APC crisis: Time for Buhari to take charge

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APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole
Ezomon
Ehichioya Ezomon

By Ehichioya Ezomon

THESE are certainly difficult times in the All Progressives Congress, APC, the party is beset by crises. And at a time like this, two things are needed: Tell truth to power. That power must take drastic and decisive action(s) to root out the problems.

These essentials are missing in APC. First, everyone is scratching their heads, unwilling or afraid to tell the truth. Secondly, President Muhammadu Buhari, the repository of power on the platform,  hasn’t dispensed the firm actions to deal with the issues.

As a consequence, the stand of Buhari, as the leader of the party, portrays a classic example of the tales told of “Nero fiddling while Rome burns.”

There is no evidence that the Emperor fiddled (played violin in AD 64 Rome), but the moral is, one shouldn’t “occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis.”

But that is what Buhari seems to be doing in the circumstance! Why will the APC that gave him consecutive victories in 2015 and 2019 be burning, and he is literally assumed that all is well?

How can the landlord be sleeping when a snake is on the roof? The APC is in turmoil and Buhari continues to set up or encourage the setting up of non-result-oriented committees to resolve the matters that he could nip in the bud.

Not long ago, the president empanelled a committee led by the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It would be a mystery if that committee took off the ground, as it didn’t submit any report that the public is aware of.

Last year, two committees by the National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Committee (NEC), respectively, died stillbirth because of opposition to their membership.

Isn’t it time Buhari seized the occasion with both hands, and restore order, not minding who is bruised in the process of instilling sanity in the party that formed his two-term government?

Of late is the Chief Bisi Akande panel, composed at Buhari’s instance. Yet, it can’t resume work because the political combatants have upped their ante of mutually assured destruction, particularly in the Edo, and Ondo and Rivers chapters of the party.

Some governors, said to be angling for the presidential or vice presidential slots in the next polls, have procured the services of disgruntled members of the NWC, to move against the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

They did this in the hope that he could be sacked, or suspended from parading himself as head of the NWC. And they got an Abuja High Court’s injunction, restraining Oshiomhole from entering the APC headquarters in Abuja.

Acting on the court writ, operatives of the Police and Department of State Services (DSS) locked Oshiomhole out of the headquarters, and allowed his traducers in, to fix an emergency NEC meeting for Tuesday, March 17 (tomorrow).

And what are members of the public hearing post-the “defeat of Oshiomhole in round one” by the conspiracy of the aggrieved governors in the battle for the soul of the APC?

It’s that, once again, Buhari contemplates setting up a three-man panel – besides Chief Akande’s – for a piecemeal resolution of the matters: first, the trouble at the party headquarters before the inflamed impasse affecting the entire structure nationwide.

What confusion! Why excise the Oshiomhole-governors/NWC entanglement from the menu on the Akande panel? That’s a sign that even the committee led by the respected former governor of Osun State maybe facing a headwind from the onset!

Isn’t it time Buhari seized the occasion with both hands, and restore order, not minding who is bruised in the process of instilling sanity in the party that formed his two-term government?

The disaffection in the ruling party started from grumbling to rebellion to mass defection to loss of vital positions in the 2019 polls, and now to threatening implosion and disintegration.

Still, Buhari has maintained his mantra of “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” And the APC hawks have taken that to mean he remains neutral even if they commit political murder.

Had he intervened in the mess from the congresses and primaries prior to the 2019 polls, the bloody nose the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gave the APC could have been averted.

Those unresolved issues may put the final nail in the coffin of the APC because Bubari has stoically stood by as the combatants used his name or “read his body language” for their selfish interests.

The “body language” shouldn’t be the modus operandi of running an APC of strange bedfellows, or a complex country like Nigeria, where intrigues and subterfuge run riot!

No past president – certainly not an overbearing Dr Olusegun Obasanjo or the gentleman Dr Goodluck Jonathan – could stomach the effrontery of the governors on the same platform as theirs.

Those leaders – whether for good or for ill – let members of the PDP, which fielded them, know where they stood on internal party affairs. But not so with Buhari!

While not advocating a return to Machiavellian tactics to rein in the gladiator governors in the APC crises, Buhari’s sneeze should make them to catch some cold.

Or are they so powerful to be untouchables? That could only be if they had something on the president, which makes him so reluctant to tackle them for fear of possibly letting the cat out of the bag.

But I should hazard the opposite is the case: That they’ve no hold on Buhari, who should nail them individually and severally. They’ve abused his reticent disposition to climb his head!

Those unresolved issues may put the final nail in the coffin of the APC because Bubari has stoically stood by as the combatants used his name or “read his body language” for their selfish interests.

An Esan proverb warns that, “if a man is too gentle, lizards will climb him.” The governors have taken undue advantage of Buhari’s gentility – in his quest to appear democratic. But democracy isn’t synonymous with docility.

And why should Buhari bother to present himself as a democrat before cynical critics that have labelled him and his government as undemocratic, dictatorial and autocratic? Nothing he does would change that characterisation!

On the APC crises, Buhari should take any actions necessary to halt the accelerating drift into disintegration. As former military President, Ibrahim Babangida postulates: “it is better to take a wrong action than not to take any action at all.”

Back to Oshiomhole. If Buhari has no more use for him, he should tell the man to his face, convene a “proper” NEC meeting to ratify his suspension, and call a mini convention to boot him out.

Unless, of course, the movers and shakers in the government and APC want to deploy the courts, as decoy, to suspend him en route to getting rid of him. That is part of the weapons of politics!

Anyway, Buhari knows Oshiomhole isn’t gaming the APC, but his close allies, who seem licensed to destabilise the party just so they could get Oshiomhole out, to achieve their 2020 ambitions.

Let’s close out with a call by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Yekini Nabena, for Buhari to take charge – as a reminder of his pledge to ensure APC’s survival post-2023.

Nabena said: “I call on President Muhammadu Buhari,… to urgently wade into the crisis and restore order to the party… As the president noted during our last NEC meeting, ‘it would be shameful if APC collapses after his tenure, and history would not forgive anyone who tries to aid the collapse of the party.’ The time to act is now.”

Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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