If you wanted proof that the All Progressive Congress (APC) was bereft of hope and ideas look no further than this fact : that it elected Adams Oshiomhole in a desperate act to shore up its rapidly dwindling political fortune. Picked ahead of fellow Edo statesman and former national chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, Adams Oshiomhole under a few months has only further driven in the wedge between party members and exposed his craft as a basket case and loud-mouth.
Within a few days after his assumption into office, I received calls from friends who wrongly divined that his leadership may engender popular support for the APC and encourage unity amongst party members. With the benefit of time, I can now reiterate my point to each callers that rather than unite he’d further strain the loose seams of his party to go down in history as the man who hit the last nail on the coffin of the APC.
As I patiently explained to my callers then, the change in party leadership of the APC, by any significant measure, is a non-event. It is an event only in the most contemptible, sordid and effete manner. And an exercise in desperation with the dressing of political miscalculation as would become much more apparent over time.
With little thoughts and many empty talks, Adams Oshiomhole has become a one man brigade of the inconsistency and unreliability of a party doomed to eat its own tail from a famine of ideas. Going into 2019 with an unruly horse saddling the party’s electoral affairs is perhaps poetic justice against a party that saddled Nigerians with the burden of an unresponsive President. But there is more.
Within the space of a few months it is becoming more and more apparent that Adams Oshiomhole’s paternalistic approach to leadership is a curse to the APC. From badly conveyed party policies to a condescending litany of attack against non-conforming members of the party, the list grows as one man’s ego and power trips unravels the impotency of the APC going into 2019.
While it may be conceded that the APC had been on a course to self-destruction prior to the emergence of Oshiomhole, the impetus given that decline by his leadership of the party bears discourse. It speaks of a man who lacks the capacity to engender togetherness and much too negligent of the rules of engagement of a national assignment. It is, broadly applied, symptomatic of the lack of depth of the APC and the content of its members where Adams Oshiomhole is its emergent overlord.
What could be considered the very best years of Adams Oshiomhole are behind him and I speak of his years as a labor leader not the penury of his tenure as the governor of Edo state. As a governor, he led from a high tower, glaring down on subjects who once chanted his praise before losing their trust and love by perpetuating the same policies he condemned as a labor leader. Squandering the people ‘s goodwill and common wealth, he is today overseeing the concluding episode of the APC ‘s tragic opera in Nigerian politics.
There is little sadness in watching Oshiomhole in action. A party simply cannot give a quality it lacks. National cohesion is possible only in a political environment that accommodates differences and creates the room for reconciliation. By demonizing fellow party members most of whom had long been in politics before his accidental bump into it, he is setting the pace for the steep decline of the party.
The height of his arrogance and claim to authority has pitched him not just against fellow party members but his President. By summarily threatening members of the president’s cabinet he seeks do arrogate powers beyond the scope envisioned by his party. No greater disillusionment has any one man displayed in the position of a party chairman to lay claim to federal executive power owing to a party’s pretentious hierarchy.
In the preceding weeks, many members of the APC have abandoned ship mainly for the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party. While the PDP must be wary of the quality of its swelling rank, the depletion in numbers, and consequently, strength of the APC is a direct fallout of Oshiomhole’s ineptitude as party chairman. The sheer number of persons that have decamped and may yet decamp under his leadership can not be trivialized by his arrogant posture that such members are irrelevance or nor needed by the party.
The language of his engagement so far has been belittling of persons and office, with an ingrain contempt for individuality devoid of his input. In the following days, weeks and month, it should be expected that many more members of the party would leave the APC in apparent disgust and dissatisfaction with his leadership style.
His uncouth utterances hardly befits a national leader. Perhaps, he would have been best suited for the role of Party Spokesman or Publicist to find the room to channel his childish invectives and irrational conclusions on the party’s behalf. It is even harder now to take The APC seriously with Adams Oshiomhole overseeing it’s affairs.
Make no mistake, no one should or could have expected any better from the APC. It is simply the fate of any badly cobbled structure to give at the center and come crashing down from the burden of its own excesses. Adams Oshiomhole has truly become the effigy of the APC ‘s decline and decimation. It is only a matter of time now before its end is witnessed. What is left in APC is the weakened Buhari phenomenon and may soon crumble.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq. is the National Secretary of the Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers.