This ‘APC’ matter is not funny

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Life and Issues with Tunde Thompson

[email protected], 08056180022

Long before now, that combination of three letters, APC, represented a pharmaceutical product which had answers to people’s headaches and other bodily pains. It was a highly popular prescription for those purposes until other rivals came into the market and we seem to hear more of those latter-day alternatives these days.

Today, those combined letters are no longer concerned with taking care of people’s headaches. No. They have, in Nigeria, veritably become a source of headache themselves for those who decided to embrace them in their political programmes adopted towards the forthcoming 2015 general elections. As you may already have learnt, the desire of three and a half political parties (later to include willing allies) – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All-Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a rump of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – to politically muscle up themselves so as to successfully challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the next polls, was visibly checkmated when some other political groups claimed to have first approached the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get their own APCs registered.

Right now, the reports make it clear that when the news about the proposed merger was broken, the public was told that APC stood for All Progressives Congress. That was as at April 5. By Wednesday, April 10, a new name had emerged, as in this paragraph of a report in The Punch: “The leadership of the four opposition political parties, who are promoters of the All People’s Congress, have formed a 14-member committee to deliberate on remaining areas of contention among them and recommend solutions.”

A week earlier, on April 3, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), through its highly articulate National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, while emphasizing that the APC idea could not be stopped by the powers-that-be, concluded his statement this way: “ACN said it is aware, all along, that all the attempts to derail the registration of the APC by some impostors who have been loaded down with dirty funds by their ‘ogas at the top’, were masterminded from the seat of power and the highest echelon of he PDP by those who have totally abandoned governance for dirty politics, though there are almost two years to go before the next elections.”

The summary of all this is that there is great discontent and lack of confidence over the party registration affair on the part of promoters of the APC. An allegation is on the ground, that the PDP had been funding one or two groups claiming to have lodged their documents with the INEC, ahead of the political parties that had publicly announced their drive towards establishing their own perceived APC. And therein lies the problem: Is it true or false? As the matter is already before a competent court of law, perhaps this is not the right time to comment on it.

However, considering the fact that the next elections are exactly two years away, is it not necessary for the electorate to know which political parties they would vote for, and to be aware of their names, symbols and manifestos? All those considerations fall within the jurisdiction of the intending parties to determine, and of the INEC to approve or reject. The real issue now is that in view of the “dirty politics” and the silence of the PDP on whether or not it had sponsored the registration of any number of new political parties with the abbreviation APC, which name will be adopted by the four (and potentially more) parties merging to form the proposed All Progressives Congress or All Peoples Congress?

From the debates so far on the matter, it is obvious that the full names and abbreviations of political parties must not be similar; that you cannot have two, three or even four APCs (not being tablets), on the list from which voters should make their choices. This is apparently why those three letters are important enough to have necessitated legal action now. When it is recognized that “dirty funds”usually come from bottomless purses and that there is no end to the tricks politicians of a Machiavellian pre-disposition can play to secure or retain political power, it appears more logical and perhaps sensible to recognize the registration question as the priority in the challenges that have to be faced, while the others may be addressed in due course. In other words, crossing the registration hurdles, soonest possible ,is a more urgent and attractive option than resorting to distractive polemics, at this time.

Obviously, the difficult and rough battle of unseating an administration calls for a solid platform. Whatever it takes to create it just needs to be done by all those concerned in the initiative. And since no political party gets registered on the pages of newspapers or by the electronic media (because people had been told it exists), it is important to take all administrative and diplomatic steps to get the APC (or whatever it will later become), registered, without further delay. It cannot come by launching verbal missiles, or be awarded by a court of law.

And talking about the law courts, one can only say it is easier to get in there than to know when the hearings will end. Unless there is a plea for a super-accelerated hearing of any registration matter, the disputants may well be in court with the case unresolved in the next one or two years. That, unfortunately, is one of the realities and advantages of wielding power. In conclusion, this APC matter is far more serious than it sounds. One prays that those concerned will find the wisdom to prevent the frustration and instability that this identity crisis is capable of causing in the polity, if care is not taken to administratively overcome that challenge.

We already have enough sources of headache here, don’t we? Auditing by the NFF Although an official of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), regards it as a “sensible auditing” based on the poor financial situation to seek a review of the salaries of the Super Eagles coaches; technical crew and backroom staff of the country’s various teams, this appears a right time to pause and consider the consequences of those potentially far-reaching decisions.

The federation’s general secretary, Mr. Musa Amadu, who last Wednesday made known the Technical and Development Committee’s decisions on those and other mattes also defended the slashing of the win bonuses of our soccer players by half, from $10,000 to $5,000,it is strange that with major competitions like the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup ahead, the NFF should have contemplated those decisions as the solution to curtailing the “overhead cost in the administration of football in the country.”That is the surest way of quickly killing the Super Eagles!!! Surely, the country has good reasons to expect superlative performances from our players, coaches and support staff in the forthcoming outings, especially after the African Nations Cup victory.

That is hardly possible by rattling members of that Dream Team. They even want to do away with the team psychologist. I think the Minister of Sports and the Presidency need to arrest these actions which smack of breaches of contracts and impunity. There must be other ways of raising money!

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1 Comment

  1. That is the Nigerian government tricks. You allowed the laurel to enter your hand after amiable promises, now you are singing a different tone about match bonus settlement. Remember tomorrow is another day, and maybe then many officials will lose their jobs. Stephen Keshi where are you because you were part of this agreement. The NFF officials want to take a bite at the players bonus maybe they have very little left for estacode chopping.

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