Between APC And Its Members By Gbolahan Yusuf
An APC elected member of the House of Representatives and spokesperson for the Dogara faction of the APC caucus in the House, Dr Abdulmumin Jibrin had on Sunday, via twitter, asked a question and I respectfully requote him, “If you take away PMB, is there any difference between APC and PDP?”
Since the start of this game of thrones in the APC among its members in the National Assembly, I, as a supporter of the party and with limited information-well sourced information-at my disposal, had opted to keep calm and observe. As I have come to learn that only patient observation can produce apt narration.
One thing that does not miss the eyes amidst these leadership imbroglio of the APC lawmakers, is the attempt by all to appear more pro-APC than others, all factions wanting not to come off to the public as the oppressor, but as the victims. In whatever seems a change in that trend, the statement posed as a question which Dr Jibrin asked, as earlier quoted, was a sharp and acute jab at the party brand itself. It was a veiled challenge to the founders of the party, and should not be seen as anything less.
Is there really any difference? That is not the crux of this piece but is an issue I hope to magnify in a dedicated piece later. The matter at hand however is that, to borrow an analogy from my favorite sport, Dr Abdulmumin’s statement was akin to a football player admitting publicly before a match that he/she thinks his/her team will lose the match probably due to the invincibility of their opponents. In the professional world of football, such a public statement will attract a punishment from the club, not because it is not true because in more cases than not it is, but because whether true or not, such denigrating utterance cannot and must not come from the players themselves. That such a statement, already popular among many political observers, had to come from a player in the APC team, and more so a federal lawmaker shows a breakdown of professionalism and further exposes institutional fractures under the party leadership.
It becomes more agonizing with the realization that Dr Abdulmumin Jibrin, is the spokesperson of several other lawmakers of the APC, who had together defied the party leadership in electing Hon Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker of the House as against Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. In effect therefore, one is tempted to ask, even if fearfully, if all the lawmakers in this group really do not see a difference between the ruling party and the opposition because if so, then the lawmakers are ominously implying that CHANGE will best be expected only in Aso Rock and not necessarily in the National Assembly nor in the states. Dr Abdulmumin meant to tell us therefore that APC-as we were made to see it-exists only in Aso Rock, even though its flag flies all over the country.
Knowing Nigerians and our weak sense of judgement, many will quickly attach sainthood to our Kano lawmaker. You are very likely to hear; “he is only saying the truth which many politicians will not say”. But why did this PDP defector not come out with this “truth” when he was campaigning for his office with APC banners? Would he have said he simply preferred brooms to umbrellas, and that made him move to the APC from the PDP? Or how will Dr Abdulmumin Jibrin even see a difference when he was not part of the tedious and courageous effort that brought several parties to merge into a mega party in opposition?
Not a few, lashed out at Bisi Akande when the elder, out of his political sagacity, alleged that some elements in the party were hell-bent on destroying the party, but Baba’s words don’t seem like fanciful talk anymore, after such an affront on the party by its supposed members. No parent will fold arms and watch the murder of the child and that is why it will be fool-hardy to expect the biological parents of this merger to allow these party-grabbing elements have a field day. It explains the hostility radiated from men like Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and President Muhammadu Buhari also, to the newly installed leadership of the National Assembly.
Many political observers like myself have grown fond of the APC in their short period of existence and will like, above all else, to see that this house is held firm together as one. If however, the APC has to make a choice in order to keep its singular identity, it has to be known that it must be a simple choice. Yoruba parents often tell their children that when things get rocky, “ranti omo eni to n se”. It means “remember whose child you are”. The question for APC therefore is, whose child are you?
Gbolahan Yusuf is a public commentator.
Tweets via @G1gbolahan