“In having to make peace with the unacceptable lies the moral dilemma of the incumbent APC given the kind of flag bearer it has for the 2023 presidential election.” — Anonymous
The present condition of the incumbent APC is akin to a drowning man being thrown a lifeline by a serial killer. He has to choose between the killer’s jack life and the man-eating shark. What a Hobson’s choice!
It is unnatural to wish to find oneself between the devil and the deep blue sea. There’s no lesser evil in real life. Being found in a tight corner is not fanimorous at all. We have no difficulty, therefore, believing that virtually all members of the APC are in a fix over their presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023, polls. What they knew of their candidate’s challenges before he curiously emerged plus what he has further become after his emergence leaves the party leadership gnashing their teeth.
If APC had thought they could rebrand and whitewash the minuses of their flag bearer, whether on corruption, unverifiable records of origin, educational background, and alleged narcotics connections, not so for the health and age challenges that are proving intractable. He even speaks gibberish these days, leaving his audience to scrapper for the interpretation of some of his seemingly charismatic statements at every outing although medical people may try to term it dementia.
Notable brand masters, public relations experts plus attack dogs have all exhausted their dubious skills to bring him up but the ugly situation keeps recurring. How do you manage an old man under stress and expect him to be 20 years younger in thoughts and actions? Have you not heard that while you can cheat on everything, certainly not nature? The healthier ones around him have become even more stressed with an unsteady heartbeat for fear of gaffes which regularly comes because what propels gaffes is on the inside of him and within his real biological age for the heavy burden of being a presidential candidate.
However, the party knows that this state of affairs is self-inflicted and can hardly attract compassion from onlookers no matter how deplorable the situation might be. Every member of the APC from the President down to the lowest on the ladder is bewildered by the situation in the party today.
It would be difficult to pinpoint who is not baffled at the party’s arrival at its present nadir of uncertainty and confusion. Apart from the ordinary members of the party in rural areas, virtually all the elite members are liable for anatomizing how they got to where they are today.
Who is free of culpability for the embarrassment the APC has become going into the presidential election in 2023? When dollars were flying like ordinary paper into people’s pockets and sitting governors were jumping over themselves to receive bribes, nobody thought of the consequences. Even the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El rufai, who recently released a video expressing concern over candidate Tinubu’s age and health pictures was the commander of a greedy forum of APC governors who installed Tinubu. The selfish agenda then was to have him pick one of them as his running mate, an agreement he couldn’t keep after he had paid for his ticket. You cannot bribe your way to the throne and expect to be dictated to by the same bribe-takers.
The true story of how Tinubu emerged as the APC flag bearer will remain one of the biggest lows in our democratic evolution as a people. No sincere person in the APC is expecting victory in the February 25, 2023, presidential election. The fact that politics enables politicians to make lies look real does not guarantee us the power of turning water into wine without any extraordinary spiritual power in us. The only man who did it in the Israeli town of Nazareth some 2,022 years ago is still worshipped ever since leaving this earth, showing that he was not an ordinary being.
Even committed APC members still rolling behind the fatally damaged presidential candidate know that the vehicle called APC today lacks the necessary fitness to make the journey to the next destination. How did they get here, you may want to ask. Was it by design or accidental? Truth is that they got here through a combination of variables driven by poor leadership, greed, and selfishness.
The most guilty of poor leadership is President Buhari, the leader of the party, who failed woefully in his role. His inability to provide the desired leadership when it was badly needed largely brought the party to this pitiable state. The fact that President Buhari presided over the gathering that produced Tinubu as his possible successor says a lot about his politics and his commitment to himself rather than to a better Nigeria. If he is hoping to bequeath a better Nigeria and he thinks a Tinubu is it, then something is wrong about his principles and sense of judgement.
That a one-goal union of forces looking to capture the Aso Rock Villa was formed in 2014 to help PMB realise a 12-year-old ambition and after eight years in the saddle he is leaving the group disjointed and fatally bruised, says much about his poor reward system and sense of appreciation. What happens to his commitment to a greater Nigeria beyond him?
That Tinubu is saying repeatedly that he is going to continue the good work of Buhari says a lot about how low their dreams and aspirations are for this country. Certainly, at the crossroads, the APC needs a hard decision on which direction to turn. Its candidate cannot by all available indications fly. Therefore, to abandon him for another person involves a lot of political jigsaws not as simple as it looks. In Kebbi State, for instance, the incumbent APC campaigns for their candidates excluding the presidential flag bearer. Ditto many APC states in the North and even South East and South South.
After eight years of Buhari’s rule as a northerner, should the presidency justifiably still be domiciled in the same North? What healthy polity will such create for a plural, politically fragile society like ours? So if Tinubu is out of it, will APC who are dominant in the North go for another northerner in Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, or the alternate southerner to Tinubu, Peter Obi of the Labour Party? All these are hard decisions that must come between now and February 25, 2023.
Given what Nigerians have seen in the last eight years of the APC administration and the exposure since the electioneering from the various candidates engaging the electorate, the choice should not be difficult but not with the kind of highly subjective, entrenched interests in our clime. The type of ingrained interests that made French aristocrat and political scientist, Alexis de Tocqueville, remark that “Men are no longer bound together by ideas, but by interests; and it would seem as if human opinions were reduced to a sort of intellectual dust, scattered on every side, unable to collect, unable to cohere.”
The warning to pass on here to the APC gladiators who may be considering embarking on untoward things against democracy in frustration is that the era of, ‘if it’s not me let it be nobody is gone for good. And by attempting that, they may find themselves conflicting with demagogues who are appealing to the sentiments of ordinary people. They will also be daring the new agitators in a town called the Obidient Movement made up of mostly youths whose agenda is to take back the country from the grip of those holding it down since independence in 1960.
For APC, it’s obvious that it is going through the agonising experience of a soccer team that loses a match before kick-off due to poor team selection and hiring of a ragtag coaching crew. On a final note, we need to underscore that the prayer for an embattled nation is to let the best man for the job be hired. But we must note the APC’s albatross as it struggles with its annoying burden. God help us.