IT seems that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is hellbent on repeating the blunders that its predecessor, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, committed in its 16 years in power before being jettisoned by the electorate. In 2008, a National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, had boasted that his party would rule for 60 years.
Seven years later, the PDP lost to the APC when many of its leaders decamped to the erstwhile opposition party. Barely six years into the APC’s reign, the Chairman of its Caretaker Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, has also predicted that his party would be in power for 32 years.
“Our vision,” he told the 61-member National Convention Contacts and Strategy Committee in Abuja, “is to provide a wheel that will drive the party to go beyond the sixth, seventh or even eighth terms of office to effectively implement the party manifesto, improve the lives of Nigerians, and to remain Nigeria’s leading political party”.
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It is very easy for a political party to imagine that the good times it is enjoying in power would last forever. One would have thought that what happened to the PDP would be a lesson to the APC and guide it to avoid the mistakes that its predecessor made which led to its dramatic fall. However, the APC has methodically gone against this expectation almost from Day One.
Both in party culture and style of governance, the APC has changed very few legacies it inherited from the PDP, sometimes doing even worse. The APC leadership ought to be in a sobre mood, considering the current state of our country, especially its security and economic woes. The security challenges which used to be located in the North East have since become a nationwide malaise, with the terrorist activities of bandits and armed herdsmen added to the Boko Haram terror.
How is the APC even sure that Nigeria will survive its first eight-year rule before talking about 24 more years? How is it sure of its fate after Buhari leaves the presidency? The party must first pull the nation back from “the brink”, as Buhari’s Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi recently put it. It must fulfill its campaign promises and leave it to the Nigerian people to decide if it will continue to govern their lives. However, power still belongs to the Nigerian people as the political earthquakes of 2013 to 2015 showed.