Editor’s note: Naij.com guest author Ini Akpan Morgan doubts it would do Nigeria any good if some of the most well-known political figures continued their tenure as members of the APC – the political party they previously considered as a rival force.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Naij.com.
— “It is time for the refugees in the APC to vacate their tenancy in the party and move on”
— “I would not mind if people like Dino Melaye, Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje, Rufai Ahmed Sani and their co-travellers were excused to return to the fold of the PDP. This is the time the party needs them back to strengthen and revive it for another shot at the Presidency in 2019″
— “If in a participatory democracy a political party is said to be supreme, then I do not think any member, however electorally advantageous, is bigger than his party. These PDP prodigals are known to be political nomads”
I have read with great reflection and hindsight the press release by the APC “senators-elect of Like Minds” signed by Dino Melaye and Ahmed Rufai Sani, which Abubakar Bukola Saraki posted on his Facebook wall. The media was invited to a “joint press conference” on 8th June, 2015.
I concluded that it is time for the refugees in the APC to vacate their tenancy in the party and move on.
The battle to oust the PDP has been won and lost, as it were. No prisoners were taken. There were no victors and no vanquished, but two ‘heroes’ did emerge: President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, both of whom changed the face of the political history of Nigeria.
After reading the press release, I concluded that all PDP brought-ups will still remain rebellious in their associations. I pray that the APC leadership will see clearly how these men only needed the clout of the APC in the providential desire of Nigerians to crowd the PDP out from power and ran into the party for refuge. Now that the storm is over, they are showing their true rebellious colours. They have never failed to show themselves as opportunity grabbers.
I would not mind if people like Dino Melaye, Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje, Rufai Ahmed Sani and their co-travellers were excused to return to the fold of the PDP. This is the time the party needs them back to strengthen and revive it for another shot at the Presidency in 2019. And I wish all of them well in their future endeavours.
I see their current move as the step they have already planned to take towards their return to the PDP, and they should be facilitated by the APC leadership. The opportunity is now thrown up by the decision of the party to throw up Senator-elect Ahmed Lawan and member-elect Femi Gbajabiamila for Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
Members of the former opposition parties are known to align with decisions of their party leadership, and this has been what has brought them this far. No member of the former CPC would stand up and challenge the decision of Muhammadu Buhari, nor would any member of the former ACN rise against the decision of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu or Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, because their judgment have been and can always be trusted. It is only in the PDP you find lord-members emerging and dictating to the party leaders what should happen.
If in a participatory democracy a political party is said to be supreme, then I do not think any member, however electorally advantageous, is bigger than his party. These PDP prodigals are known to be political nomads. They won’t wait for their own rainy season. They go about looking for greener grass and not minding who they step over to nourish their political resume.
I take cue from Rotimi Amaechi’s confession on the day of his book launch of how he knelt to beg Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to avoid quarrels between them until the election is won: “We should not disagree at this time…” But the disagreement can happen after the presidency is won. All of them in the nPDP, at that time, were refugees in the APC, with the singular objective of saving their political necks and avoiding their proposed exile, should Jonathan mistakenly win the Presidential election.
If these men are attempting to embarrass the APC leadership in their “joint press conference,” the leadership should expel them from the party with immediate effect. A person like Dino Melaye is not a good example of followership and dedication. He did not pass in the course of political followership. He will always remain a political and ideological rebel.
It is understandable that there are people who are rebellion-spirited. He is in the same social class with my brother Mujahid Asari Dokubo, who is an avowed enemy of Nigeria’s conventions, but the difference between them is based on ideology: while Asari Dokubo has a deft ideology, Dino Melaye’s is based on self-promotion and political capital.
Rebellious people have their seasons of need, but this is not the time for Dino Melaye to showcase his rebellious attitude. No! Not in the APC. I cannot mistake the factors that threw him up from the PDP into the APC. Who he is today is who he could have been in any party except the PDP. He has neither learnt nor observed that members of the former opposition parties never had the attitude of flouting decisions of their party leadership, at least not through press releases and conferences.
It is these strange men that Nigerians point at when taunting the Buhari presidency and the APC leadership, tagging them as ‘those around the President Buhari that will soon bring him down’. These men are the APC people call the ‘Association of Past Criminals’. I would not want the APC leadership to be deceived. There is absolutely no need to tamper these men. They have resolved to take over the PDP, and that is their present focus. They wish to leave, no doubt, but they won’t leave without a fight. Their “land is green” again in the PDP.
We should take a list of those who are present members of the APC in opposition to the APC leadership. We will find our deserved rest in the fact that the list would comprise, mostly, names of the PDP brought-ups. Time is now that they should all return and clean up the stench they all left in the PDP instead of polluting the fresh breath we now enjoying in Nigeria. Away with mercenaries!
Ini A. Morgan is a Port Harcourt-based architect, writer and public affairs analyst. He is married with children.
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