John Adams, Minna
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State and former Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, has defended both the Supreme Court and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from any blame over the outcome of the Bayelsa governorship debacle, suggesting that the APC should take responsibility for the nullification of David Lyon’s election by the Supreme Court.
“The APC is the architect of its present predicaments if the truth must be told and the consequences must be dammed. You can only reap what you planted,” said Vatsa.
Vatsa, a former publicity secretary of the party in the state, who was reacting to comments by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, condemning both the Supreme Court and the electoral commission over the unexpected disqualification of the erstwhile governor-elect Lyon, said the party leadership should look inward and ask themselves fundamental questions rather than engaging in what he called “dictatorial comments” which are capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the country.
“I strongly think that the party leadership should tell us who were the people that screened the deputy governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eriemienyo, to contest the election in the first place. Which paper did he present to the screening committee before he was cleared?
“Or didn’t he undergo screening before contesting the primary election of the party, the national leadership of the party owe us some explanations.
“Until the national leadership of our party answers these questions, the National Chairman should stop chasing shadows. You can’t plant yam and want to harvest cassava, it’s not possible.
“If the National Chairman is struggling to keep his job as the National Chairman of the party despite the huge crisis that has bedevilled the party under him, there is a better way to go about it.”
Vatsa pointed out that the party lost elections in Rivers, Zamfara and now Bayelsa because the party leadership imposed candidates on the people due to their selfish interests, stressing that the pains the party is going through today are self-inflicted.
“The politics of godfatherism is almost consuming the party. The APC is becoming like Animal Farm where some animals are more equal than others, and this is not good for a party that came with the ‘change mantra’.
Vatsa traced the genesis of the current crisis in the ruling party in almost every states of the federation to injustice and lack of fair play, a problem he said had led to the routing of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in 2015, stating that “anywhere that there is no justice and equity, crisis takes centre stage.”
He warned that if the party did not put its house in order before 2023, it is not likely to retain power at the centre “because a party where crisis is the hallmark of its achievements must surely crumble.”
According to Vatsa, “honestly, I am not a prophet, but I see President Buhari going with his party in 2023. What is happening today in our government is far from the change that we promised Nigerians.”
The APC chieftain sympathised with David Lyon, describing his situation of having seen the gate of heaven but failed to enter “because the party leadership failed in its responsibility”.