Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, experience in Nigeria has shown that whenever a party in power, either at the federal or state level, is enmeshed in a crisis of huge magnitude, such as recently witnessed in the All Progressives Congress (APC), governance ceases and the welfare of the people takes the back seat.
When President Muhammadu Buhari met with the National Executive Committee (NEC) to dissolve the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, tempers rose as there were rumours that the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was being targeted.
The events of the last few weeks across the country have shown that the crisis rocking the national leadership of the ruling APC, which spread to many of its state chapters, was taking a dangerous dimension, and could have been worse if not quickly nipped in the bud.
We, therefore, applaud the leadership of the APC, the former chairman of the party and his erstwhile executive members for opting to take the decision in good faith and ruling out the option of challenging the decision in court. We salute their maturity in not allowing the crisis to fester.
We also give kudos to Tinubu and the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra- Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee for immediately having a parley. This, indeed, showed that there is ongoing reconciliation within the party.
It is heart-warming to see that the APC was able to navigate its troubled waters and quickly nipped in the bud, what could have snowballed into a major crisis. For this, we thumb up the party and its leaders.
We particularly thank President Buhari for the bold step in resolving the crisis. This should be seen as a big leap in the political space. We must however note that it is not yet Uhuru at the state level.
The drama that played out at the National Secretariat of the party had degenerated to state chapters, including Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Rivers as well as in some local governments, in which there had been scramble for the partition of the states.
While other states are relatively peaceful now, mainly because there are no significant events going on there, Edo and Ondo states are expectedly on the front burner, apparently because of the coming governorship elections in the two states. Politics is a big business in our clime, little wonder that politicians do anything to get to power, so as to control the general resources and thereby dominate the already impoverished masses that depend on such resources for survival. It is no longer a secret in this clime that government determines the everyday life of the average Nigerian.
As such, whenever governance is relegated to the background on the altar of political squabbles, the masses usually bear the brunt. This is so because the parties in power, which are supposed to be role models for other political parties, are always enmeshed in different shows of shame at all levels of government, a position that is capable of undermining the democratic process.
Apart from the unending political intrigues ravaging the APC in virtually all its controlled states, there had been a series of court cases, some of which are yet to be determined, and which may eventually determine the outcome of the intrigues.
It is not in doubt that political urchins and foot soldiers are already spoiling for war on the dictates of their principals, as such, we urge the security operatives to be alive to their responsibilities while we plead with the leaders of the APC: Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Tinubu and the leadership of the national and states assemblies, as well as governors and other stakeholders, to hurriedly wade into the matters at the state level, so as to stop the looming danger.
Though the crisis is partially over at the federal level, there is still need to reconcile warring parties, in order to quell bad blood and cold war that may fester in the APC.
The party’s NEC must ensure that there is ceasefire in all states and allow the electioneering process to be free, fair, credible and peaceful. Nigerians should no longer witness the evil of the past, where lives were freely lost in the name of enthroning political lords.
The ambition of any politician, no matter how highly placed, is not worth the blood of a single Nigerian. In testing their strengths and capacities, we hereby advise politicians not to turn Ondo and Edo states to battlegrounds as the governorship elections approach.
As the two elections get nearer, whatever happens in the coming weeks may have repercussions that may spill over till the next general election in 2023. Nigerians cannot afford to be in such agonising moments anymore, and this is the more reason all hands must be on the deck to forestall a national crisis.
For the country not to be turned into another theatre of war, as witnessed in the past, it is expedient to call on all parties and political players across all the divides to emulate the APC and sheath their swords and allow reasons to prevail.