amount of blood isn’t quickly transfused into the patient.

APC has become infected with all manner of deadly poisons, with vultures already circling above and undertakers getting set to pronounce the party dead on arrival! I personally don’t want this to happen because if we ever lose this opportunity Nigerians can kiss goodbye to responsible, transparent and accountable government for a long time to come. I want the APC project to work because it is the first time the two most populous tribes in the nation have succeeded in cobbling a winning coalition together. The likes of Obafemi Awolowo and Ladoke Akintola would have rejoiced to see this day.

I also want APC to succeed because as a member of the Igbo ethnic nationality that has engaged in political collabo with the North since flag independence in 1960 with noting tangible to show for it, I was hopeful that a fruitful collabo between the North and the Southwest would unveil one or two lessons that will guide Ndigbo on how to take their politicking to the next level prior to 2019.

One gets the feeling that majority of Nigerians think former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu is the problem. It is alleged that he has an insatiable appetite to pocket everyone and everything and his political colleagues and opponents alike are making capital out of the prevalent mood. But where were the latter-day ‘Mungo Parks’ – especially in the APC – when Tinubu put his wealth and his media group to work at the behest of the party before it was even birthed? Where were they when his media group constituted the lone credible voice of the opposition during the wilderness years?

While delivering an oration at the funeral of Julius Caesar, an incensed Mark Anthony rhetorically wondered how a man who thrice rejected an emperor’s crown could be said to be overly ambitious. He concluded with a quote-on-the-marble: “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff!” It was an open secret that Tinubu and his doting horde of supporters felt the position of the presidential running-mate should be handed to him as reward for his unparalleled efforts in transforming a fragmented and fractional opposition into a party that could effectively challenge for power at the centre.

But considering the barrage of negative media coverage he was receiving, Tinubu subordinated his ambition to the party’s larger interests by stepping aside for his protege, the erudite Professor Yemi Osinbajo whose nomination received wide acclamation at the time. Shouldn’t ambition be made of sterner stuff? Now that electoral victory has been secured, reports of Tinubu sightings – “Tinubu here” and “Tinubu there” – still sadly remain commonplace.

Little wonder the man chose not to attend the last national executive committee of his party. It was the wisest thing to do under the prevailing circumstances. If he had attended, the focus would have shifted from the party to Tinubu as a person, and if he had so much as coughed it would have been widely interpreted to mean that he was only trying to impose his coughing style on the party and Nigerians! What nonsensical nonsense!

This is what must happen if the APC is to circumvent the looming bloodletting: The party must apply an effective tourniquet right away to stop further bleeding by upholding party supremacy and be ready to expel incorrigible and recalcitrant members (sucking out the poison). APC mustn’t mistake its ‘Josephs’ for ‘Judases’ (not making a wrong incision) and must curb indiscriminate ‘catapults and stones’ of envy and jealousy (not sucking too much blood).

Tinubu on his part must get his foot soldiers to stop behaving in an obtrusive manner while Buhari must effectively play his role as the party’s de facto leader. He mustn’t fiddle like Emperor Nero while his party is burning. And former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar should forget his ambition to be the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees. I can bet my one year’s salary package that if he clinches the position, PDP national leadership would engage in 24/7 thanksgiving for six unbroken months!