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Friday, 15 August 2014

APC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: POLITICAL EXPEDIENCE AND ELECTORAL VALUES (PART 3).




Chief Bisi Akande, after the merger became the Chairman of the APC Interim Management Committee (IMC). I attended his first Press Conference as Chairman, IMC and listening to him further earned more of my respect for him when he said that “a political party is like a cult and only those that are in tune with the objectives/direction of the leadership will get to the destination”. This has been in my memory till date and I am never going to forget that statement. Interpretation of the statement can be in different ways and with different meaning and understanding. But in politics, this is what some of us refer to as LOYALTY. Leaders do not joke with loyalty.

While the APC merger process was going on, Governor Rotimi  Amaechi was engaged in a political battle of his life with the Presidency and his former Party (PDP). He was therefore “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”. The APC leadership saw an opportunity to pay solidarity visit to Governor Amaechi and cultivate his friendship, inviting him to join the APC. Eventually, Governor Amaechi, after wide consultations, decided to take the plunge into the “deep blue sea”. The general opinion then was that Rotimi Amaechi will be offered the APC Vice Presidential ticket to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan from the same South-South geo-political Zone and deliver substantial electoral votes from the Zone. At the time, the opinion was politically expedient and an accepted political calculation. But as political expedience and electoral values will later dictate, this political calculation became unattractive. The reason for this will be made clear shortly.

Later, the G5 (PDP Governors) including Governor Rotimi  Amaechi and their loyal followers and supporters, staged a walk out on their Party (PDP) and formed the new PDP (nPDP). They all subsequently decamped to the APC. The G5 Governors teamed up with the APC Governors and started agitation for the Presidential and VP Candidates to be picked from within the now APC Governor’s Forum under the Chairmanship of Governor Rochas Okorocha. Again political expedience came into play.

Prior to this period, there was an unwritten arrangement in the APC that the Presidential Candidate will be a candidate from the North. Will it be politically expedient to have Rotimi Amaechi, incumbent Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) and a PDP decampee to APC as the Party VP Candidate and another PDP Governor decampee from the North as the Presidential Candidate for the APC? Will the APC Governors (from the legacy Parties) accept this situation and be edged out of the Presidential ticket/candidacy? Your guess is as good as mine. And certainly, members of the legacy parties will hear nothing of such arrangement. In all these, the decampee Governors conveniently overlooked the fact that the two leadership of the APC (GMB and BAT) that conceptualize the idea of the merger and the unwritten agreement of a Northern Presidential candidacy were completely and conveniently left out of the Governors arrangement!!!

As the Governors scheming and horse trading were going on, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his group announced the formation of the PDM (another breakaway faction of the ruling party, PDP) The PDM was registered by INEC as a political party. Then, out of the blues, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar dumped the PDM and pitched his political tent with the APC. Atiku Abubakar announced to the world that he came into the APC assuring the leadership that he had no presidential ambition. But later events during the APC Congresses in the States revealed otherwise. Atiku Abubakar’s underhand and underground scheming became exposed. Again, will political expedience allow APC to hand the Presidential ticket to Atiku Abubakar, another PDP decampee. Atiku’s political sojourn has taken him from PDP to AC, back to PDP, then to PDM and now APC. Will it be politically expedient to trust Atiku Abubakar with the Presidential ticket of the APC?

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