2019 And APC’s Lost Op­por­tu­nity

THISDAY - - SUNDAY COMMENT - –– Dr. Enameguolo Orugbo, je­tageNG@gmail.com

It is a mys­tery how the All Pro­gres­sives Congress mis­man­aged her brand, brand am­bas­sador (Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari) and out­ing as Nige­ria’s rul­ing party. This de­picts that vic­tory is an art and los­ing is bet­ter than win­ning with a loser’s mind­set. Losers have a com­mon trait, line think­ing. In 2015, for Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party and her band­wagon of overfed syco­phants, it was Jonathan or noth­ing. For change-cen­tric Nige­ri­ans, it was any­one but Jonathan. In 2019, for APC and her hard­lin­ers, it is Buhari or noth­ing. For the Wail­ing Wail­ers, it is any­one but Buhari. Guess what? In 2019, Nige­ri­ans will nei­ther join the hard­lin­ers or Wail­ing Wail­ers and APC lost an op­por­tu­nity to put her best foot for­ward, Yemi Os­in­bajo.

In 1960, the colo­nial masters bought into in­de­pen­dence for Nige­ria. They knew it was a pyrrhic vic­tory. The sit­ting ar­range­ment of the tra­di­tional rulers who met with Prince Charles dur­ing his re­cent trip to Nige­ria says a lot. In 1999, af­ter award­ing Nige­ria’s most pro­lific oil blocks to their fronts, the old or­der of the Nige­rian mil­i­tary re­treated to the bar­racks. They repli­cated the colo­nial mas­ter’s model and handed over power to their most trusted ally, Oluse­gun Obasanjo. As a mil­i­tary ge­nius, he went on to in­sti­tu­tion­alise line think­ing, as a pre­cur­sor to per­pet­u­ate him­self in power. The North­ern­ers thought out­side the box and said a big no. Third Term failed.

It took a de­feat for Jonathan and the PDP to aban­don line think­ing. In 2015, Jonathan seized the op­por­tu­nity to con­grat­u­late Buhari. This was think­ing out­side the box. It is daz­zling to find the APC plagued by PDP’s 2014 dis­ease. Ac­tion­able in­tel­li­gence showed that the PDP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date had be­come an un­sellable prod­uct. The overfed syco­phants would have none of that and un­der­rated Nige­ri­ans. PDP is now a smart party, iPDP. They re­jected all en­treaties to stream­line the long list of pres­i­den­tial as­pi­rants. They in­stead fa­cil­i­tated fair and trans­par­ent pres­i­den­tial pri­maries on live tele­vi­sion that put their best foot for­ward, Atiku Abubakar.

Awolowo’s de­vel­op­men­tal foot­prints, in­vest­ment in peo­ple, re­main the most po­tent till this day. Os­in­bajo is mar­ried to Awolowo’s grand daugh­ter. The ap­ple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree. APC’s mas­ter­stroke should have been to present Os­in­bajo as her pres­i­den­tial can­di­date with Aisha Buhari as his run­ning mate. APC’s cur­rent pres­i­den­tial can­di­date has be­come un­sellable, thanks to APC. On the con­trary, Os­in­bajo’s pedi­gree and stel­lar per­for­mance as Act­ing Pres­i­dent are crys­tal clear and sell­able. The naira ap­pre­ci­ated un­der Os­in­bajo. He coura­geously sacked the for­mer DG of the DSS, Lawal Daura and stayed loyal to his prin­ci­pal.

In 2015, PDP fielded a dented prod­uct and was re­warded with a well-de­served de­feat. The APC is set to re­peat the same feat. Atiku is a strong can­di­date and PDP has learnt the hard way. The win­dow to sub­sti­tute can­di­dates is grad­u­ally clos­ing. APC can de­cide to fol­low the dic­tates of her hard­lin­ers or think out­side the box. The Wail­ing Wail­ers are armed with their PVCs and buy­ing time. Find­ings from a dis­creet 2019 anal­y­sis shows that Nige­ri­ans are go­ing to vote the best can­di­date and not party. As Act­ing Pres­i­dent, Os­in­bajo in­creased the brand eq­uity of the APC and spurred Nige­ri­ans. Ar­tic­u­late or be pre­pared to con­grat­u­late Atiku.

For­giv­ing oth­ers is a virtue but for­giv­ing self is a gift. ––Ena E. Orugbo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.