In a continuation of our series on the many troubles of Nigeria’s ruling party, The All Progressive Congress, APC
Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives’ Congress , battle escalating crisis and loss of quality membership, less than one year to a general election in Nigeria.
BY VICTOR UGBORGU
While some APC members are of the opinion that the governors who joined other parties would lose their states to the APC during the presidential election scheduled for February 2019, others believe that the end has come for the APC. Amaechi believe that more people would defect to other parties no matter what they are offered. “No matter what you do, the governor of Sokoto will leave the party naturally. He has ambition to be president. If you take a chicken to him he will still go. It is the same thing with the Governor of Kwara state. These are people we expect to leave the party”. The statement was made prior to the defection of the two governors.
On those that defected at the House of Representatives and Senate, Amaechi believes that they were not known at the grassroots level. “Where do they come from? They come from areas that the president is comfortable. Do you honestly believe that the president will lose election in Sokoto state? We are not God, but it’s one of his comfort zones”. He then threw the bomb. Hear him: “If you bring the president on a sick bed to Bauchi and Kano, he will win and he has never lost election in Bauchi. But that is a bit arrogant on our side. We should not underestimate them. “I am not God. It is only God who can say the APC will win or not. But what is clear is that if you remove the God element, I think we are prepared to coast to victory because Nigerians will certainly reject a second looting. Nigeria can’t survive a second looting” he said.
Amaechi was former governor of Rivers state on the PDP platform before defecting to the APC in 2014. Lai Mohammed, minister of information, described the defection as “the removal of stones from (the party’s) rice”. Mohammed spoke in his country home of Oro, Kwara state, on July 29, when members and supporters of the party welcomed him at the playground of Muslim Community Primary School, Oro. The minister told the supporters that the defection of the lawmakers in the national assembly had exposed the “faces of traitors” in the party’s fold. “God has removed stones from our rice and sands in our garri. The defection will have no significant negative effect on the party; instead, it will offer an opportunity for its re-positioning”, he said.
While Itse Sagay (SAN) and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) described federal lawmakers who defected from the ruling APC to the opposition parties as malaria parasites. He said the lawmakers have been making the APC sick in the last three years. He said he was surprised that Saraki, the Senate president chose to remain in the party. “I don’t understand the kind of game Saraki is trying to play. The intention of the lawmakers is to bring down President Buhari in 2019. They thought they could reenact what happened in 2014 when they left the PDP for APC. President Muhammadu Buhari is their main target. It is the presidency itself that they really wanted to bring down. What surprises me is the fact that their leader (Saraki) has not left. I wonder what type of game he is playing”, Sagay said.
But Kwankwaso, who recently decamped to PDP, said APC members are still living in figment of their imagination as no amount of rigging would guarantee APC and Buhari’s victory in Kano state in 2019. He said this in reaction to Amaechi’s offensive statement that Buhari would win in the 2019 general elections even on sick bed.
Mike Iheanetu, a PDP member representing Aboh Mbaise in the Imo State House of Assembly applauded the defectors’ move which he believes would change the game in 2019. He said he was not surprised at the turn of events because in the past three years, the APC has provided the worst governance since the return of democracy in Nigeria. “The worst governance in the sense that all the landmarks and all the basic achievements recorded within the 16 years of PDP rule in the country have all been destroyed within three years of APC misrule. So you begin to ask yourself, are we making two steps forward and four steps backward? As far as I am concerned, PDP made a lot of achievements in 16 years which have been squandered in the three years of APC misrule”.
He told Verbatim that the recent defection of APC members to other parties was the effect of bad governance. The APC government at the federal level has failed Nigerians. “It is a shame that the American dollar that the federal government inherited at N167 per dollar in 2015 is now tripled. It is a shame that the petrol price which was at N67 per litre when the APC government took over is now N145 and above. It is a shame. I want to challenge all Journalists in the country to go and make researches and name one project initiated, completed and commissioned by the present APC government of President Buhari. But then we could not hold the APC and its members accountable for these monumental failures”.
Iheanetu believed that president Buhari was elected by default and about completing his four years with little or nothing to show apart from Fulani herdsmen killings and hunger. “Anybody who wins in 2019 is better than Buhari; a man who cannot differentiate between sincerity and reality. How can a president of a country put all his relations in various positions at the expense of other sections of the country? Is Nigerian constitution useless? How can you be fighting corruption and you are on top of corruption and use corrupt people to surround yourself and still claim that you are fighting corruption?”, Iheanetu queried.
Ayodele Fayose, outgoing governor of Ekiti State said the mass defection of members of the National Assembly to the PDP was a sign of the “impending defeat of tyranny’, describing them as “patriotic.” He went philosophical: “I see an impending dawn of a new era in Nigeria. I see an impending defeat of tyranny. God bless those patriotic NASS members. To those of you still supporting this tyranny, I wish you luck”.
Paul Okeke, a public affairs analyst said Nigerians should expect more defection in protest of poor governance of the ruling party. “It is a known fact that the Buhari administration has not been steadfast in keeping to its three campaign promises of providing security, improving the economy and fighting corruption”.
He noted that if the government had utilised even 25 per cent of the huge oil revenue available to it, Nigerians would not be complaining. “The administration keeps restating its commitment to providing critical infrastructure, providing loans to farmers, reducing rice importation, recovering illegally acquired assets and other non-achievable promises. All these amounted to motion without movement”, he said.
However, Ejike Mbaka, a fiery catholic priest and spiritual director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu has added a spiritual angle to the current political turmoil in the country. He warned President Buhari and federal lawmakers to be cautious of an impending disaster in Nigeria.
Mbaka had prophesied Buhari’s Presidency in his popular end of year message on 31 December, 2014. It came to pass. In his message a few weeks ago, he said a day would come ‘when there will be means to leave but there will be no one to leave’.
To avert the danger, he advised Buhari to travel to Rome to seek God’s forgiveness for the blood of men of God and innocent men, women and children killed under his watch.
He told the president to apologize to the mother church. “From the councilor to the traditional ruler and everyone in the rung of leadership, to the people who call themselves senators, who are busy messing up the country in the name of lawmaking and those who are hovering in the House of Representatives, who are they representing actually; their stomachs. They are representing the disaster that is coming. All of them should kneel down; lie down. President Buhari, if you don’t do this, you’ll know that a man of God has spoken”. “Buhari should take them and other leaders in the country to the Nunciature, the Pope’s representatives are there, if you (Buhari) can’t take them to Rome, and apologize for the blood of the holy men and women that were shed under your government, then God can prophesy someone into a position”, said Mbaka.
He did not spare the opposition, the PDP as he told members of the party to kneel down and beg Nigerians. “Supernatural disaster is coming. Angels are already warming up. Nigerians should not worry; one day, there will be vacancy from Abuja. The jet will park and nobody will use it unless they repent”, Mbaka submitted.