By Godwin Etakibuebu
AT the last count, eight states of the federation have drawn up parallel Executives to counter what some people called “authentic Executives” of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, during the recently concluded congresses. One of the most unbelievable states where this happened is Lagos. That some people, albeit members of the APC in Lagos State, could challenge the supremacy of the de-facto Jagaban of the South-West politics would remain one of the wonders of modern Nigerian political history.
Emergence of the parallel Executives in the eight states came with re-introduction of politics of blood-spilling into the Nigerian polity and this is the most unfortunate dimension of the APC debacle. These eight states of Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Zamfara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kwara and Delta, where parallel Executives emerged saw violence. A few people died in some of these states while in others, it was a day of bloodbath; like the case in Ondo State, where notable citizens were grossly humiliated as most of them were stripped naked. This is without mentioning Imo State where Rochas Okorocha; the APC governor, was completely demystified and dethroned by the machinery of the APC itself.
The irony of this sordid shameful show of power is the fact that the perpetrators; both victims and victors, are all members of the APC. They are all members of the same APC family, speaking the same APC language, eating from the same APC table, wearing the same APC Aso Ebi with the same APC political blood-genotype running through their veins and indeed, the children of the same wicked APC mother; a mother like Jezebel. This is where it takes a more deadly and dreadful manifestation for the larger society in fear of things to come.
If in the process of “family” congresses like the one under discourse, lives could easily be terminated without qualms, what happens when this deadly “family” of APC shall meet with other personae dramatis of other political parties in an outdoor show of general elections, like the one we are awaiting in 2019?
This is not to say that APC is the only political party in Nigeria with monopoly of violence. It would be absurd to say so because a political observation over the years identified the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as a showroom of violence under President Olusegun Obasanjo. Through his two-term tenure of eight years, mostly the last four years, violent death was a free gift for members of the Nigerian political class, most especially within the PDP. We shall talk more on this as we progress.
Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change [a political party the former Military Head of State formed in April 2009], was another political party that introduced violence, albeit deadly one for that matter, into the Nigerian polity, only at post-election level. The party which participated in the 2011 general elections but could not deliver its presidential candidate to the Villa in Abuja for reason of abysmal performance, succeeded in delivering souls of many Nigerians, mostly those youths who were on service for their fatherland [members of the NYSC deployed to serve in some Northern states], to the great-beyond.
Of course, the First and Second Republics had their own version of violence and brutality displayed but more in the First than the Second Republic. The First Republic witnessed uncontrollable wanton destruction of lives and property all over Nigeria. Such madness was, however, moderated in the Second Republic through the human-face character and person of Shehu Shagari; Executive President of that Republic.
The years between the First and the Second Republics were the years the “Military Boys”, with their styles of “decorated violence”, made incursion into the Nigerian political scene and took away serenity, in addition to respect for lives and property, from Nigeria. They came to loot. They came to destroy. They came to kill. And they; all of them, achieved hundred per cent performances on these records!
Theirs was an era better forgotten for the sake of not offending the sensibility of our collective memories but suffice to say that most of them; personae dramatis of that era, who unleashed terror on us while they wore the military uniform then, are back with us again as political actors in civilian dresses [Babaringa or Agbada]. This is an observation we must hold dearly to our hearts if we know the difficulty of a Leopard changing its colour.
What did the events of the APC nation-wide congresses, recently concluded, with its frightful political violent results, portray for Nigeria’s emerging polity, particularly in 2019 general elections? If the truth must be told, there is likely going to be danger ahead in the Nigerian political horizon if APC; given what it has manifested in the congresses under discussion, and being Nigeria’s ruling political party, leads our country into the next general elections, come 2019.
There is an urgent necessity of escalating the evaluation of this matter as such exercise will help our preparation for what to expect and also, doing the needful as a people, in order to avoid the impending evil day.