Its slogan should actually be “Power!” It should snatch that slogan from the eunuch currently using it. I admire the ruling All Progressives Congress. It has guts. Its snail never mounts a tree and abandons climbing it midway. No. Whatever APC is determined to do, no one can stop it from doing it. Not law. Not authority. Not public opinion. It says it is the very summation of all these – and more. You saw its win in the last election in Ekiti.
You haven’t seen anything yet. Osun state’s election is coming up on September 22; APC held its Osun governorship primary on Friday in a spectacular way to the shame of oracles of doom. That election was the primary; the secondary version is jogging menacingly towards friends and foes. It will arrive on September 22 – and that day will be APC’s day of destiny. The party is waiting for that person born of a woman who will stop it from winning that day. I admire them – APC leaders. They have guts.
I admire APC members too- the ordinary ones. They are very respectful and disciplined. They are not like insolent PDP members who gape at the eating mouths of their leaders. Whatever APC leaders eat, ate or are eating is on behalf of the members. Let no one tell them that their leaders are Orwellian Napoleon who must take all the milk in Animal Farm in the service of the poor around them. They love their leaders, the Comrade Napoleons of Nigeria, because they are “Fathers of All Animals, Protectors of the Sheep-fold.”
APC members are progressives; they are loyal to their leaders till death do them part. They are the very definition of long suffering. They may be hungry, jobless, ill and deprived, but they won’t join wailers to complain. As long as their leaders and their families are well, they can endure and live through any difficult situation. Even where they lack sandals, they trek barefooted, on dusty roads, to party meetings in distant places.
APC has many strong, clever men. One of them is Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola. He does not pretend. At the final campaign rally of the now Ekiti State Governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi, Aregbesola did not go the way of other speakers who were begging for votes. No. He picked the microphone and sang three songs. The last of the songs I cuddle for its depth; it is in pidgin English: “APC, na we be baba/ Any other party, na soso yeye…” I think he was right. All others are not just yeye, they are mumu.
Only an idiot, a certificated mumu, would have honey in his mouth and spit it out. Yeye PDP did that in 2015, losing to its own idiocy and walking gently into that goodnight. APC won’t do that in 2019. It will never lose to any other party. If you doubt that, listen to that song again. Look at the singer and the histrionics that accompanied the song. He meant it – I saw him beating his own chest so confidently, heavily. I also saw the other big men around him nodding and clapping. They are the baba of Nigerian politics; you can’t defeat them in battle — and they won’t down their own Alpha Jet. They mean business at all times; they are serious-minded, they have wisdom, they are smart. They know power and how to domesticate it forever in their bedrooms.
Probably apart from the hugely confident and sly NNA of the first republic – and the boastful NPN of the second, no other party since independence has been this convinced of its invincibility. This APC draws inspiration from IBB’s “we are not only in government, but we are also in power.” It does what no one else has done but sees not what no eyes have seen. Nigerians cried fraud with fuel subsidy payment under unlucky Goodluck Jonathan. The APC said there was no subsidy anywhere but fraud, pure fraud. It would outlaw the lawlessness called subsidy payment if voted into power.
Nigerians keyed into that song and the subsidy fumes were used to gas the PDP to death in 2015. But APC today pays subsidy – this time in geometric progression. It pays subsidy not on the consumption figure of 32 million litres per day it inherited from the PDP in 2015, but on its own figure of 60 million litres per day. In just three years, the number of vehicles in Nigeria has doubled so much that APC claims we consume 60 million litres of petrol per day. Since that claim was made, heaven has not fallen and it won’t fall forever because it is APC.
Our ruling party is dainty, stainless; it also has language and it communicates using elegant, unusual words that are out of this world, ethereal. APC says what it pays per day on the 60 million litres is not subsidy but “under-recovery.” Smart dudes are great manipulators. They use words to freeze the brains of persons who listen to their incantations. Words! Just like they are demolishing people’s homes but they say they are not doing demolition but “separation.” Brilliance at its best!
Look at INEC. It is the centre referee in the present and coming contests for power. But this is the first time the chairman of an electoral commission has come from the same part of the country with the sitting president. When Balewa was in power, the Federal Electoral Commission was headed by Eyo E. Esua from the South. To return Nigeria to democratic rule in 1979, General Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Michael Ani from then Bendel State. Shehu Shagari appointed Victor Ovie Whiskey from same Bendel.
Ibrahim Babangida chose, first, Eme Awa, later, Humphrey Nwosu, both from Igboland. Sani Abacha’s choices were Okon Uya and, later, Sumner Dagogo-Jack, both from the South. Abdulsalami Abubakar appointed Ephraim Akpata to midwife this fourth republic. Abubakar’s successor, Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Abel Goubadia, and, later, Maurice Iwu from Igboland. Goodluck Jonathan chose Attahiru Jega from Kebbi.
Being different has beauty and courage (and profit). APC is daring. APC’s Muhammadu Buhari came and chose his relation, Amina Zakari, to act as INEC chairman. There were incoherent protests from Wailers and the listening president replaced her with Mahmoud Yakubu from Bauchi, his backyard. It is only an APC government that could do away with the established pattern and our human rights lawyers won’t shout some abstract legal principles. So, don’t get shocked if this INEC has the courage of the APC. It also has the language and the swag of its principal. Like the APC, it is adventurous, even if ambiguous.
A child that is not a bastard must resemble his father – in words, deeds and looks. This INEC will spend over N240 billion to conduct the coming 2019 polls. Corrupt Jonathan’s INEC spent about 50 per cent of that to enthrone his enemy. So, why will it now be so costly to keep a friend? Someone asked why President Buhari wants to burn that huge sum conducting elections which would expire in four short years. Why won’t Buhari just share these billions to the voters, like Abacha loot, and continue his presidency till he is tired of ruling us? After all, is he not doing well enough to lead us into the next millennium – 82 short years away?
The 2019 elections will come. APC and the allied powers will overrun and overpower the other parties. The yeye and mumu collectives will carry illegible placards. INEC will see no evil; it will mark its own script; it will pass and promote itself to the next elections. It will talk tough against infractions and ask protesters to go to court. It will also promise to do “something” in protection of the powerless. It has started doing that. It will do it because it is in its DNA. Its ancestors did it in their time. Under Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the ruling NNA, great-grandparents of Buhari’s APC, awarded itself pre-election victories in 1964.
The chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission, Eyo Esua, took to the radio and talked tough against the powers who waxed invincible. He said the NNA’s claims of a harvest of unopposed candidates were false, not true and won’t stand: He said “the public will find that a number of persons have been said to have been elected unopposed. I must say categorically that some of those statements are not true. For instance, a candidate is said to have been elected for Katsina unopposed whereas the commission has in its possession a statement showing that there is an opposing candidate in that constituency. Also, at Ilorin town, and at Ilorin Central, a candidate took the trouble to travel down to Lagos for a nomination form.
“He filled it in and submitted it but it was not dealt with. In another case, a candidate sat at the electoral office from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. waiting for the appropriate officer who is reported to have made himself scarce. There is also the case of Okiwigi where a family elected a candidate and all that the public is told is that a candidate has been elected unopposed. It is evident from what I have said that something is wrong with those cases. I wish to emphasise that the commission has power under the Electoral Act of 1962 to postpone the election in the constituencies where something has gone wrong. I wish also to add that all the cases are being properly investigated and the result will obviously be made known by the commission.”
There was no investigation; there were no results; elections were not postponed, the unopposed remained elected. The matter ended there — or rather, Esua ate his words. The powerful had their victories affirmed by Esua’s electoral commission… but, the rest is history. You can read it; APC won’t, it is wiser than history.
So, whenever the APC says it has won next year’s elections this year, please know that it is not blowing empty air. It is just being honest, doing exactly like its precursors. It is bold and brainy and unpretentious. In the wrestling world, fighters who are baba don’t spring surprises; they give notice of the havoc they are to soon wreak on the spine of the enemy. The other parties are the mumu squaring up, preparing for a battle they’ve already lost. APC can’t see any opponents facing it next year. The loud ones you see now, you won’t see them anymore. They will disappear like vapour when APC, their baba, comes into the ring in its shining armour.
So, let whoever has the key tell APC to change its slogan to ‘APC! Power!!!’ It deserves it. Remember, whatever this power collective is determined to do, no one can stop it from doing it. It is wise, smart and invincible. It owns tomorrow, and the tomorrow after tomorrow.