It seems the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepared for failure in the recently held Delta State local government elections. But relying on its usual propaganda, members of the party took positions on social media to discredit the process to save face.
Their posture, which admits they hold no ground in the state, resonates with Adams Oshiomhole’s braggadocio at a rally in Benin, where he said they would “install” a governor for Deltans, drawing from the insulting assumption that Deltans can be easily be subdued against their will.
Not strange, the APC theatricals is in delusion that their wool of deceit is still over the eyes of Nigerians. Unfortunately, the party has displayed its ugliness in the blood and pains that characterise its government at all levels.
From Ika to Aniocha, from Ossissa to Emu in Ukwaniland, Abraka to Uwheru in Urhoboland, and many more communities, Deltans have had their bloody share of the herdsmen’s menace, all to the silence of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Those who fancy being in the mainstream now draw lessons from our brothers in Benue, Taraba and Adamawa. Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments under the PDP, in pursuit of personal ambition to become governor, led his people into the APC but when the herdsmen came marauding, both the party and the government let him and Benue people down.
On the day they were mourning and burying the chopped bodies of their fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and even unborn babies, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and other APC governors were in Aso Rock, in insipid insensitivity, to endorse Buhari for a second term. Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has adjudged the victims guilty and deserving of their murder for allegedly blocking grazing routes, while the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, is pitiably prostrate before the powers that hold him hostage against his people, canvassing for the conveyance of community lands across the nation to herdsmen at the expense of farmers, in the name of grazing colonies. It is so when you dine with the dragon.
Deltans know the architecture of the high command of the APC. They know, too, that they have no inheritance in that conclave as the Niger Delta is not in the heart of the development agenda of its government; the reason why, very early in the day, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, attacked the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, insisting it should be scrapped as “a misplaced priority.”
The school was one out of the 12 universities established across the country by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the only federal presence, besides the smoking guns of the Joint Task Force (JTF), in Gbaramatu Kingdom, one of the highest oil revenue yielding areas in the country. But this does not matter to the APC leadership, the Sweet Brent and Bonny Light can always be forcibly exploited and the people continually subdued.
Never mind the afterthought, face-saving mission of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to secure continued flow of crude. Who doesn’t know that most of the latter-day decampees to the APC only did so to either avoid prosecution for corruption or in grudge for losing primary election tickets or to elicit continued government contracts? There are those who are in APC just because they want to destroy the spirit of Delta brotherhood, but for a state where ethnic and linguistic diversity is most wrapped in the best of oneness, the goodness of love will certainly prevail.
Instructively, they all bear no sincere conviction in the politics and spirit of the APC to bring development to the homeland and, even today, they are most embarrassed by the unending lugubriousness of the government. Wasn’t it obvious, for instance, that the party’s high command has only a derisively residual connect with its Delta chapter, the reason why, to the chagrin of the living, the Presidency will announce Senator Francis Okpozo as board member months after the respected elder had died?
Really, what is there to cheer in the governments of the APC states? Is it Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha’s ridiculous fancy for the erection of statues for non-heroes? Is it former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s fiendish holler to a widow to “go and die!” in the face of her struggles to make ends meet in a grossly uneventful regime that had only fury but delivered no substance to Edo people? Never mind that he invited her over for tea after pubic disproval reminded him he had not the power of life nor death, even in his power-drunkenness.
Would it be el-Rufai’s sacrifice of 300 Shi’ite Muslims, citizens of his Kaduna State, to help announce that the APC and Buhari government would draw blood from across communities? Is it Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s ignominious rebuke of Oyo State students protesting the non-payment of their teachers’ salaries for long months?
Everybody knows, whether they are admitting it or still grandstanding, that Nigerians, like our compatriots who missed their way into slavery in Libya, are desperately finding a rescue from the misadventure into the mishmash of APC. And, given the deep-rooted reforms ongoing, without noise, in Delta and the decent and humble candour of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, it would be tantamount to self-immolation and collective suicide for Deltans to imagine a substitute in belligerent propagandist and societally decapitating world of the APC. Thankfully, Deltans are neither bastards nor fools.
• Edoreh is a Lagos-based journalist and immediate past chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).