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Kali Gwegwe
 CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower
2, Greenvilla-Customs Link Road
Yenagoa, Bayelsa State




by Kali Gwegwe

In case El Rufai is feigning ignorance, Buba Marwa left the APC because of impunity. There are presently two factions of the APC in Lagos State because of impunity. What is closer to impunity than for godfathers to force candidates on the party? This is commonplace among APC leaders


As the 2015 presidential election draws close, Nigerians should expect to see the ugly, hear cheap lies, and taste the bile of hypocrisy. This is therefore the best time for Nigerian electorates to separate real politicians from the fake, opportunists from nationalists, and charlatans from patriots.


It is insensitive and self-serving for any politician or political party to pretend about the important role of religious and ethnic emotions in unifying and stabilizing the Nigerian polity. Owing to the realities of our very deep diversity, confidence is built by reassuring the various interests through fair representations in the key decision-making organs of government. This is why the president, vice president, senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the government of the federation has never been dominated by any one sector. It has promoted a sense of belonging.

More than that, democracy is about spread. Our law is careful about this and has therefore prescribed that for a president to emerge, he or she must win a minimum of 25% of votes in at least 2/3 of Nigeria’s thirty-six states and Abuja. The primary aim of this unique legislation is to avoid sailing a lopsided ship of state.

Right from the beginning, careful observers of Nigerian political history had concluded that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the APC to pick its presidential candidate for the 2015 polls through a credible process. This opinion is strengthened by the “Tinubu Factor.” It is an open secret that Tinubu is the godfather of the APC. Unfortunately, he does not believe in internal democracy. On the other hand, Buhari, the soul of APC is a “Me or nobody” personality, who would want to have his way all the time or jump ship. He believes too much in his wisdom. In democracy, “I know it all” characters do not add value to the leadership culture.

The greatest fear of many political watchers is that since the APC is built on the fragile foundation of anger, frustration, hate, and desperation, the party will crumble shortly after the emergence of their presidential candidate for the 2015 polls. Deep cracks have started emerging. It was widely alleged that the former governor of Borno State, Modu Sheriff threatened to physically assault the godfather of the APC, Tinubu over a minor political difference.

There is also the issue of protecting the interests of the G5 governors the APC tricked to dump the ruling PDP in order to gain popularity- not credibility. The APC is presently weighed down by a moral burden to honour the unwritten agreement with the likes of Amaechi and Okoroacha. Unfortunately, the vexed presidential ambition of the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has distorted initial calculations. The band of “fair-weather” stakeholders and secret financiers of the APC now feel that they have been used and dumped in order to please Atiku. This is one reason for the bad blood between the band fair-weather and legion of traditional stakeholders of the APC.

Acting as if all of these were not bad enough, the leadership of the APC rained acidic abuses on the judiciary following the High Court ruling concerning the 37 House of Representatives members that decamped from the PDP. Many Nigerians were quick in pointing out that the APC holds the judiciary in contempt whenever court judgments do not go their way. This is dangerous. There are therefore genuine reasons for Nigerians to believe that the judiciary and the masses by extension will suffer grievous harm should the APC succeed in sweeping their way into Aso Rock.

Being a party that is led by mostly angry, desperate, and self-serving politicians, many observers are not surprised that a minority but influential section of the leadership of the APC is contemplating “handpicking” their presidential candidate for the 2015. A large segment of APC members are already angry that their leaders are playing with the idea of fielding a Muslim-Muslim pair for the Nigerian presidency.

For the first time in a very long while, Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister, APC leader, and vocal antagonist of the PDP took side with reason. He condemned in strong terms any plan by the APC to undermine Christians by presenting a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket. He went on to predict that the party would suffer massive defeat if tried to show disrespect for the large Christian community.

In a veiled attempt to endorse the rumoured Muslim-Muslim ticket, a prominent anti-GEJ campaigner, former minister of the FCT, and Deputy National Secretary of the APC, Mallam Nasir el Rufai wrote on his Facebook account in direct response to the possible Buhari-Tinubu pairing: “The APC will present an integrity-competence ticket, not religion. Politics and governance are not to be mixed or dictated by any religion.” He went further to state that “How these persons worship God is private to them and does not matter to discerning Nigerians, particularly young people that suffer most from bad governance, unemployment, and the ‘Jonathanian’ culture of impunity.” This is one of cheapest lies this writer has heard in recent times. If Nigerian youths truly care less about religion, why is it that many of them hide behind it to destroy innocent lives and properties? This is a moment of truth. It should be devoid of parochial reasoning.

El Rufai is indirectly saying that Nigerians should not be troubled about the possible Buhari-Tinubu ticket because there are no credible Christians in the APC that can fly the party’s flag.

It is quite sad that El Rufai thinks he can continue to manipulate Nigerian youths with sour dirges for his personal political gains. For some time now, he has been lamenting so much about the plight of Nigerian youths. Meanwhile, he did nothing to improve the lots of youths while he was in government. Ironically, two of his unemployed daughters are still youths. If with all his connections and fabulous wealth he made over the last twelve years, he could not help his own daughters, what other proof has he to convince Nigerian youths that his tears are not that of a crocodile? Instead of helping his daughters, El Rufai turned round to blame President Jonathan. This is clearly a case of one cutting his own nose in order to spite his face.

El Rufai plays politics with everything, including the private lives of his immediate family members. He deliberately made sure his two daughters are not working so that he can use same to campaign against Jonathan in the 2015 polls. Unfortunately, his plot backfired. Many discerning Nigerians are now asking: If the PDP is not good, why can’t any of the APC states proof the ruling party wrong by offering his two unemployed daughters jobs?

Another question: Is it sin to do good to one’s country? It was John F. Kenny, a former American president who said, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Talking about unemployment in the country; the situation would not have been this bad today if El Rufai had delivered on his official mandate as DG of BPE some few years back. He did not only supervise the butchering of Nigeria’s “meat” among his bosses and cronies, the BPE was run like a private estate; the same way he did while he was minister of the FCT. Impunity was his second name. Despite all of these, El Rufai finds courage to accuse President Jonathan of impunity.

In case El Rufai is feigning ignorance, Buba Marwa left the APC because of impunity. There are presently two factions of the APC in Lagos State because of impunity. What is closer to impunity than for godfathers to force candidates on the party? This is commonplace among APC leaders



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