12th March, 2013
By Joe Igbokwe
Few weeks back I wrote that since the coming of All Progressives Congress, APC, there has been great panic in PDP family. I recounted the rush to appoint the over used and exhausted Chief Tony Anenih, Nigeria’s Mr. Fix It noted more for his expertise in cooking political chicaneries, to head the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT). Any time Chief Tony is called from the reserve to come on board, Nigerians know it is for fixing elections, stealing ballots and adopting crude and senile tactics to manipulate electoral outcomes. But considering his age now (80) and the shameful and suffocating defeat he suffered from Governor Oshiomhole in Edo State, his home state in last year’s governorship election where he was roundly defeated by Oshiomhole and the ACN, I think the master rigger is finished politically in Nigeria.
To go back to resurrect a dead wood to help PDP in troubled times shows the depth of worries in the hand of the shakers and movers of PDP. This is indeed troubled times for the ‘biggest party’ in Africa. I also pointed out in my last piece that the tragic crisis in the Governor’s Forum is a fallout of this panic that has bedevilled PDP since the emergence of APC. PDP governors now govern their states from Abuja because of the series of meetings after meetings they have to be summoned to devise the best possible way the party can meet the APC challenge. Governors are pitted against one another, party men against one another, all in a bid to see how the PDP will grapple with the enormous pressure exerted by the coming of the APC,
Jittery leaders of PDP have been going to retired and overused members to beg them to return to the fold to save the sinking ship. It is just like recalling retired Generals in the Army to return to active service in times of war. PDP is at war with itself and this war is fierce, deadly and dangerous. The war is stoked by the fear of the unknown which the raging APC challenge pose to PDP and in such a war, with a disoriented and clearly confused idea of the nature of the battle, it is obvious that casualties will mount as the fight for control, now gripping the PDP gets messier. The sure thing is that all the casualties will be from the PDP and Nigeria will be better for it.
What about the frightened corrupt contractors and foot soldiers of PDP? They have now seen the handwriting on the wall that the coming of APC is now irreversible, irrevocable, fait accompli and a done deal. In panic they have been massing their looted funds together to buy whoever has a price tag on his shoulder within APC family. In panic they are pulling their ill-gotten resources together thinking that they will buy 2015 Presidential elections with rotten money. Ah, Ah, my friend tells me that the worst form of blindness to deal with is deliberate blindness.
The truth of the matter is that APC has in one fell swoop altered the political equation in Nigeria and things will never be the same again. Open the pages of our newspapers, go online, go through the international media, get the mindset of world leaders and you will then run away with the obvious and cheery fact that APC has come to stay. Sure Nigeria will be better for this!
I am overwhelmed by the unimaginable support Nigerians, both at home and in Diaspora, have thrown behind this great party. Political pundits predict that there is bound to be exodus from PDP into APC and I hope APC leaders are prepared for this. I hope APC leaders are prepared to manage this great success, knowing full well that it is better to manage success than failure.
What APC leaders need to do now is to open its doors and flanks very wide and seize the moment, make entry into the party less cumbersome, reach out to those ostracised by PDP and embrace them with both hands. There should be no flippancy here, no arrogance here and no patting on the back until the ultimate success is achieved; and that ultimate success is when Nigeria is finally freed from the enervating stranglehold of the PDP in 2015. There is job to be done. We should have our gazes fixed on the big picture and how best to realise it. The ground is wet, the soil is rich, the harvest promises to be a bumper considering the suffering Nigerians have endured in the hands of the PDP in fourteen years of horrendous leadership.
PDP is waiting to celebrate bickering within APC when they settle for sharing of offices. Please prove them wrong that this time Nigeria should be placed above all other considerations. Having failed in their hope and anticipation that the APC will never come this far, the party knows that its redemption and hope of surviving the gathering storm lies in sowing insurrection in the APC when offices are to be shared. We must once again disappoint them and that is the challenge the rank and file of APC must look out for. Open your eyes very wide for blacklegs and moles within APC that may come in to cause disaffection and division and flush them out. Nigerians are waiting anxiously to change our political history through the ballot box in 2015 and the only thing they are asking us to do is to make this platform a reality. We must not fail them this time around. This is our chance!
•Igbokwe this piece from Lagos, Nigeria.