When Harry Akande predicted fall of PDP
CHIEF Harry Ayoade Akande, business mogul, is certainly not a stranger in Nigeria’s political landscape; especially the country’s contemporary political history. He continues to form an in-negligible part of the political blocks for building the country’s ever growing democracy.
Chief Akande was a founding member of the All Peoples Party, which eventually transformed to the All Nigeria’s Peoples Party (ANPP), one of the legacy parties in the All Progressives Congress (APC), which member of Board of Trustees (BoT) he later became. He also tried unsuccessfully to clinch the defunct ANPP’s presidential ticket.
But beyond these who is Akande? It may not be out of place if this billionaire-turned politician who curiously abandoned the blissful comfort o his business empire for the smoky political kitchen, is also called a prophet, a forecaster, a fortune-teller or even a crystal-ball gazer.
Akande himself may dispute qualifying to wear any of these robes, which he would refer to as borrowed garments.
However events in the country’s political landscape since the last three years, especially the emergence of the APC; an amalgam of four political parties as a political party now in the country’s driver seat from next month, has certainly proclaimed him as either a prophet, a fortune-teller, a crystal-ball gazer or as forecaster.
Call him alliance specialist you are not wrong if one recalls the fact that he was one of the few brains behind the then APP/AD (Alliance for Democracy) that produced Chief Olu Falae in 1999 as the joint presidential candidate of the two political parties.
Even when that alliance failed to produce the desired result, Akande remained undaunted and became more challenged to work out a more effective formula.
Determined that a winning formula must be finally got, Akande again in 2010 was at the vanguard of bringing the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the then newly formed Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the ANPP together under an umbrella to present a common front against the PDP.
He deployed for use the good relationship he had with the CPC leader. Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) during their days in the ANPP.
Unfortunately this failed to work out but he was however steadfast in his belief that coming together was the only antidote to the PDP occupation.
MANY months after the efforts collapsed, the political tactician in an interview he granted The Guardian’s ABIODUN FANORO, published on January 8, 2011, reiterated his irrepressible faith in the coming together of the opposition as the only was to dislodge the PDP.
For the benefit of those who missed the prophetic interview and as a way of refreshing the memory of those who read it; excerpts from the interview are hereby reproduced.
WHAT is your take on the way the presidential campaign is going especially between President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar?
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a party of men with means; people who have acquired a lot of money through illegal means. There is no much money within the PDP system that they can afford to do all what they are doing now. I heard from the grapevine that millions of naira would be spent on each delegate who would decide who wins the party’s presidential ticket.
The quality is not the best that we can get. The problem is that the right people are not in politics, it is the wrong people that are in politics and regrettably directing our lives today.
It is a fact known not only to most Nigerians, but also to the PDP itself that the party has never been impressive, its administration of the country is woeful.
Right now, we are working for a situation where we can get the opposition parties together to put up a common candidate. I know that it is not easy bringing a lot of parties together, because of ego and everybody has his or her own interest he or she wants to protect.
But if we are able to come together and field a common presidential candidate against the PDP, PDP would fail. If there is anytime for anybody to beat the PDP, I think it is now.
We are now working for a situation where we can get the ANPP, ACN, CPC, APGA and other progressives come together to put up a common candidate to oust this irresponsive government.
How assuring is this arrangement?
We are not just initiating it, we have been meeting and talking. We are working hard to ensure that the desired end is achieved, which is dislodging PDP from government. But there must be due process.
As such, we are trying to get the best persons for the presidential and vice presidential positions.
Zoning has been another thorny issue ahead of the elections…?
(Cuts in) it is my view that the time is ripe to begin to build a truly united Nigeria, irrespective of ethnic leanings. As such, from now on, anyone clinging to the apron string of zoning would be dragging us back.
Zoning tends to breed mediocrity, if you want to be president, you must be prepared to beat every other candidate. A situation where you emerge just from a section of the country and other aspirants from other parts are prevented from contesting does not present you as the country’s best.