The jury is out, the decision is taken.
And the news of the current gale of suspensions and expulsions of one hundred and ten listed high heeled leaders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State upon allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them, was jolly endorsed by the cross sections of party members that never took kindly to the way the party was knocked off its electoral pedestal by anti-party activisms. A knife through butter, painful to the party.
By anti-party, not a lump in one’s throat that shouldn’t be complained about, statutorily investigated and prosecuted for its ill-wind that made insistent in-road into APC in the state and blew it no good, one is wont to say that nothing considered, requisite in internal democracy is amiss in the politics of the party in the state.
Howsoever, prior to the cluster of punishments as retribution for the offence committed by the affected members of Osun APC, the mechanism or tool available to the party in the state to command homogeneous references to party discipline, party cohesion and party loyalty on crucial party matters had laid abeyance. Uncultivated. The naivety also cut in on elections and electoral strategies for voting party line, with prospects for salutary effect at the intraparty level.
Honest-to-goodness, APC in Osun inhaled varied oxygen and exhaled contrastive carbon dioxide, with the entire leaders and members of the party, not aligned on open trust, open communication and open solidarity or cooperation. The triad, missing on the party, was a mare’s nest, a complex and confused situation, yet the party, was inordinately given to mere flimsies, and always, only made very important issues the chiffon, insubstantial and flyaway things. By that, the party slowed off the mark and gave itself a hard knock.
The offshoots of the many attendant variance in Osun APC and threats to its size and electoral adventure made the real McCoy at the polls. Meaning, the performance of the party in the last general elections was abysmal, at the lowest ebb. The party suffered appalling electoral injuries, got kicked in the teeth and the jaw dropped as the party members developed itchy feet, and wanted vengeance visited, by all means, appropriate, on the anti-party merchants. Injuries, how?
Osun APC was not cohesive. In elementary Physics, the inter molecular attractive force that acts between two adjacent portions of a substance or between dissimilar substances in contact and holds a piece of matter together, called adhesion, got knotted with in the state APC. The party never acted as unified collectives, tightly stuck together, akin to a united whole to have made the 2023 elections a walk over, easy and uncontested victory for the party. The very many political groupings or groups within the party, also known as movements, caucuses, cabals, cliques, small or big, always, incessantly, self conducted as parallel voting blocs within the larger APC in the state, an unhealthy party factionalization, in terms, that rather, hurt the party and put it on the awful long way from electoral market.
All such political groupings, still standing, an iron fist, within APC in Osun as I write, are unruly, anarchical and anathema that made the party kick its own heels, relaxed electoral exploits when the party ought to have knitted its brows together, jumped down on the political groups’ throat, and had all the groups outrightly rolled back, banned and, kept under lock and key. That seemingly difficult but necessary step could have afforded the party much needed holistic focus to know which side of its bread is buttered by the electorate for electoral advantages.
The arrant, dreadful scenery is, give the political groups within Osun APC an inch and before one says Jack Robinson, they take a mile. In the instance, the political groupings work themselves into a leather more often than not, especially when it’s not necessary while the managers or operators of some of the groups laugh on the other sides of their cheeks. No one of the political groups is a different kettle of fish from the rest. And as a matter- of-factly, all of the political groups couldn’t discern the arse from the elbow, and always, down like a lead, just as they leap in the dark with actions taken and lorded over the party without considering the end result of it to the extent of unbounded tolerance extended to them.
It’s true that anti-party was rife in Osun APC with politicians and emergent diverse political groups traced to internal power struggle. And by the groups’ excesses, they undermined the collective interest of the party at elections. And it’s intriguing, more unthinkable that high chiefs of the party made derogatory statements about the party in both election and non election space, and brought the party into public odium or opprobrium. It was no less frustrating when critical stakeholders in the state APC openly or secretly voted candidates of another party against the candidates of their own party for same political offices in the last general elections. In both cases in point and many others, not unmeaning, the culprits got the air ranted to exit the party or assisted to do so in order to cease inflicting further excesses, infractions or arbitrariness on the party.
All that utterly damned nonsenses jog my memory: the corresponding Osun APC spluttering jazzes and suchlike nasties, nuisances or blisters called political groups that never were part of the consummately progressive Action Group (AG), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) politics of Obafemi Awolowo had ironically put today’s progressive party in the state on motion without electoral movement. To call a spade not another name, political groupings are a dissent, extant in the party in Osun. Anti-party, otherwise. They’re a law onto themselves, a non- conformity to the party solidarity and discipline that kept up with the Jones and Joneses, the opposition out there in the last election field for money, the full monty. And they portrayed Osun APC, the then government party as weak, ineffective.
Empirically, APC in Osun wasn’t weak as pictured or imagined, except that the party had always held out unchaperoned, unsupervised, less regulated tolerance to dissenters in the party when it ought to have before now, made example of dissidents, sanctioned them in line with the system of the party norms, rules and consequences for deviance as are contained in the party constitution. This action line could have concretized internal democracy, caused party development, and kept party members, functioning as one cohesive APC in place of a mere collection of disparate individuated groups that as a rule, routinely act independently or separately and put the collective confidence in the larger party to the test of abidance.
The alleged “delayed handling of such burning party issues as un- refunded to owners, monies from the sales of expression of intention forms; falsification of nomination results; and alterations of delegates lists” are a compelling pressure on the party. The implications practically, lowered Osun APC in the estimation of the electorate made up of money owners’ their families, friends, neighbours, relations and town folks, other affected party members and sympathizers, all left in the lurch. And the last general elections came as payback time, the electorate closed the eye that made mincemeat of the party, defeated in its own coin.
Today, it’s good that all such contra niceties, mindless infringements or breaches are collapsed. The party is now on its mettle to steer a straight, transparent course, and that is best for the party.
Restating here the deluge of anti- party activities would be over flogging the issue already handled by the Disciplinary Committee of Osun APC. My dissection of the committee’s findings is that, one, the committee deciphered the lack of internal democracy pursuant to politicians’ personal interest, influence of power, position and money; and violations of party’s constitutional guidelines as well as lack of consequences for anti-party that had, times past, made some culprits sacred cows, the bizarre that makes everyone jostling to be elected on the platform of political parties, globally, is guilty of anti- party. Two, the committee dealt decisively with the culture of impunity in the other chunks of its findings.
And three, the 84Suspended and 26Expelled party leaders and members shows the committee’s concern for peace, stability and strength in the party. The committee did not handle its assignments with kid gloves, and it did just what the cross sections of the agitating members of the party wanted, and the applause went haywire, and loudest, keen as mustard, showing the committee did well. The ethical idea that the party members’ complaints of anti party activities couldn’t have been lost to the consequences merited by the action of the affected party members.
The findings of the committee, not arbitrary in the circumstances to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, and acceptably, not to destroy great electoral future success of the party. The committee rather, sought to mend what was broken; psycho compensate open agitators; and get relationships within APC in the state, reconciled to their former healthy and harmonious status so that everyone in the party could live together again peacefully now and in the future.
In the final analysis, the committee is saying, ethically, everybody in Osun APC needs to play his part very well by keeping at bay problems from threatening the homogeneity of the party. Justice, done by the committee, has permitted the party to have tranquility. It’s positive peace now, and at the end of the tunnel is what’s best outcome for the party in Osun. And the committee serves a power tool or reference to social justice, germane to the unity, safety and security of the party.
It’s pretty hard to pour oil on the troubled waters, but the committee braved it out and did it.
*OLUSESI writes via email@example.com (0806 168 5186 SMS only)*
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