Before 2019 general elections, APC was in firm control of Bauchi, Sokoto, Benue, Zamfara, Adamawa, Oyo and Edo states, and even to a reasonable extent, Sokoto. Tragically, and in inexcusable circumstances, it lost Bauchi and Adamawa to the opposition. This was the consequence of the unnecessary infighting occasioned by the party primaries, in which generality of party faithful believed the president should have wielded his huge influence to bring to a close.
In the case of Zamfara State, the party, as if tired of holding the reign of authority, carelessly and insensitively handed, in one fell swoop, sacred mandates entrusted to the party’s elected candidates – governor, senators, reps members, as well as state assembly members to PDP on the platter of gold. The bizarre circumstance would continue to be a ‘study’ in the political history of the nation, as well as global politics.
Benue State presented a more damaging and very frustrating spectacle. APC was in total control of the state, with the impregnable and unquestionable leadership of former two-time governor of the state, George Akume, the incumbent special duties minister. Akume was in charge, with his adopted political son, Samuel Ortom holding sway as the governor. Even, the enormous financial resources of David Mark, former two-time senate president, with his awesome combination with the politically savvy Gabriel Suswan couldn’t sway the tide in favour of PDP in the state.
That was until the party faced a serious challenge in the form of incessant clash between herdsmen and Benue farmers in which the president was perceived to be indifferent to the cries of the people and their governor. Eventually, Ortom buckled under pressure and decamped to PDP under which he re-contested and won.
Then came Saturday, September 19, gubernatorial election in Edo State, a development that has now reinforced the strong perception of APC party faithful of President Buhari philosophy of ‘You are on your own’ anytime candidate of his party is contesting. This political ideal of the president is quite regrettable and frustrating, particularly when one recollects courageous and valiant efforts of party faithful across the length and breadth of the country, at ensuring that the president got re-elected for the second term, against all odds.
The whole world knows how Adams Oshiomhole practically installed Obaseki as governor, bringing him from obscurity to political stardom. The same Obaseki would extinguish the comrade’s political career by orchestrating his suspension from his Etsako Ward, a development that eventually truncated his reign as national chairman of the party. The blunt refusal of the governor to inaugurate 14 House of Assembly members is also not lost. It was a calculated move to destabilize and destroy democratic institution and annihilate everything democracy stands for.
Abandoning Oshiomhole who passionately led the flock of APC throughout the nation, campaigning for the president’s re-election is most unfair, bizarre, frustrating and un-inspiring. When the curtains are eventually drawn on the tenure of the president in 2023, the democratic world will enquire how many APC states he came to office with, in 2015 general elections and how many he’s leaving behind. That will surely become the political legacy the president will be bequeathing on the party.
I also submit that, the president’ continuing indifference to the plight of APC candidates at various elections, is emboldening the opposition as well as strengthening their resolve and effrontery that, they could conveniently challenge and send APC packing, even at the centre during 2023 general elections.
I’m sure the president wouldn’t like than to happen; but, to avoid that, the president must change his approach.