When politicians project that they would be in power ad infinitum, what exactly is the content of their projection? Is it spiritual, logical or mere wishful thinking? The Peoples Democratic Party eagled Nigerians with this projection a while ago, to the consternation of many. How can perishable man, who flowers today and tomorrow is cast away; possessed of a glowing skin today but tomorrow is a mass of maggots, project a kingdom for an uncertain tomorrow? So when Vincent Ogbulafor, some years ago, said that the PDP would be in power for 60 years, Nigerians wondered what was the content of his audacious projection into an unknown tomorrow?
Upper week, Yobe State Governor and All Progressives Congress’s Interim National Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, walked that same boastfully ruinous path. Indicating that he and his party had not learnt any lesson from the downfall of the PDP which “fell yakata” shortly after such biblical Nebuchadnezzar boast, Buni advertised that same toga.
In Abuja last Tuesday for the inauguration of a 61-member Strategy and Contact Committee set up ahead of the 2023 general elections, Buni had thumped his chest as is the wont of the boastfulness of his political party constituency and declared that the APC planned to remain in power for 40 years of 10 consecutive terms. Savouring the company he kept, with governors of the party by his right hand side, senators on his left and a sprinkle other party faithful, Bunu declared magisterially: “Our vision is to provide a wheel that will drive the party to go beyond 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and even 10th term of office.”
What is on ground does not however justify Buni’s self chest thumping. When he came on board in June, 2020 as a result of a welter of condemnations against Adams Oshiomhole’s garrulousness, Buni’s choice unsettled so many party bigwigs. The main cause for worry was why a sitting governor would be chosen to superintend over the affairs of a party which had so many worthy party faithful to man that position. Since then, the implication of Buni being in office for the overarching party interest has been subjected to acute grilling. Even the PDP called on the Yobe governor to resign his dual positions as governor and APC’s Interim National Chairman, citing a pronouncement of the Supreme Court which labeled the leadership of the party “irresponsible and reckless.”
Two major states have fallen in the Supreme Court as a result of technical discrepancies. While Zamfara State’s APC, on May 24, 2019, fell to the intra-party dispute in the party, Bayelsa was to follow suit later. On the Zamfara issue, the court had held, among others, that the APC did not hold valid primaries preparatory to the 2019 general election. It thus voided the APC’s erstwhile victory in the 2019 governorship election, while making a consequential order which directed the party which had the second highest scores in the election to step into the office. In Bayelsa as well, the Supreme Court, on February 13, voided the APC victory just a day to the governor’s swearing in.
With the casualty that the APC has been facing, rather than a boastfulness of its staying in power for the next 40 years, what the party ought to have safeguarded was its continued hold in its 19 controlled states, which is under serious threats. Methinks that putting its house in order by showing Buni the door should have been the most pressing decision on the card of the ruling party. Recently, APC escaped being axed by the whiskers when the election petitions tribunal sitting in Ondo State said it had no jurisdiction to remove its elected governor. This should be a wake-up call for the party. If the tribunal had granted the prayers of the PDP, by implication, every action – and they are plenty, including the recent registration exercise – taken by the APC since Buni became caretaker chairman would have been voided, thus ending Buni’s peacock claim of the party being in government for the next 40 years. Unless it wakes up from its self-inflicted slumber, shows Buni the gate and reorganises itself, a stitch in time may not be able to save the boastful APC from the catastrophe to come.