FOR students and scholars of political science as well as political history, the Congress for Political Change, CPC, the last registered of the 63 Nigerian political parties, would for long remain an interesting subject of study.
Its spectacular rise, within a short period, is a phenomenon in its own class. Ten months ago, its authors were, perhaps, contemplating it, putting finishing touches for its birth.
Historically, it could be said to be a branch of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, to which most of its current leaders belonged. The grave disappointment suffered by Buhari, when officers of the ANPP deserted him, in the courts, was the catylist idea that eventually crystallized into its birth.
After the 2007 elections, the worst ever in our history, Buhari, then its presidential candidate, had made it known that he was not going to contest the outcome in court.
The party prevailed on him to rescind this position. Reluctantly, he obliged.
Soon, the party pulled out from the court process leaving him alone to battle the PDP, after having compelled him to be part of the process. It was an unkind cut.
This was the most singular event that must have given thought to the formation of CPC. It was obvious, he was no longer wanted, in ANPP, by some elements.
Following this, he must have concluded pulling out from the highly polluted Nigerian partisan terrain, with its huge deficiency in moral rectitude. If it didn’t happen before, it was because of pressure. I recall a young man asking me, when the rumour was thick that he was quitting politics. Before my response, he said, in Hausa, “bai isa ba”.
Meaning, “he dares not”. He went on, “if he does it, we would stone him any time we see him,” adding, “please, you people should help us tell Buhari that he doesn’t own himself any more.
We own him,” or similar expression. And he was dead serious, lamenting and cursing, no one in particular. There are millions of his type.
Buhari, is the Aminu Kano of Nigerian politics, in the mould of Mahtam Ghandi, in the perception of his teeming followers, who sincerely believe that with him at the helm of affairs, mismanagement would be dead and their lives improved.
Then there are the senior courtiers; the Buba Galadimas, who, for some good measure, would see Buhari stick around even to give hope to the hopeless”. Who, is in his mould, in the present dispensation?
They seem to be asking. They are right. He is a lonestar, within the liberal branch of the polity.
On the conservation side are Atiku and Babangida accept that the later never really put his mind into politics while the former, one of two top politicians, along with Tinubu, has to many cruelties raining him.
Be that as it may, pressures from his inner court and supporters must have influenced Buhari’s decision to stick around. These courtiers are not our typical big stuff of Nigerian polities. They don’t have any war chest to even win a council seat.
They are of the Buhari type when it comes to money matters.
Of supporters, they are the real dregs of the society, the plebeians, if you like, but who matter most in the real democratic game, a chaff of which we never had. All the same, they are the pillars of his power, formation who rate him as their god of hope.
When CPC finally hit INEC list, less than a year ago, it had “nobody” so to speak. No governor to lean on, for financial support, as the ugly and dirty practice is. There was not even a councilor. Just no one, except the courtiers, a handful of them.
As a commentator said in his column, if you want money, CPC is the wrong place to go to.
The total picture is one of a barren party; of money- less- sponsors; of no big names yet , emerging to dwarf old peers, drawing unprecedented crowds, at all its rallies, never seen in the contemporary history of the country.
Many call it the Buhari phenomenon. For others, it is the Buhari hurricane sweeping fiercely, along the terrain, putting fears in the minds of old foxes who, hitherto, were never so challenged.
Religionists call it miracle. It is so. Only a miracle could make a newly formed party, with no big names, money etc, make money loaded and top heavy peer shiver at the mention of its name.
From being the last and latest registered, barely a year ago, CPC is today rated as one of four top flying political parties, in the country and by far, the largest crowd puller, poised to upset the rigging spree of its mighty opponent, in several places. Real Miracle. Magic.
Mr.Albashir writes from Lagos.