The Possible Implosion Of The APC


The events in the Nigerian political sphere these days stimulate a feeling of de javu. From the hounding of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the threat of an upend of the All Progressives Congress majority in the Red Chamber due to the defection of lawmakers,

one surmises the APC too might be heading for an implosion and subsequent disintegration like the Peoples Democratic Party , which began in 2013 and culminated in their loss of the 2015 presidential election.

There is a definite slant to the APC losing the legislature – the overbearing power the party gains by running both the legislature and the judiciary can be counterbalanced by a strong and vibrant PDP opposition.

The apparent reason one should not yet be excited by the prospect is that it makes not much difference in the long run; there is a yawning lack of ideological distinction between political parties in Nigeria.

Virtually every lawmaker agrees on the same issue and for the same reasons. Their opinions – for those that have any – largely mirror one another and it is somewhat rare to see lawmakers take one another up in a fierce rhetorical contest of principled positions.

Even the APC that once claimed to be progressive, seeing no further need to keep up the ethical pretence, long dropped the tag. Their administration is now barely distinguishable from the PDP at the zenith of its glory.

The PDP, the political party that once thought of itself as the most formidable in Africa, disintegrated as soon as the centripetal force of the presidency that held all the incoherent and undesirable elements of the party was removed.

The APC, not a more superior contraption either, is a band of Ali Baba’s men stapled together with the might of political power and the prebendal benefits it promises. If the APC loses power next year, they will crumble faster than the PDP did when their dirty hands were removed from the public till.

While a couple of commentators have made the looming possibility of an APC implosion sound like dark clouds are gathering over Nigeria, it might, in fact, be the best way to break out of the APC-PDP conundrum and their uninspiring candidates that we have been locked in with for a while now.

The collapse of the APC too might birth possibilities that will enliven other political parties, and give more promising candidates the space to be seen and heard by potential voters. Much better candidates have been overshadowed for too long by the characterless men that characterise both parties but who, nevertheless, get to run because they are supported by godfathers who have long rooted their feet in power. If the APC is demystified like the PDP, smaller and, new parties might get a chance to grow.

Some months ago, the rage in the polity was about a “third force,” a redemption plan initiated by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to put an end to the present administration come election 2019. Depends on which side of the political divide people are, and which religious and tribal affiliations move them, the third force has received measures of opprobrium and approbation.

Expectedly, there were denunciations of the architect of the “third force” himself for the role he played in 2015 to usher in the apocalyptic Muhammadu Buhari presidency. Obasanjo, driven as usual by a messianic zeal, does not seem deterred by the criticism of his efforts in this direction, neither is he detained by the censure of well-meaning citizens who call for his introspection on his role before construing himself as a saviour.

He is soldiering on with his foot soldiers in the bid to remove the same Buhari he helped to get elected a mere three years ago. Whether his “third force” will make an impact in this direction or not will unravel in the months ahead, but what should not be forgotten while waiting to see is how the very idea of such option might seduce beleaguered voters and drive them towards seeking an opportunity that is neither APC nor the PDP.

We can, of course, contend whether what is offered as a third force is different from what subsists, or it is only a continuity of the same dysfunctional process that created our existing conditions.

Nigerians seemed to be encircled behind a giant wall of political incompetence and instituted corruption that we have neither been able to scale nor demolish. The term “third option” in this context presupposes that there are two unpleasant yet distinguishable options which have led to an impregnable political stasis.

A third option would thus be used to escape the strictures of a polar democratic formation that neither delivers dividends nor trickles down benefits to the people but yet forcefully encompasses them within its constricting grip. However, our present crop of leadership – from both the ruling party, the APC and the so-called opposition, the PDP – as they both stand, are like the Orwellian pigs and men where one species looks like the other because one is, in fact, the other.

All the talk about change and improvement of social functioning in the Nigerian polity remains mere fluff as long as we are caught in their vortex.

Then there is the Saraki factor. At the rate at which they are turning him into an embattled underdog being run over by the bullish machinery of power, they are building propaganda against themselves.

Saraki is no victim but in fact a co-traveller with the rest of the merry band of men who have used and abused power in the Nigerian political space. However, no thanks to the zeal of the top functionaries of government, they are making him a hero of this poorly scripted drama.

He is going to begin to look like a casualty of official highhandedness and given the way such sentiments are crunched into political capital, they might as well run Saraki for president. More attacks on Saraki will increase his following because all of those who hate Buhari and want to see him go will queue behind him and support him in every way to defeat Buhari.

There is little about the Saraki’s drama with the Police that has to do with the welfare of the ordinary people who will now be driven to take sides with their emergency heroes in this dispute.

While the PDP took 16 years before it crumbled under the weight of its incompetence, the APC will not take that long, and that is mostly because unlike pre-2015, the idea of removing the President seemed almost imponderable.

The unthinkability of defeating such a dominant figure as the President led the PDP to overrate its strength. They are still reeling from the shock of their loss till now.

If the APC crash does not come soon enough in 2019, it will not take as long as the PDP did. This difference will be because people are now aware that it is possible for the incumbent to lose an election.

The Buhari popularity that holds the APC together is not unbeatable now that it has lost its mythical shine.

The series of events going on in Nigeria these days might be the APC beating its own drum too hard. They should be encouraged to keep at it until they tear the surface and expose the hollowness of their internal constitution.

The factors that inveigh against the APC’s formidability are piling up, and their hubristic attitude is not helping them either. They have resorted to playing all the tricks that the PDP did, and which earned the PDP disaffection.

From their conduct in the recently concluded Ekiti election to the many scandals of corruption and abuses that have characterised their government, and the arrogant manner they have refused to respond to weighty issues, the APC is the architect of its undoing.


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