Demola Rewaju: APC and this ideology of hypocrisy

by Demola Rewaju

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The criticism that trailed Labaran Maku’s Good Governance Tour was championed by ACN spokespeople and some ACN states boycotted the exercise claiming it was a waste of scarce state funds. Each journalist was reportedly paid NGN36,000 and Gov. Fayemi of Ekiti state was unsparing in his condemnation of the exercise yet just last weekend, he hosted social media activists and bloggers for three days at state expenses on a tour through a well-crafted route and paid each attendant NGN50,000.

It has been a long held opinion of mine that the worst person to give power to is the man who has mastered all the arts of survival in the opposition and now has a shot at power. My theory borrows from the precedent of Joseph Stalin who was a part of the opposition to the Czar monarchy in Russia alongside Leon Trotsky and Vladmir Lenin only for him to attain power and outmaneuvre all the others. His exploits are the focal point of George Orwell’s satire – Animal Farm. Stalin became a pseudo-Czar himself.

Closer home in Nigeria, Gov. Ayo Fayose is a better example. As a gubernatorial aspirant of the PDP in the days before 2003, he constituted himself into another type of the governor. He drove exotic black cars and jeeps with plate numbers; EKITI 001, EKITI 002, SPOTLESS etc while His Excellency Niyi Adebayo drove EKSG01, EKSG02 etc. He had trucks distributing water all over the rural areas and he always made sure they knew who was responsible. He gave out loans to traders, bought motorcycles for okada riders, both grinding machines for the peasants. Both convoys one met on the road and Fayose almost forced the easygoing Niyi Adebayo off the cliff according to those who were there. When he got into power, he was less than tolerant off his own opposition famously declaring in Yoruba: “Nobody can try what I tried during Adebayo’s tenure with me. Adebayo was a dunce but I’m not’.

The political tolerance being enjoyed by the opposition these days is largely due to the president’s tolerance and will be unacceptable in any APC controlled Federal Government. Having mastered the tactics of the opposition as an opposition party itself, APC takes no chances where its political lot is affected and for the sake of this piece, hypocrisy would mean the act of holding others up to a higher ideal than one personally conforms to, accusing others of acts which one is carrying out or intends to carry out and opposing every action so long as it is done by someone other than oneself; in these, APC has excelled through its near total control of media powers, pretensions to the ersatz ideology of progressivism and winning popular support by opposing but never proffering realistic solutions.

Examples of APC’s hypocrisy abound: Bola Tinubu in 2011 at Enahoro’s memorial lecture in Benin asked for the convocation of a national conference. President Goodluck Jonathan did just that and Tinubu made a volte face on Oct. 6 2013. Lie, sorry, Lai Mohammed asked GEJ to respond to OBJ‘s letter on the 17th of Dec 2013, GEJ did just that and Lai Mohammed condemned him voraciously on the 26th of Dec 2013 saying by responding, he had brought the ‘office of the presidency to a new low’. Bola Tinubu on the 25th of March 2013 lambasted OBJ but on the 22nd of December 2013, he was at OBJ’s residence and described him as a ‘compass’ for Nigeria. This party campaigned avidly for the FOI bill as ACN and Gov. Raji Fashola on Nov 17, 2011 urged all states to domesticate the law. A human rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in January this year dragged the Lagos State Government over “alleged failure” to release information on its spending on education in the past five years and Fashola’s government’s response is basically trying to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act.

In 2007 when Umaru Yar’Adua took over as president, he made his assets declaration public and the AC (as it was then known) went on rampage, asking the then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to do the same…and he did. Calls for AC governors to follow suit went largely ignored and till today, no AC, ACN or APC public office holder has declared his or her assets publicly.

APC in trying to swell its ranks has acquired members from the PDP regardless of their individual antecedents – men like El-Rufai, Fani-Kayode, Saraki, Ndume and co are standing trial for various charges of corruption. The game it seems is to embezzle money and then run to APC so that one can claim ‘the Federal Government is victimising me politically’.

The criticism that trailed Labaran Maku’s Good Governance Tour was championed by ACN spokespeople and some ACN states boycotted the exercise claiming it was a waste of scarce state funds. Each journalist was reportedly paid NGN36,000 and Gov. Fayemi of Ekiti state was unsparing in his condemnation of the exercise yet just last weekend, he hosted social media activists and bloggers for three days at state expenses on a tour through a well-crafted route and paid each attendant NGN50,000.

When APC cries foul against other parties, someone like me usually knows it is exactly what they intend to do that they are accusing others of. They accused Mimiko of bringing thugs to Ondo for the last governorship elections but the only thugs arrested enroute Akure confessed to being ACN thugs.

Their ongoing registration will play out a familiar script: they are presently trying to coerce people to register by deceit. The use of traditional INEC voting centres in some states has made many illiterates think voting has commenced and they are trooping there. In Lagos, students are being given APC membership forms to take home and ask their parents to join the party or forfeit some benefits. The same obtains in Rivers. Iponri market in Lagos was closed over non-political issues but the condition for the reopening is to show yourself as an APC member to the Iyaloja-General who is Bola Tinubu’s daughter.

David said in the first Psalm said that “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;”emphasis mine and in the fourth verse of the 26th Psalm says “I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites.” (NIV version).

And David knew a lot about leadership and politics.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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