IKANYA -APCAPC Government And Rivers State: The Way Forward

Few months ago, the All Progressive Congress, APC was registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

APC as popularly called is a merger of some political parties such as the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN: All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA.

On registration by INEC, there were various vulgar talks capable of fomenting troubles across the country as exhibited by the All Progressive Congress. APC.

It is no longer news that the APC took over the roles, responsibility and activities of the then purported New Peoples Democratic Party, after the staged walked Out of the PDP Special Convention at the Eagle Square on August 31st, 2013.

Awash in the media, especially as published by ‘ThisDay’ of Monday September 9, 2013 and several radio stations

across the federation.

Formation and emergence of political parties are meant to bring stability in the country’s polity, competitiveness and effective leadership in a system, and is seen therefore as a welcome development. It is against this backdrop that some Nigerians and in deed Rivers people have embraced and saluted the advent of APC.

However, before the APC’s rally in Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, there had been numerous alarms, allegations and counter allegations on the Rivers State Governor’s romance with the newly registered, APC by the ruling PDP. Though it was publicly denied by the government of the State and the information Commissioner, Ibim Simenitary at various fora, the Governor and the ruling party that brought him to power PDP had not been in harmony, until the governor bowed out of the PDP.

Today, the result of the APC rally in Rivers is made manifest with the Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, publicly declaring and accepting membership of the APC, and purportedly moving several stalwarts of the ruling PDP with him to his new found party,

On Tuesday November, 26th, 2013 what could be described as the worst kept secret in Nigerian politics was finally brokered. That was the long expected defection of the group of dissatisfied governors originally elected on the platform of the PDP to the opposition party  All Progressive Congress, (APC).

Since this envisaged drama came into reality, there have been several prognostications. Call it ‘Political earthquake or a new realignment’ that is bound to significantly alter or propel the political dynamics in the state. The conclusion is what many pointed to and believe will be a difficult road to travel by the ruling party and President Jonathan if he offers himself again for re-election in 2015.

But, the questions on the lips of many are, will the defection of the aggrieved members to the opposition capable of altering the political dynamics in the State? Is the ruling PDP truly in electoral trouble or is there too much noise out of the merger defection? What electoral value do the said aggrieved members bring to their new party? What happens to those who had toiled in the corridor of the opposition all these years, and had they positioned themselves to reap whatever electoral fortunes that may come their way, now that the aggrieved members have joined their ranks, and as State and Ward executives, may not be willing to play a second fiddle to these new stakeholders? Will they handover the structure they have long nurtured, watered and made for electoral success to individuals who until now were their political enemies? Who would the APC present as its gubernatorial candidate? If the rumored Ogoni Candidacy persist and its Kalabari counterpart becomes reality, will the Kalabaris, Bonny’s, Andonis, Opobos in 2015, vote for an Upland ticket, even though the state did such in the less lightened times from 1999 – 2007.

Will governor Amaechi undermine the power of the PDP and that of the Presidency, giving the seeming hurdles that thrown his path with his dreaming new realities, win in 2015 were he will put forth both himself and others forward? These are issues that will engage the political and expertise class as the 2015 general election game begins to shape.

Remember Governor Amaechi’s defection to the APC was celebrated and described by the Rivers State Chapter of the PDP as vindication occasioned on the several alarms it has raised over the relationship between the governor and the APC.

While the PDP is busy putting in place its proposed structures, strategies aimed at winning  2015 even as they celebrated the governor’s exit from the party, the governor is seriously wasting States fund on members who are basically concerned about the content of the State Coffers and how to empty it at the detriment of the governor.

With the APC now leading Rivers State, the coast of the Degema State Constituency upcoming bye-election will not only be a litmus test but deciding factor in subsequent elections as may be handled by the Independent Electoral Commission.

It would be remembered, that the driver of the State affairs amongst several reasons given for their defection includes the non-compliance by the federal government to return oil wells belonging to Rivers State, absence of Federal Presence in Rivers State, alleged frustration and discouraging investments in Rivers State, alleged non-inclusion of Rivers indigenes on Federal Boards and lack of internal democracy in the PDP.

Since the Rivers Government is now under APC, to a great extent it was a relieve and blessing other than a curse to the PDP and hence could be likened to the old African adage about a dog abandoning the bone in its mouth for the shadow in the waters, the unfolding events will definitely reveal the many hidden truth.

Though the APC leader, Governor Amaechi had pledged or re-affirm his commitment to the liberation of the long- suffering people of the Niger Delta, knowing their pains because he lived with them everyday. It is obvious that the governor has’ restated his desires to move the State forward with the new political party, but does it really matter, if he could do what he said as he was unable to create impact since he has been in office.

But it is incumbent on the state governor to have a rethink on his hasty action based on certain personal interest.

From the forgoing the state does not need a soothsayer to inform it that there is likely the smell of doom.

It is also likely that the State will witness more slide or drop in every area of its economy as its currently on-going. Since the State is of immense importance to the Federal Government, though  Amaechi has succeeded in taking it to a more shallow estuary the FG may not fold its hands to watch the state taken over by the APC.

The way forward is the impacted benefit that the citizenry would have on the system, if at all there is anything the APC government owe the people.

With James Mgboineme

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