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Why Obaseki And Oshiomole's Fight Can End APC Before 2023

TheGistTrain 06/26/2020

Before the 2015 General elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was unarguably the most prominent political party in Africa. The party controlled the Federal Government, most of the states, and even managed the majority in the National Assembly. But as the election approached, ambitions broke the party into interest groups, and soon enough, the party got engulfed in a leadership crisis.

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The crisis started as a disagreement between the then National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and the then Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, in no distant time escalated to all states’ chapters of the party and the party soon began to split into factions.

The most notable of these factions was the “Reformed PDP” (r-PDP) faction which was led by Kawu Baraje eventually pitched tent with All Progressives Congress (APC) after an Abuja Federal High Court in its fulling ordered the camp to stop claiming to be leaders of the PDP, and declared Bamanga Tukur-led leadership as the authentic leaders of the party. 

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The then Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state all defected to APC. Other notable politicians that defected were former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, and many serving senators and members House of Representatives as well as several state Houses of Assembly members. This mass defection led to the collapse of the party structure and was one of the reasons the PDP lost most of its strongholds in the 2015 general elections.

About six years later, the APC is probably about to experience the same fate as the crisis between the suspended APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole, and his successor and current Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has taken drastic turns. If this issue is not appropriately addressed, it might mark the beginning to the end of APC.

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Now that APC, the party that benefited most from the PDP’s crisis and failure back in 2015, is gradually becoming the victim of the same problem, it is safe to say that the problem is not party specific. It is a confirmation that there is a lapse in the leadership of political parties in Nigeria.

The problem in APC is unconnected to a lack of transparent leadership and internal democracy. Some of the leaders of the party at state and national levels were accused of using iron hands, having selfish interests and injustice to achieve their personal goals instead of adopting a democratic way of progressing the party. The surprising thing is that during the 2019 general elections, some party members who were not treated equally worked against the party, and this led to the inability of the party to retain its control of Adamawa, Zamfara, Bauchi, and Oyo.

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Following Governor Obaseki’s defection, the APC structure in Edo State is near collapse. The State Executive Committee recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is believed to be loyal to Obaseki. Although he (Obaseki) is no longer a member of the party, he will still control the APC indirectly since he has the Exco members in his “pockets,” especially now that any disarray in the party will benefit his as the candidate of PDP in the gubernatorial election.

The efforts spearheaded by President Buhari in salvaging what is left of the party before the situation gets worse is a welcome development, however, for such efforts to achieve the desired result, the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee must ensure that no member of the party or any interest group can achieve his/their interest at the expense of the party. As difficult as that might be, it is the only way out of the mess that the party is engulfed.

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Also, the party must ensure fairness and equity in dealing with members of the party. If anyone, especially one of the critical stakeholders, feels left out of the plan, it will result in mass defection towards 2023 general elections, and that will affect the chances of the party in the Edo, Ondo elections, and ultimately in the 2023 general election.

The ball, however, is in APC’s court.

Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>

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