Dr. Akurokokiya Johnbull
There are some distinctive characteristics that constitute glaring pointers to a thriving and healthy democratic system: these are the freedom of speech; the freedom of association which warrants the unhindered emergence of different political parties with kaleidoscopic shades of ideologies and world views. Elections are held at prescribed intervals within the context of defined modalities set out in a constitutional frame work. Any orchestrated hiccups aimed at compromising the integrity of the electoral process are sanctioned by the same constitution which provides an arbitral overseer in the JUDICIARY.
Even a neophytic political analyst knows that in present day Nigeria, the APC and the PDP are the largely dominant parties that tower high and above other political parties.
In the last general elections, the APC suffered most frustrating setbacks in some states of the federation particularly Imo, Zamfara and Rivers, through fratricidal bickerings and fatal self-flagellation. In Imo State, for instance, the incumbent governor was so condemnably arrogant that he single-handedly and defiantly donated the party’s gubernatorial ticket to his dear daughter’s husband and son in-law, as if it was his exclusive and avowed prerogative to do so. He remained adamantly impervious to the hues and cries of his fellow party men who stridently screamed blue murder. But the man refused to loosen grip on the party’s apparatus and rode on with his egocentric and perilous agenda. The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole travelled physically to Owerri in order to neutralize the time bomb, with a view to ensuring the emergence of the party’s popular choice for the Imo State governorship ticket. We were later to learn that not even the intervention of principled and respectable party stalwarts like Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu could restrain the governor from his chosen path to self-destruct. Rather than hearkening to these weighty voices of reason, Senator Rochas Okorocha preferred to play the insensate Rehoboam by nudging his son-in-law to decamp from the APC to any of the mushrooming briefcase political parties, in order to contest the Imo governorship seat. Our legendary literary icon of all times Shakespeare wrote in MACBETH, these evergreen lines: “security is man’s greatest enemy”. The inevitable fiasco was the gross undermining of the solid party structure he had laid on ground over the years, and the disorientation of party faithful, with the PDP merrily coasting to easy victory. Rochas Okorocha is today reaping in pathetically piteous circumstances, the sour grapes of his shocking iberibeism, as the new PDP government has rolled out a vengeful machinery for his utter de-mystification and mockery. There is in Imo State today a no-holds-barred task force on the recovery of government properties, but please read between the lines––Task force for humiliating ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Every politically conscious citizen of this country knows that Rivers State is undeniably an APC stronghold, because of its charismatic leader in the person of the Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who was a two-term Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, a two-term governor of Rivers State and a foundation member of the APC. His political structures are still very much on ground and evidently iron-cast.
In one of his write-ups in the Sunday Nation, one of my favourite columnists Tatalo Alamu harped on the bane of our political parties in the following lines:
“Without the unanimity of vision based on shared values, the political party becomes an atomized and atomistic collection of warring political warlords.”
Senator Magnus Abe had for long remained a protégé of the Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. You can trace the propelling thrusts and shadowy goodwill of Rt. Hon Amaechi in the meteoric rise of Magnus Abe from an opposition member of the Rivers State House of Assembly to Secretary to the Rivers State Government and later as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Senator Abe had disclosed his personal ambition to contest for the governorship of the state perhaps without the consensus-seeking mind-rubbing or exploratory tête-à-tête with his leader and mentor. The leader, Rt. Hon Amaechi had in his usual posturing, buttressed by balanced appraisal, preferred that the riverine segment of the state should be allowed a shot at governorship of the state since that segment has for nearly 20 years been denied the opportunity by their upland compatriots. Only blind and mindless hypocrisy would make a true son of Rivers State deny the inherent reality of our geo-political ecosystem: Rivers State in its amphibiousness comprises the UPLAND and RIVERINE segments. Senator Abe disagreed with his leader’s vision and went on to further exacerbate tension by running a parallel APC formation in the state. He lined up his set of aspirants for every contestable office in the 2019 general elections. Legal fireworks were agog in trying to undo one another. Meanwhile the rival PDP was having a good laugh and throttling hard to accelerate APC’s downward descent into the irretrievable abyss of utter irrelevance. No amount of entreaties or pleas from party elders sufficed to compel a re-think and a return to normalcy. Never has fratricidal intra-party squabble been so intense and senseless even with fast approaching electioneering deadlines. At the end of the day, no APC candidate was fielded in any of the elections, whether into the State House of Assembly or the National Assembly. President Buhari himself expressed profound sympathy for his teeming supporters and admirers in Rivers State.
The National Working Committee of the APC is already in Rivers State irrevocably committed to laying to rest the party crisis. All true members of the party have been celebrating the fast-approaching eventuality of this desirable peaceful reconciliation. We enjoin our distinguished and amiable Senator Abe to bury the hatchet once and for all, for the collective progress of the APC. All APC members must rally round the leader to disappoint the mockers awaiting to chant the Party’s Nunc Dimitis. They will rather witness a resuscitated and re-invigorated APC armed with stronger brooms to sweep away every stubborn debris
All must come to test their popularity in the forthcoming congresses from the ward to the state levels. Enough of the undermining rofo-rofo dance steps from near and distant drummers.
The members of the APC repose implicit confidence in their able National Chairman of the party, who is no doubt used to the subversive shenanigans of some die-hards who may try to complicate his task in order to retard the development of the party in Rivers State.