Opinion: APC leaders, please take note

by Garba Kabiru Bakori

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How on earth should any responsible admirer of Buhari suggest that he would send people to the sea and bury them? This comment is a public relations disaster for General Buhari. How can anybody seek power purposely to deal with perceived enemies rather than a mission to serve?

Now that the opposition parties have banded together to confront the PDP behemoth in 2015, the biggest challenge before the merger parties is to work harder because no ruling party in Africa allows itself to become a sitting duck.  I am particularly worried about the needless utterances of some APC leaders. A recent comment in a weekly magazine by Rotimi Fashakin, the National Publicity Secretary of the CPC that General Buhari would jail and send people to the sea and sink them is unfortunate!  This remark was absolutely unnecessary. He portrayed Buhari as a politician primarily preoccupied with vengeance rather than a mission to rescue Nigeria. These are the kinds of friends damaging Buhari’s image and complicating his perception problems in the country.

How on earth should any responsible admirer of Buhari suggest that he would send people to the sea and bury them? This comment is a public relations disaster for General Buhari. How can anybody seek power purposely to deal with perceived enemies rather than a mission to serve? Reckless comments have been the trade marks of CPC leaders and this only goes to create more problems for Buhari. Alhaji Buba Galadima and Rotimi Fashakin have been fond of unguarded comments and at every turn. It is Buhari they are damaging rather than helping him.

General Buhari is a statesman and, should not therefore, be associated with comments below his dignity. If Asari Dokubo, the former Niger Delta militant, makes reckless comments, you can overlook it because he is an exuberant youth. It is utterly wrong for any Buhari supporter to justify reckless comments merely because of the utterances from Dokubo. They are not in the same class.  What is the point in telling anyone that Buhari would jail and send certain people to the sea and bury them? Wouldn’t this create more enemies for him than he needs?

Let the truth be told even if it might appear too ugly. General Buhari’s presidential ambition has been consistently undermined by the kind of fake friends around him. He is surrounded more by sycophants than sincere men who can tell him the truth. There is a lot wrong with the quality of advice General Buhari has been receiving from those around him.  Are they not the same people that created the internal division and acrimony within the party? Are they not the same people who conceived and officially introduced the policy of the imposition and substitution of candidates? Are they not the same people that badly mismanaged CPC’s initial goodwill in 2010?

Yet, these same tactless advisers are still retained by General Buhari, despite introducing the unjust and undemocratic policy of imposing and substituting candidates. How would General Buhai reconcile his reputation for integrity with supporting injustice through the unpopular policy of imposing candidates by discarding the verdicts of the voters at the primaries? This obnoxious policy is mainly responsible for the current internal crises in the CPC. The CPC would have captured Kano, Katsina and Bauchi states in the 2011 governorship and House of Assembly elections. It however lost the opportunity, thanks to the unpopular policy of imposing candidates.

The most popular candidates of the party such as Mohammed Abacha (Kano), Lado Dan Marke (Katsina) and Dan China (Bauchi) were replaced after being freely and fairly elected by the voters.  It is sheer arrogance for a clique within a party administrative structure to think that their wishes are superior to the will of the voters. In democracy, sovereignty belongs to the people. Subverting the will of the people can create chaos. Egypt is a good example of the consequence of any attempt to subvert the will of the people.

While the merger of opposition parties is a welcome development, it is important at the same time to remind leaders of the merger parties to respect the basic principles of democracy if they want the APC to make impact in 2015. It doesn’t matter whether the CPC now bears a common identity of APC or not. What is important is for the party leaders to show commitment to democratic standards by respecting the will of the voters at the primaries. It remains to be seen how far the CPC leaders can go without abandoning the policy of imposing and substituting candidates. In the words of the Tibetan Spiritual Leader, the Dalai Lama, “If you lose, don’t lose the lessons.” Have the bad advisers around Buhai learnt any lessons?

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Read this article in the Leadership Newspapers
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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