By Emmanuel Aziken
If anyone expected the Mustapha Audu led faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC national executive to act beyond its press conference where it sacked the Mala Mai Buni led exco, they probably would have been asking for too much.
However, even in going as much as sacking Buni, exerting itself as a factional executive and censuring President Muhammadu Buhari, the group may have shocked many.
The sacking of Buni by Audu again demonstrated the historic fracture in the APC. It is a perspective that has led many to assert that the APC as it is, is comparable to a speeding vehicle without an engine.
Mustapha Audu, the new factional chairman, has had a long family feud to settle with President Buhari.
Many will remember how his father, the irrepressible Prince Abubakar Audu collapsed and died in 2015 in the middle of the election he was about to win as the governorship candidate of the APC in Kogi State.
That election which was the first major election conducted by the Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, also introduced the narrative of inconclusive elections in the political lexicon of the country.
Many will remember that Buhari, while still basking in the joy of his enthronement as president did not come to campaign for the late Audu.
Audu, who was backed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for the governorship according to nearly everyone was also not the candidate of President Buhari.
Indeed, Audu won the party’s ticket in the view of many inspite of Buhari who simply could not do anything about it.
Meanwhile, Tinubu had also positioned his Man Friday, James Faleke, a Kogi indigene who was then and just as now, representing the Ikeja, Lagos Federal Constituency. He has held the seat for about three terms on the goodwill of Tinubu.
Indeed, when the intrigues broke out after Audu died in the midst of the election, many Kogites were troubled with the suggestion that Tinubu’s personal and political emissary would be their governor.
Those so troubled with that prospect found traction with political enforcers in the Presidential Villa who quickly resurrected the campaign structures of Yahaya Bello who had made a popular but failed bid for the governorship ticket of the APC during the APC party primaries.
It was in the midst of the intrigues that Yahaya Bello became candidate despite every effort of the Tinubu camp to foist James Faleke with Audu’s son, Mohammed as running mate.
Some allege that it was not difficult for Buhari to turn against Faleke.
First, the villa it was said, did not want Tinubu to extend his political boundaries beyond the Southwest into Kogi.
Even more, some allege that Buhari may not have forgiven Abubakar Audu for the betrayal of 2003.
Despite being of the same political party, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Prince Audu as governor of Kogi State was believed to have supported President Olusegun Obasanjo against his party’s presidential candidate, Buhari, in that year’s presidential election.
It is instructive that the bad blood has now spilt even nationwide as internal APC critics have tapped Mustapha Audu to lead the insurgency against the Buhari led mainstream in the APC.
Mustapha is indeed a good choice for such a rebellion. He is one who has in the past looked beyond blood relationship in politics.
In 2019 he did not mind contesting against his brother, Mohammed Audu and an uncle in challenging Yahaya Bello for the APC ticket.
In the end, all three Audu relations were disqualified ahead of the APC governorship primaries.
In his press conference last Monday, he articulated several reasons for sacking the Buni led mainstream executive.
In fact, just like many other party leaders, he did not need to speak much because the facts are simply obvious.
Besides the factionalisation of the party in more than 20 state chapters with party leaders at daggers drawn, the party has not been able to form a Board of Trustees, BoT.
A BoT is the conscience of the party which should step in at any time to proffer advice on whatever issues that may trouble the party. However, since the party came to power it has not been able to inaugurate one.
A National Executive Committee, NEC meeting which many parties hold with ease is one that is a rarity for the APC.
Is it therefore a wonder why the nation is drifting if the party that is in government is unable to organize itself?
The plans for a national convention according to multiple party sources are wrapped in intrigues as a cabal in the party is overstretching itself to frustrate the emergence of an executive that will be favourable to Asiwaju Tinubu.
Many allege that it is the failure to stop the Tinubu momentum that has forced the party leadership into the dithering procrastination about the convention.
The words of the Mustapha Audu executive last Monday appeared to be sharpened by the frustration of many in the party.
The scant regard for Buhari at that press conference is ominous for the president and his legacy.
It is time that he begins to address the rebellion using the leverage of good governance and empathy that many are complaining as missing in governance today.