The single most important thing that I learnt about the All Progressives Congress (APC) at its launch in Ekiti State on Friday 13th September, 2013 and which would certainly be the biggest albatross of the opposition is that it is not just a political party, but a determined movement of non-politicians and politicians who seem rather more concerned about bringing about positive change unlike the customary run-of-the-mill politicians who have continuously put pocket before progress.
It was a different story in Ekiti State on Friday as artisan unions filed out one after the other to register, not just their solidarity, but presence and place in the new party, thus sending a strong message that the APC is an all-inclusive movement of both politicians and non-politicians in the fight to re-take Nigeria. The opposition might end up describing the gathering with all sorts of adjectives, but the discerning among them would know the game might finally be up and that the ground on which they still seem to stand is rug laid on a ditch, and with a little pull, it is down the abyss of political annihilation. And given the New PDP/Old PDP House of Horror, the party at the centre is already doing the pulling by itself, singing to itself the popular Yoruba folk song – one of my favourites at that – “A o merin j’oba, eweku ewele” until the big brawn-without-brain destruction-bound elephant reaches its final resting place – the ditch – where thinking is no longer relevant and rescue impossible.
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, didn’t mince words in describing the PDP self-consuming conflagration: “They pretend to be in power, but are organising coup,” he said, referring to the blockade staged by Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mbu, at the entrance of the Rivers State Government House in Port-Harcourt. “Nigerians should reject them. We will not be intimidated,” he continued, “we will welcome everybody who believes in the course of progress, because APC is the future. This is where progress is. This is where free education is. There is where our children will be.”
His Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, was a bit dramatic: “When I say ‘APC’ the first time, you say ‘Change’, same as the second time, but I when I say ‘APC’ the third time, you respond by saying ‘Change Federal’ because we want change at the federal level. The change is already here in Ekiti, but we need change at the federal level.” (He spoke in Yoruba). No doubt, Aregbesola’s presence and words at the Ekiti APC launch put paid to the lie being spun by some elements that he was more in favour of some coalition exponent.
One other thing the people would probably take away from the launch was the unravelling of some desperate politicians’ cooked-up spin that there was division within the rank of the APC in Ekiti. They even went as far as getting some of their stillborn failure-destined coalition cronies to issue some statement to authenticate the non-existence division created and fanned only by their amnesiac and pilloried imagination. But at the APC launch, the chairmen of the defunct ANPP and CPC in Ekiti State were on ground as the flags of the three parties, ACN, ANPP and CPC were lowered to give way for that of the APC which soared high to the admiration of all.
Alhaji Azeez Awolokun, chairman of defunct ANPP, could not hide his excitement: “I am happy to be part of this change. This is the first time that a merger would be this successful in Nigeria. We have a lot of work to do. Many in the opposition are waiting for us to approach them so they can join us. Let’s go out and mingle.”
His defunct CPC counterpart described the APC as the beginning of new things in Nigeria and that he was confident of the party’s victory in 2015.
And to show its acquiescence of the birth of APC in Ekiti, nature joined in the celebration by sending down light showers in the course of the programme and heavy showers later in the day as a boon. This is in total contrast from the Ekiti PDP where guns and goons are doled out as dish and dessert.
‘Dimeji Daniels writes from Ado in Ekiti State