THE All Progressive Congress convention has come and gone, leaving behind a series of extremely unpleasant circumstances, almost all of them in conformity with the suspicion that some covert hands are responsible for their occurrence.
Immediately after the convention, which went successfully, through an amicably arranged consensus, that came contrary to the permutations of the naysayers, the prophets of doom began to spread the false narrative that the party has been hijacked, or unwittingly handed over to the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
The PDP, fired the first salvo of discontent, by alleging that the emergence of Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC would worsen corruption and economic hardship in the country. According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, the party said, “The “imposition of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a man who was arraigned in Court on 149 counts of alleged fraudulent award of contracts and stealing of public funds estimated at N15 billion, as its National Chairman, was proof that the APC cannot fight corruption”.
The Presidency quickly responded, by slamming the cynics as persons unheeding to the meaning of repentance, and evidently nursing the ambition of dividing the country. Through a statement signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the Presidency described Adamu and others as sinners who have repented.
“Of course, the blame for this mind-set ought rightly to go to the opposition, who in all these years had done the work to only divide the country, leading to all manner of separatist agitations. When their fake news of disunity was undone by the facts, some in the opposition could not help themselves but took to the newspapers and the airwaves to find another way to shore up their reputations. That some of the APC’s new leadership were once in the opposition was the new line to take to the media, somehow suggesting that those who have left one party should not hold positions in another. Yet, do the scriptures not teach us of the virtue of sinners who repent and change their ways?”-Mallam Garba Shehu.
Other concerned Nigerians also joined hands in calling on the public to ignore the political mischief, including Ismail Omipidan, a former Political Editor. Through an opinion, captioned, THE NEW APC LEADERSHIP: STOP THE FALSE NARRATIVE, Ismail responded thus:
“When a piece of information is dished out, most times we don’t bother to cross check before feasting on it and making it go viral. This is one of the challenges of the social and new media era. My intervention this afternoon is, therefore, to help unsuspecting Nigerians have understanding of the issues at stake on the just-concluded national convention of the ruling party, the APC. And I am making it in good faith to help refresh our memories and put issues in perspective as a former Political Editor.
First, it is totally untrue to hold the view that the leadership of the ruling APC has been handed over to the PDP. To the best of my knowledge, while it is true that the new APC National Chairman had his foundation in the PDP, the mere fact that he and other 10 PDP Senators joined the APC on January 29, 2014, makes him a foundation member, since the party was birthed in February, 2013. The APC had not even won any election at that time. This is clearly different from what happened in the PDP in February 2016, where it made someone who was barely a year old in the party, its National Chairman. Interestingly, it happened at a time the fellow was negotiating his return to the APC. But in this instance, Senator Adamu has spent eight years out of the nine years existence of the ruling party within the party. That’s one. Two, the National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore, had his foundation in the Alliance for Democracy, AD, where he was first elected Osun Deputy Governor. That he left for the PDP at some point, cannot make him a complete PDP through and through. Besides, the two Deputy Chairmen (North and South) Senator Abubakar Kyari and Chief Emma Eneukwu, respectively, have never had anything to do with the PDP. They started in APP and remained there throughout its metamorphosis until it became the APC. The Organising Secretary, Suleiman Argungu, my very good friend, was the chairman of the ANPP Integrity Group, which took up the gauntlet to reform the party at a time they believed the leadership of the ANPP was being compromised by the ruling PDP. Like the two Deputy Chairmen, he was never in PDP. Therefore, don’t help them spread the false narrative that APC has been handed over to the PDP. It is a fallacy”.
Last night, a day after the convention and inauguration of the new National Working Committee of the APC, a Kaduna bound train from Abuja, conveying a large number of passengers was attacked by gunmen. Many passengers were injured, while several others were said to be kidnapped.
On Friday, few hours to the convention, terrorists invaded the Kaduna International Airport, killing a security guard and causing confusion that led to the delayed departure of an airline.
About a week to the convention, the Department of State Services (DSS), alerted the nation of a sinister plan by some elements to stoke violence in parts of the country, particularly the North Central. The aim they said, is to cause an ethnoreligious crisis, ignite reprisals and heat up the polity.
I spoke to a few people with military training and they showed concern about the coincidence in the occurrence of these calamities, almost concurrently with the APC convention. They were unanimous in smelling a rat, as envisaged by the DSS.
Yes, the convergence of these catastrophic calamities is an indication that something is wrong, and the need to address it should be placed uppermost by the government.