By Josef Omorotionmwan
THE more things change, the more they remain the same. In those days, our parents certainly knew what they were doing. Before and after major ceremonies, the children were thoroughly de-wormed. This cleansing process involved the administration of simple purgatives on the children for improved appetite and healthier growth.
Wittingly or unwittingly, that same process is being re-enacted in the life of Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in what appears, from a distance, like an exodus of some elements from the party.
Essentially, nothing has changed in Edo State APC. By the time the profit and loss account of this de-worming process shall be prepared, the party shall have cause to smile at the enhanced net profit. Like in every virus, infection is endemic in professional decampees.
Many of the people they drove away have now stationed themselves to return home to APC. Similarly, many good people in the PDP who are clearly incompatible with the decampees are also set to come into the comfort zone of the APC.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, by the time the PDP will conduct its congresses and primaries, and these power mongers find themselves on the bare floor, they will realise that “Khaki no be leather”. Shamelessly, they will come crawling back to APC.
Incidentally, politics remains one of the rare fields where nobody is rejected for, on the final day, every vote, even that of the mad man bears the same weight. So, during the harvest season, the APC will also dance its own “Azonto” and “Kokoma” to usher in its share of defectors.
The defectors are not all bad. They have their strengths and their weaknesses. For a thorough understanding of the journey thus far, a senatorial segmentation of the current analysis will be helpful. We see a lot of rabble-rousing in Edo South. We intend to deal with that in the next series. Again, charity could sometimes begin from abroad.
Abubakar Momoh went with them. We miss him and a few others like him. Let no one attempt to convince us that such have no electoral value.
For a man to have been able to win election as chairman of his local government; proceed from there to become a two-time member of the House of Assembly; and thereafter, a two-time member of the House of Representatives, he is not a paper weight. We might be willing, though, to buy into the argument that the Kukuruku land is not in short supply of such excellent fellows.
We miss a few friends, a few grassroots politicians among them. For instance, there is no escaping the inevitable conclusion that the leadership qualities of Tony Omoaghe, the digital chairman, are immense.
Through thick and thin; in good weather and in bad, he pulled everybody along and we hardly realised that we were barely thriving on “Ize-Oko”, pepper rice, which was the cheapest we could rag together in those difficult days.
Even in their squealing capacity, the Okafis of that era, cannot be easily wished away when it comes to real mobilisation. Hardworking people! Beyond this point, there is no point. We are consoled in the words of Dina Ross and the Supremes, “Someday, we’ll be together”.
In Esan land, an attempt may have been made to put water in a pot that is already full. The land is predominantly PDP. Apart from a few scattered instances, the PDP has always won the elections there. The defection of more people to the PDP in Esan land will not significantly alter the equation.
This is where we think that the defections are more protectionist than anything else. When the ACN members had a poor outing at the 2011 general elections, Comrade dealt them a serious blow from which many have not recovered up till now.
They were relieved of their appointments and pleasantly humiliated. In fact, no self-respecting man would want to suffer such humiliation a second time. So, the current movement provides an opportunity for them to “borrow leg” and join the winning crowd.
Unknown to them, however, there is a crop of young Esan men led by the Oibos, the Omofumas and the Inegbenekis who are taking the struggle to integrity and are ready to spring surprises and turn the table around. They will present a formidable force in preventing the power erosion in Esan land. It is to be seen.
A glimpse at the empty vessels that are being celebrated in the name of defection: Saint Thomas is the last man standing. IT is apparently stranded. While he was yet struggling for the animal’s leg at the national level, his disciples at home had bolted away to the PDP.
It is doubtful if this Abacha apologist can ever define for himself what he really wants. He represents an empty sack that can never stand erect. His spirit is in PDP while he is bodily in the APC. Put differently, he is APC during the day and PDP at night.
Otherwise, which leader would go public with the type of trash he issued recently in which he was openly advertising his powerlessness to deal with the problems of the APC in the South-South geopolitical zone, in a tone that seemed to suggest that he wanted a separate constitution for himself? This arch-tribalist will go anywhere that has an Esan governor on the front burner. He has no other agenda.
A man must look the role he wants to play. That is what the late Fela Ransom-Kuti was referring to when he asserted: “Tailor wey dey do like carpenter, na swegbe”. For our man, politics is 99 percent inspirations and one percent perspiration.
For him, every season is harvesting season, no planting! He eats the tuber and the seed yams. A lot of noise still surrounds the defection of such.
We have gone to this great length to show that nothing has changed in Edo APC, all the empty noise we are hearing, notwithstanding! Edo South is next.