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APC’s, PDP’s crisis threaten party politics

By Seye Olumide   |   25 April 2017   |   3:31 am

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

As the country moves towards the 2019 general polls, Nigerians have expressed fears concerning party politics following the persistent internal face-off distressing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the last two years, there had been palpable misunderstanding among the elected officers on the platform of the ruling APC, which has continued to place President Muhammadu Buhari-led government against the APC majority controlled National Assembly as well as some of the governors on the party’s platform against their states lawmakers both at the state and national level.

The Buhari’s administration has also been accused of making deliberate efforts to turn the party leadership into a rubberstamp ahead of the 2019 elections by refusing to fund it and also constitute its Board of Trustees (BoT) almost two years after it assumed power.

Recently, one of the founding members of the party expressed misgivings over the failure to constitute BoT.

The APC leader aired his feelings following the altercation between the party’s majority-led House of Representatives and Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai over public servant remunerations and the secrecy surrounding the way governors spend their security votes.

In a situation that appears that the Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara and the governor were not members of the same party, the duo took their differences to the public domain.

He expressed disappointment that highly placed members of the APC are at one another’s jugular over what the party ordinarily should have addressed internally rather than bringing themselves to the public court.

He noted that the altercation between Dogara and El-Rufai was part of the consequences of the APC not setting up a BoT, which contradicts its constitution, saying: “If we had a BoT, the ongoing face-off between the House of Representatives and some of the governors would have been addressed internally as well as related issues affecting the party.

The palpable division within the leadership of the ruling party particularly the misunderstanding between the presidency and the National Assembly controlled by APC, the unending face-off between some governors of the party and their state’s representatives in the National Assembly and the alleged refusal to fund the party are already giving impression that the APC might not go into the next general poll as a united family.

Speaking on the development and its implication to future elections, a political activists, Mr. Tony Uranta said was clear that Nigeria has not come of age in regards to the practice of viable democracy in which the interest of the electorate, who entrusted their sovereignty through their votes into the hands of few elected public officers, is placed above every other thing.

According to him, “The rate at which the two major political parties are operating in the last two years is very worrisome. There had been no internal democracies in the parties. Although, this has been before the Buhari’s administration, it has only worsened under the present government where the ruling party could not even constitute its BoT and the rival party is not allowed any breathing space.”

He said if the status quo persists, there may be the birth of a new mega party before 2019 elections “which I suspects may arise through coalition of forces from the existing parties. How the new party is now going fare in the polity would be decided by events.

“On the other hand, if the polity continues the way it is now till 2019, a new charismatic leader may emerge on the platform of the weaker political parties like the Labour Party (LP) otherwise the existing APC and PDP remain the parties to reckon with in the next general elections.”

Uranta said Nigerians are focusing more on the future elections instead of paying serious attention to what is happening in the polity currently.

Said he, “My fear for our democracy is that there are many pockets of revolutionary movements in the country at present, which may snowball into bigger crisis even later in this year or in 2018 except we work out modalities to address the hostilities in our polity and how the country will survive.”

He said the country needed to return to its founding fathers’ federalism based on the 1960 and 1963 constitutions, which gives autonomy to the existing regions.

The National Coordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams said it was a pity Nigeria found itself in a situation where party ideologies, discipline and programmes have been substituted for personal and selfish interest of ambitious politicians.

While he warned that something urgently needed to be done to address the drift of the two major parties, APC and the PDP, the OPC stalwart said Nigerians should be getting ready to take their destiny in their hands in future elections, saying: “the two major parties are drowning.

In a telephone conversation with The Guardian yesterday, Adams posited that the bane of parties in the country is that after winning elections “Our parties deviate from their original stance and jettison their ideology for individual self aggrandizement. Today, the APC has completely deviated from the manifesto it presented to Nigerians during the campaign and some cabals appears to have hijacked its operations.”




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