The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has gotten itself into another web of confusion; this time, another court injunction barring the party from carrying out any activities. Before that, a lengthy court battle in 2018/2019 saw the state’s chapter of the party being disqualified from last year’s general elections. The disqualification of the party was meant to provide valuable lessons but it seems, it hasn’t.
Now that governor Wike seems confused as to where his successor will come from, owing to the agitation from different ethnic groups, there are still three basic facts the APC in Rivers state needs to accept if they hope to have any chance to win the Bricks House.
In case you are a member of the APC in Rivers State reading this, I warn you that this isn’t going to be easy. But no pain, no gain. So here goes:
Magnus Abe did not collude with Nyesom Wike to disqualify the APC in 2019
The common sing-song of some APC members in 2019 was that Abe colluded with Nyesom Wike to disqualify the APC in 2019. That is a crude lie that only those who did not monitor events during the failed primaries in 2018 will only believe. Let’s start with what is still the toughest pill to swallow for APC members: Rotimi Amaechi’s decision to single-handedly impose a candidate on the party was the major reason why the party was disqualified.
From disenfranchising those who bought forms to contest for primaries; the invasion of the high court to stop a court of competent jurisdiction from issuing an interlocutory injunction; the taunting of the court as “Wike’s Supermarket” and so many other legal blunders, the APC had it coming.
The mere belief that a faction could easily muscle its way to power without considering the misgiving of the other factions was what buried the party before the elections. Even if Amaechi’s faction succeded, the party would have gone into the election divided.
Sadly, the party seems to be on the same path to self-destruction. When the court dismissed the suit filed by Ibrahim Umar and others in December, the party chieftains should have activated a reconciliation process to unite all factions but they chose to hastily fix congresses: Mistake.
The worst way to overcome a loss in politics is to go around believing you didn’t “really” lose and no real improvements or changes need to be made by your team to win next time.
Imagine if the APC spent as much time and effort on winning back their unity the same way they have been in pursuing the alleged Wike’s collusion obsession.
The PDP is still very much popular.
Whether they want to admit it or not, the APC has the feeling that the PDP is a walk in a park in any election contest in the state. The whole idea that they can rely on federal might to win elections in the state should come to an end. The APC needs to go back to its drawing table, put its house in order and open the party to pure and established democratic principles; consult, set its priorities right and the voters would listen to them.
An election is not war and statements made by some chieftains before the last elections did not help matters.
The killing of over 30 persons in Abonnema last year and the arrest, detention, and invasion of polling units by government forces shouldn’t define how elections should be contested in the state. Two northerners were running for an election but it was in Rivers State that people were being killed. That needs to stop.
Okenyi Kenechi writes from Port Harcourt
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