The much anticipated National Convention of the All Progressive Congress (APC) came, and aspirants emerged via consensus; this option might have given a safe landing to the party on the verge of crashing. Still, it left great sores on the minds of many party loyalists. What is democracy when only a few party leaders go into a room to generate a consensus list to fill more than 70 available positions in the party’s management? How do young people get to power when consensus politics is growing roots in the country?
Parties shouldn’t just be vehicles for attaining political positions; certain ideologies should be enshrined and associated with major parties. Considering the political background of the new leaders of the APC, one could wonder whether the All Progressive Party is in the hand of progressives.
The new Chairman of the party, Mr. Adamu Abdullahi is one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); he was the governor of Nasarawa State for 8years between May 1999 and 2007. After his tenure as governor, he vied and won election into the Senate to represent Nasarawa West Senatorial District, also on the platform of the PDP. He joined APC in 2014 alongside 10 other PDP senators.
Similar to Adamu’s background is that of the new Secretary of the party, Mr. Iyiola Omisore. He was elected to the Senate in 2003 and 2007 to represent Osun East Constituency on the platform of the PDP. In 2014 and 2018, he contested for the governorship seat of Osun on the platform of PDP and SDP, respectively. Mr. Omisore officially joined the APC on the 15th of February, 2021.
Arguably, the Chairman and the Secretary of a political party are the two most important positions in the party’s administration; the APC has rewarded newcomers with party positions. They were not just allowed to join the congregation; they have been given the pulpit. APC came into power after badmouthing the PDP as a party that has nothing to offer Nigerians; who could ever believe that in less than 8years down the line, the Chairman of the APC will be one of the founding members of the PDP.
The way elected governors defect with the mandate of a political party to another political party is a clear indication that there are no ideologies in our political space. We witness more defection moving towards general elections, and political office holders defect to any other party that could keep them within the power corridor. The rate at which defectors are wooed, accepted, and given leadership positions in the party also points to the fact that our politics is purely that of interest devoid of ideology. If the two major parties can accommodate the same politicians, then there is no fundamental difference between them beyond their names.
In Britain, separate ideologies will not allow one to mistake the Conservative Party for the Labour Party; in America, the Democrats and Republicans have their identities; the Canadians know what Liberals and the Conservative Party stand for. The greediness of our politicians gives no identity to the major parties. They confuse the masses with their ‘old wine in another bottle‘ approach. For our democracy to grow, the electorates need to be sensitive enough to put a stop to the recycling of leaders.