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Amosun, Okorocha, Yari and others as APC fall guys

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[FILE PHOTO] President Buhari andImo state governro, Okorocha Rochas

There is no gainsaying the fact that governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Abdul Aziz Yari (Zamfara) and some others like them have a special or, in fact, filial relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the totem or symbolic aggregation of the values of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Apart from the fact that these governors themselves symbolically represent a fair spread of the geo-social and political tendencies of the country, they owe their present offices to the magnetic pull of the APC presidential candidate in 2015.

Virtually every contestant under the flag of the APC was seen in the mould of Buhari or as a veritable tool for the achievement of the party’s promised magic, even as Buhari was its alter ego or ultimate personification.

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Going by what befell the three governors as a fall-out of the outcome of the fractious or mis-managed primaries in their states and also by their frenzied reaction thereto, it will appear that they have mis-perceived or taken for granted Buhari’s position as the party’s paterfamilias who could resolve all household imbroglio with avuncular dis-interestedness and finality.

Like children who look up to their parent for a redress of a situation in which their mate had given them a drubbing or to avenge for them a previous wrong-doing, these governors were a sorry sight to behold.

Even as they turned the Aso Rock villa into a theatre of sorts, the issues for which they were drawing the President’s attention became befuddled by pathos each day and anti-climaxed with bathos each time a press briefing or interview is called.

An emerging national tradition of alternating governments, evolving policies, pragmatic choices and unspoken conventions is being sorely threatened by the fractious struggle for political party tickets.

The result has been to polarise opinion and to render impossible any consistent growth in national consciousness.

The prescriptions for national spirit and democracy are incompatible with the do-or-die approach of politicians to their party primaries or nominations.

The purpose of politics in a free society is to focus public attention on possible alternative courses of action in a given situation.

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It is therefore positively commendable for parties to reflect in differing degrees the general outlook of particular social groupings.

As a matter of practical politics and less of ritual veneration, party men should grow and espouse beneficial ideologies and stick less to the fortunes or supposed virtues of a strong man or patron saint.

A party ought to be ruled by its members and have a real independence from its subscribers. It is not proper for the party to be controlled and financed by the same set of people.

In our contemporary experience, governors and chairmen of local governments finance and control their parties. This, in my view, is not compatible with good democratic practice.

Buhari’s government assumed power from a previous administration which had lost popularity.

The APC government came into office shackled by attitudes it acquired in opposition, by the terms of its starry-eyed election manifesto and by the many “stories-by-moonlight” pledges it made to the people.

Thereafter, followed a period of honeymoon in which the people waited in baited breath for the performance of the publicised programmes.

In the interim, the price level and the stability of the naira became threatened and resort was therefore had to borrowing at home and abroad and to higher taxes.

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In so far as the borrowing is from abroad, there is a progressive loss of independence to foreign creditors.

The resulting economic crises begin to become obvious, the social and economic programmes are frozen or put in the cooler and divisions begin to appear within the party. The popularity of the party falls into decline.

A general election is impending and the party drives itself inexorably into a frenzy whereby those who call the shots in form of governors and other financiers refuse to take the back seat regarding the decision as to who will succeed them or of other matters. They are prepared to do battle with perceived enemies or with the opponents of their quests.

This writer is convinced that what Amosun and co are brandishing is not purity of morals or dis-interestedness or they will fall by the very weapons in their arsenal.

They are clearly pursuing personal egotistic drivels in a situation whereby the anchor-man in form of their party chairman is on a dare-devil or the heavens may fall masochistic streak.

Oshiomhole earlier dazzling cosmos may be deemed by Amosun and his blazing cosmogony.

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Buhari, being so vulnerable now to purely political decisions is unlikely to be persuaded by arguments in favour of economic efficiency or of the luxury of the permutation in support of a minority headship of government in a strategic state, or even of the justice of popular rotation or of an unwritten policy of continuity as a litmus test of the acceptance or approval of a previous administration’s programmes, policies and thrust.

For Buhari and in a season like this, any argument in the tone and verbiage of the Amosun advocacy is sure to fall on deaf ears not minding its centrality or appositeness at some saner time or even ultimately. This is a case of a good argument canvassed in an inclement season or weather.

In seasons like this, it is normal for stories regarding the triumphs or failures of persons in political contests to take the centre stage and becloud the real issues at play or even divert attention away from the purposes of our avowed social contract.

Each time we permit ourselves a self-indulgent understanding of the practice of the time-honoured rules of democracy, we pay a resultant heavy price in governance desultoriness, in the emergence of a wayward leadership and in various mental or psychological affliction manifestations.

There is a requirement to reverse our sorry plight through a cerebral application of correct options in a basket of seemingly similar choices.

Rotimi-John, a lawyer and commentator on public affairs.


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