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Hardball

 

Perhaps he was simply enthusiastic, or over-enthusiastic. He got carried away and lost his sense of self-restraint. As interim national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni thought he should let the public know that the party intends to remain in power for a long time.

During the inauguration of the party’s 61-member Strategy and Contact Committee in Abuja, on March 23, Buni declared: “Our vision is to provide a wheel that will drive the party to go beyond 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and even 10th term of office to effectively implement the party manifesto, improve the lives of Nigerians and, to remain Nigeria’s leading political party.”

APC came to power in 2015, six years ago. By Buni’s calculation, the party should be in power for at least 40 years, which is the equivalent of 10 consecutive four-year terms.

Buni emerged as the party’s interim national chairman in June 2020 following the dissolution of its national working committee. His interim committee, appointed initially for six months, is supposed to organise the party’s extraordinary national convention.  Its tenure was extended for another six months in December 2020.

 

So Buni was produced by a crisis, and he is expected to resolve a crisis.  He has his work cut out for him. He needs to concentrate on his immediate task, which is keeping the party intact, which is difficult enough, without getting involved in dreaming about the distant future.

It is doubtful that APC enjoys the degree of popularity that brought it to power in 2015 and kept it in power in 2019.

There was a time the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the ruling party, and boasted that it would be in power for at least 60 years. The party, now the country’s main opposition party, fell after 16 years in power.

It may well be a political affliction to boast about retaining power for a very long time, and lose sight of the present and what should be done to ensure that the people keep the party in power.

Power belongs to the people. It is wiser in a democracy for a political party to have the people on its side than to believe in some kind of political destiny.

Buni should learn from the rise and fall of PDP. He should keep his political dream about APC’s time in power to himself. Only the people can decide that.



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