By Hashim Suleiman
Let me start by referring to my article https://www.abusidiqu.com/the-continuity-and-change-agents-within-the-apc-and-a-need-to-manage-all-by-suleiman-hashim/ of May 16, 2015, where I had advised the APC of the need to manage the PDP elements that had rightly aligned with them to deliver the 2015 election victory.
The fear was that the PDP elements were going to attempt to introduce the political ‘Johnny just come’ of APC into the ways that PDP did their things. The concern was if APC had truly identified and tabulated the mistakes of the PDP that presented an opportunity for their victory or whether the supposed progressives who came from ACN and CPC truly understand progressivity in its true sense and the expectations of it.
Events have come and gone and so much has come out of it with the latest being a near-collapse of the APC party owing to the non-meticulous management of the need to be truly progressive and complete jettisoning of the PDP ways. The only saving grace was the intervention of the President which appeared premised on wise counsel.
Remember my article of June 5, 2020 https://itpulse.com.ng/2020/06/05/dr-isa-pantami-and-his-citizen-right-to-political-opinion-by-hashim-suleiman/ wherein I had defended Dr. Isa Pantami’s choice to a past political opinion on a political party whose failure led to its total rejection by the entirety of the citizenry. However, because his mentality and course of earlier criticism were that of a desire to see a progressive movement that would develop the nation, he decided to join the progressive party on a technocratic capacity and also working to do things that were different from those things he abhorred and that were not in line with the progressive ideology. This is the definition of ideology in relation to progressive workings even though it may attract some unpopularity amongst the elites.
We should also not be quick to forget about how the President had refused the governors to determine whom he appoints as aides and ministers because they also had their commissioners’ appointments to deal with. This was a deviation from the norm of PDP even though it was also somewhat compromised by some of the players in the presidency, it is always better to start something good even if not perfect but would become a culture with time. There was supposed to be a proper mix between technocrats and political loyalists who had contributed to the cause, there was very little of the latter.
One of the major issues that caused the latest APC problem was the usual cliché that governors are powerful and must, therefore, have what they always wanted. I personally consider that to be an old PDP way of doing things and the APC must be wary of issues like these. Governors’ place must be respected only when they showcase the true sense of upholding the tenets of progressive politics through carrying every party member along as against the promotion of personal or group interest.
Take Jigawa State for example where the governor has had to publicly agree to a working relationship with Alhaji Hashim Ubale Yusufu his main challenger in both the 2015 and 2019 election, however, people are at lost as to why they have not seen the man feature in any of the state’s major party or government activities nor feature in the Federal Government activities by way of recommendation from the State Government. Such kinds of cases which are found in almost all the states give the cause of concern to supporters and further support reasons why people are daily not seeing much difference between the PDP and APC and they also believe that such old PDP ways are brought upon by some Governors who neither have the interest of the party nor that of her ideology.
Talking about Oshiomole and his ouster as National Chairman, his only offense was the entrenchment of progressive ideals in the party amidst his imperfections as a person. The introduction of Direct Primary election was a democratic breakthrough but it remains unsung because it is not in the interest of the governors who believe the old PDP way of imposition must remain. Further to that achievement was the introduction of the screening of candidates no matter how highly placed. If these two very lofty democratic breakthroughs are not in tandem with APC’s supposed progressive ideals, what could?
While the governors had succeeded into convincing the president to summon the NEC, it was also commendable for the president to have used his wisdom to assemble a caretaker whose composition appeared to be made up of people who had the capability of remembering the progressive ideals and burden on the party and also act accordingly going forward. The idea of governors these governors that must be jettisoned for the collective patronage of those who imbibe the true ideals of the political party, it is only through the promotion of such along with sincerity of purpose that the APC party will build itself into a formidable progressive alternative while the choice for voting still remains that of the electorates.
God bless Nigeria and its growing democracy.
Hashim Suleiman can be reached via email@example.com