Have you defected to the APC? | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Comment, Opinion

Have you defected to the APC?

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 at 6:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ayo Oyoze Baje


Waoh, Mr. Baje you must be a prophet of some sort. You predicted it and now it has happened.”Remember Andy, my long-time friend? He is back in town and ever ready to take me on in political re-engineering. But this time he had the hard copy of one of my opinion essays which he was brandishing for all to see.

It turned out to be the piece entitled, PDP: Is this house finally falling? Published on January 23, 2013 under my Drumbeats column. A lot of murky water, as they say has passed under Nigeria’s political bridge between then and now.

These are interesting times, indeed. The promised wind of ‘change’ by the APC has begun in earnest. Politicians who could not deliver even their wards during the presidential polls have since defected to the warm embrace of the newest bride in town, APC. Talk about success having many friends and failure being a naked orphan. Do we call the gale of defections Hurricane Tinubu or Sai Baba? Time will tell.

Americans call the defectors the carpet-baggers. But the long-suffering Nigerians say they are AGIP, simply meaning ‘Any Government in Power’. However, the not-so-happy Senate President, David Mark describes them as ‘fair weather politicians’. Olisa Metuh and the people’s governor, Dr.Babangida Aliyu, as expected are on the same page with him. My heart goes out to them. How times changes things, within the twinkle of an eye.

Andy on his part is here with his vitriolic tongue. He says the defectors “are nothing but shameless, spineless, rudderless, greed-driven political prostitutes without any iota of inspiring leadership ideology. Have they asked themselves how many Republicans have jumped ship in the United States, all because Obama won the presidency for the Democrats? How many?

“What happens tomorrow if the PDP, or indeed another party takes over the reins of power from the APC? What will they do? Swallow their vomit and go crab crawling to the winning side? Methinks this would have presented the best opportunity for them to stay put and reappraise their short falls as members and make amends. These visionless vermin simply make me puke!”

I cringed at his choice of words before I countered, “But they have a political philosophy”.

“Philosophy, what nonsensical ideology could that be?” he asked, his well-tended face thrown into ridges and furrows.

“Stomach infrastructure, of course!” I stated.

“Oh, yes I can see clearly now. I am sure that if the embattled Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State decamps to APC today, his travails would be over. Just like that! It would be goodbye to the impeachment saga”. Andy noted with a series of nods more like an agama lizard basking in the tropic sun.

“That is Nigeria’s brand of politics for you”. I surmise.

Andy responded with more grammar. “Honestly, this is one of the fundamental frictional forces, up in arms and militating against the enthronement and sustenance of enduring democratic culture here in Nigeria. The political class here is seriously self-propelled, irredeemably corrupt, overtly avaricious and brazenly capricious by words and action. I weep for my country.”

“There is another form of danger looming on the political horizon. As Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the tired but not retired CNPP boss says, we are heading for a one-party state.” I observed.

Andy had his reservations but I reassured him. “Do not harbour any fear whatsoever. The Buhari of 1985 is different from that of 2015.He has eaten the humble political pie and turned over a new democratic leaf.”

“But now he says he is not a miracle worker; that Nigerians should not expect an El Dorado overnight.” Andy noted, on a rather sad note.

All said, the recent Presidential/National Assembly elections and the aftermath of the gale of defections from the PDP to the APC show clearly again that we are far from what democracy should be all about. Firstly, in better political climes the clamour for the centre would have been less vociferous. More attention should have been devolved to what transpires at the states and LGAs. That is, if politics and the attendant policies are people-oriented and more grassroots-driven.

Another issue that is becoming more evident is the angling for power for its own sake. A thin line currently exists between the two dominant political parties considered within the context of political ideologies. One may find it hard to understand when a governor that defects from the PDP, seen as a ‘conservative party’ to the more ‘progressive’ APC only some four months back applauding the latter for his so called administrative success.

Truth be told, we do not currently have sharp ideological differences as existed between the NPN and UPN during the Second Republic. Then, the Shagari-led NPN talked about Qualitative Education and mass housing policies to the other’s Free Education programme and affordable healthcare delivery. And the bandwagon effect of voting was not as ridiculous as is currently evolving.

Yet, we may still have to grapple with the increasing political power and overriding influence of the godfathers in delivering the dividends of democracy. Though Sections 222 to 227 of the Electoral Act harp on party supremacy, and seeing to it that the people’s welfare, infrastructural development and security hold sway when politicians assume office, the reverse may be the order of the day. Would such newly elected politicians not pander to the whims and caprices of those who propped them up to power, than to listen to the wishes of the electorate?

Besides, leadership must now provide the needed compass to instituting more people-oriented policies and programmes from the ward, local council and state levels. Even as political enlightenment has substantially improved since 1999(which I am proud to be part of), much more needs to be done in instilling internal party discipline. But the president -to –be, Buhari and the APC should be wary of the carpet-crossers.


Contact: ayobaje@yahoo.co.uk, 0805 797 1776