By Omeiza Ajayi
For at least six times, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, postponed its midterm non- elective national convention. While it could not do that, albeit in clear violation of its own constitutional provisions, the party would tomorrow be holding its national convention, this time, an elective one.
However, whether it will be a convention that will upset conventional expectations or one that would prove bookmakers right by leading the party towards implosion, would be a decision for its 6,800 delegates and their leaders to make.
Interestingly, APC is a miniature Nigeria, often tearing dangerously at the seams, but kept together by the spoils of war; perhaps, in much the same way that the country is arguably kept together by the mineral resources derivable from its constituent parts. Just one example. The defunct new People’s Democratic Party, nPDP bloc in the APC is threatening to pull out of the party because its members who swung the political pendulum in favour of the then Candidate Muhammadu Buhari and the APC, have not been sufficiently compensated by the powers that be.
Rather than an “All Progressives Congress”, the APC had for the major part of its existence, behaved more like a Congress of Crisis. It recently conducted wards, local governments and state congresses which were for the most part mirred in controversy. Arising from those chaotic congresses and with reported threats by some aggrieved parties to seek new political nests elsewhere, Saturday’s convention if not well handled, might not be able to upset conventional expectations. For, it is expected, and rightly so, by many pundits that tomorrow’s exercise could sound the death knell for the party, or at least knock her into a coma, even if temporarily.
Party stakeholders have consequently been holding series of meetings to avert any threat of implosion or a situation whereby some aggrieved leaders and their supporters would walk out on the convention.
In one of such meetings on Wednesday night where no fewer than 20 of the 24 governors of the party met, the governors were not only optimistic that the convention would not be postponed at the last minute, but that it was going to go on without hitches.
Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and Jigawa governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar said the exercise would go on as planned even as the governors were making frantic efforts to ensure it holds without chaos.
“We still affirm that we will hold the convention on June 23 and the governors are giving all the necessary support to make it successful, rancour-free and that we come out of the convention stronger,” he said.
Despite grumblings within the party, the governors said the APC will not implode because it has its own way of resolving all issues. For Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, the party is already doing that ahead of the convention.
“You know we are APC, we have ways of sorting our matters out and I think that is ongoing,” he said.
In 2014, much like the Phoenix, the APC emerged stronger from its ashes in spite of the obvious wrangling that attended the merger of the legacy parties. To the governors, as it was in 2014, so shall it be in 2018. In any case, and as it is often said in local parlance, ‘politicians know how they do their thing.’ The predicted doomsday, could turn out a day of boom for the party, but with the shenanigans of the last congresses, this is doubtful.