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The emergence of Abdullahi Adamu and Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairmen through consensuses

It sometimes make me wonder how lessons are just not heeded to in this country. Could it be why some people believe Nigerians forget things to early to the extent that such assertion has become more of a cliché. I could actually believe so considering how much the APC had early into their administration forgotten practically all the lessons that should have been learnt from the mistakes of the PDP and today we have come round to people debating more for a repetition of those mistakes even though the PDP appears a little more wary about them.

We have just come from the conduct of the APC national convention where the attempts at a consensus for the national chairman almost tore the party apart but for the immense fear and respect that the party governors and big wigs have for the president and in fact the much that has been tolerated from the party and government by party faithfuls is as a result of that respect and deferment. While all of it have been enjoyed by Buhari and the beneficiaries of it, it may not last up to the presidential primaries when the suppressed effects of the past will combine with the resultant ones from an attempt to foist a presidential candidate and finally bury the APC as a party.

This matter needs to be echoed because it’s evident that the managers of the party or rather the managers of Buhari have become totally comfortable and complacent over how easily Buhari’s instructions are heeded to regarding some of these issues around consensuses and impositions and they assume every instruction of Buhari will just be sailing through even without appropriate consultations. Their inertia is deep enough not to even let them see the little trembling that resulted from the consensus processes leading to the selection of the national working committee of the APC. From the cutting short of presidential trips, to counter letters from within and abroad and culminating in tears and reluctance of candidates to accept outcomes on the stage of the convention. If all these are not indication of buried landlines waiting to be stepped on, then I don’t know what could ever be more.

While some members of the PDP who have learnt lessons from the past are insisting on an open contests to clinch party tickets, the incurable lazy ones who have refused to learn any lessons and insist on the ways of the past are championing zoning as a way to bring back imposition through the back door. These people must be resisted for the sake of Nigeria’s democracy. Once the major fabrics of the democracy which are the political parties are destroyed, what are we going to have left again. This will only take the clock backwards to pre ’99 when all the work about building a formidable democracy will have to be started again, little wonder why the National Assembly in its wisdom initially submitted an amended electoral act containing only direct primaries as a means of nomination of candidates by political parties. However, as usual those lazy politicians who would always want to use privileges to advance their selfish agenda worked to truncate such provisions by ensuring that their most potent tools of indirect primaries and consensus was introduced.

That thing that is most dangerous with all these consensus and imposition is that it has even permeated our everyday life. People have no regard for competence and competitions anymore, everyone wants to create shortcuts or having their way out of everything. From work places to business environment and voluntary unions and associations. You’ll always see how people would unconsciously begin to mobilize towards truncating any competitive process using their privileged positions and because most of the people at the helm also emerged through same shortcuts, they mostly don’t have enough intellect or wherewithal to understand the effects of these things and even when they do, no guts to say no to them.

The 2023 elections are fast approaching and majority of the candidates from all the parties just want to be endorsed and affirmed. They are busy rallying around principals and waiting for endorsements while all others who have worked all their lives to gather enough goodwill as competitive edge must be jettisoned and schemed out. This can never be good for democracy, thankfully though, the National Assembly has introduced a caveat to consensus by saying all candidates must put in writing their acceptances to the consensus arrangement. One could say this is a little deviation from total imposition but we could do better.

Finally, this is an advisory to all contestants and political parties to recognize that we must truncate the culture of imposition before it kills us as a people. The culture of hard-work and completion is daily giving way for these short cuts and we must work to put an end to them for the sake of the survival of our democracy and the society in general.

Hashim Suleiman

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