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Politics of APC presidential nomination

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The clique directing the noxious game of the ridiculous proliferation of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress is utterly graceless, shameless and self-serving in its desperation to foist a smokescreen of democratic and popular choice of candidate for the presidential poll, scheduled for next year. The entire exercise of picking nomination and expression of interest forms is a complete charade from the the very start otherwise how would a form of expression of interest contain along with it, a withdrawal letter to be signed and submitted along with the form.

The clique, which is clearly powerful and arrogant but notoriously unpatriotic with only a narrow agenda to maintain stranglehold on power and wealth, had pushed and had its way in the party’s national convention to elect its members of the Central working community, muscling in Mr. Abdullahi Adamu who was not even an aspirant, a month to the party convention is currently pushing its luck, despite the consequences for the party and the country.

Part of the smokescreen was the outrageous fee charged for nomination and expression of interests for prospective presidential aspirants, ostensibly designed to separate pretenders from the real contenders but what is clear now is that all manners of pretenders are been bankrolled to enter the fray with a view to frustrate genuine contenders and even to draft and anoint spurious lackeys or even spineless surrogates as consensus candidate or pave way for an easy win, in a contest with premeditated outcome.

Some of the fellows picking up the one hundred million naira nomination and expression of Interest forms of the ruling Party are certainly as curious as their recent public outing is Interesting.

Mr. Adams Oshiomole, former Chairman of the party tossed out of the party leadership in the most undignified circumstances, who was also former two-term governor of Edo State, has recently and publicly announced his intention to go the senate.

But then, all of a sudden, he is now headed to Aso Rock and not the Three-Arm zone, the avenue, housing the country’s legislative chambers . Without contesting anyone rights to change his or her mind, the presidency of the country of the largest number of the black people in the world and potential leader of Africa is so serious that one cannot just turn from the other side of the bed and arrive at a decision to occupy it.

Mr. Tunde Bakare, a pastor of one of the high brow Pentecostal churches in Nigeria and former running mate to president Buhari in its third attempt at the presidency in 2011, was in the public glare not long ago for allegedly borrowing a whopping 5 billion naira to build an ultra modern church complex. According to the reports, he had allegedly relied on generous offerings of his congregations to defray the humongous loan but the covid-19 pandemic struck, shutting down activities and within the period, the loan ballooned through accumulated interests to allegedly reach 9 billion naira. The bank in question in a statement tacitly admitted the transaction but pleaded customer confidentiality to keep details under wraps. But this is one transaction among many of its kind that shows how we are under developing. Most banks who would not lend to small scale businesses and even industry owners and other key economic players, whose economic activities would trigger multiple chains of value-creating economic growth, prefer to lend to non-economic value creating religious activity of church building. After all, in Acts 7:48, the Bible made clear that “the most high does not dwell in houses made by human hands”.

Mr. Bakare, whose political activities in recent times does not extend beyond his commentaries on the state of the nation mostly from his pulpit has somehow mustered a hundred million naira to purchase a nomination and expression of Interest form for a presidential primary that is about just three weeks away, but without any known public engagement with party delegates across the country, who would be voting at the presidential nomination convention.

And to add to the riddle of the desperate permutation of the clique to this increasing show of shame, the seating governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emeiefle have entered the fray. Central Bank is a key state Institution and not a mere branch of the executive arm of government. It is most important overseer of any country’s economic health and even for Banana republics, Central Banks are largely insulated from political fray. In the Uganda, of Idi- Amin,s comic and brutal rule, the Central bank governor reputedly refused his order to print bank notes and turn the currency into “toilet sheets” That is how far, Central bankers even in the worst of times can go to protect the sanctity of the Institution of the Central Bank.

Mr. Emiefele has so overstretched the Nigeria Central bank, reducing it to a glorified lottery house. It has become clearer now that under Mr. Emiefele, the Central Bank has functioned more or less, a slush fund to oil a political ambition. Whether as a pretender or contender, Mr. Godwin Emiefele jump into the ruling party’s presidential primary nomination fray have done incalculable damage to the reputation of key Institutions of Nigeria State and exposed country to global ridicule.

Even more curious is Mr. Akinwnmi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, who enjoyed a broadly national support when the United States tried to block his second tenure as president of the bank. His protegees and canvassers has just recently picked up the nomination and expression of interest form of the ruling APC for him to presidential nomination fray..
No one has seriously considered these two men to be politicians let alone partisan politicians, given the sensitivity of the Institutions they superintend. Whether they were cajoled to pretend or contend for the presidential nomination of the ruling Party, only time will tell but their involvement in this charade, beyond any talk of their constitutional right to contest is to say the least disgraceful.
For the currently serving ministers, who jumped into the fray for presidential nominations with the uncertainly of the electoral act dangling over their ambitions, it is not clear whether they are jokers- card or they are the jokers themselves.

What is obvious is that, the scenario emerging from the politics of the ruling party presidential nomination exercise, as a cynical and dubious game directed at circumventing due process is unfolding before the Nigerians. After more than two decades of civil party politics, the process is expected to have been considerably inoculated of devious and manipulative ploys aimed at premeditated outcomes of a grand scheme for state capture but that is actually the point of the current and existential dilemma, Nigerians are faced with.

The situation in the ruling APC is not hopeless. Delegates to its national convention of electing its presidential candidate can frustrate the scheme to turn their votes and voices numb by foisting a so called consensus candidate, just as it happened last time in their party convention to elect national officers. A presidential nomination is more serious because their choice will not be a mere party affair but a candidate not only with the ability to win but, a capacity for problem solving.

The same goes for the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whose delegates would be exercising similar responsibility to choose a flag bearer. The PDP has its own share of pretenders and contenders, but the ruling party is in the clear lead of the perfidy, in setting up dummy and dumb aspirants.
Onunaiju writes from Abuja