I was an unofficial member of the APC right from when it was formed because of what was taking place in Nigeria at the time with special reference to the tragic failure of leadership on the part of the previous administration coupled with its mission and vision as encapsulated in its founding ideology.
In 2014, the need to give the country a new leadership impetus and the quest for a new sense of direction with a new moral compass away from the plundering of the economy and the raging threat to national security became so compelling that getting involved was the only option left for any genuine patriot of my standing.
When retired Gen. Muhamadu Buhari sought the nomination of the party that year as its presidential candidate, I became so excited, looking back at his exploits as a military head of state between 1983 and 1985 and so, I deployed everything at my intellectual disposal including traveling to Nigeria to research more on him and his personality at my expense.
One of my most-read articles was written a few days close to the presidential election and its title was “Where will the magic votes for a Goodluck Jonathan victory come from?”
The article gave an in-depth analysis of previous Nigerian elections and what I projected was going to play out in the 2015 between the two presidential candidates from APC and PDP, and when the result came, regardless of the manipulations that took place in the South East and South South, I was proved right.
All these I did at the grave risk of being murdered by those who could not rise above and beyond their narrow regional nationalist thinking and without expecting anything in return. Even when I was asked to turn in my “Resume”, I declined because as far as I was concerned, I did what I had to do to save my fatherland from an imminent collapse and continued with my private life until the call to national duty beckoned on me in 2017, a year after formalizing my membership of the party.
As soon as I declared my intention to run for the Senate, I became a threat to the fathers, children and interests of the corrupt establishment and the opposition started and grew stronger with me pushing back so hard until they discovered that I was not joking with my quest and so, they shifted gears, deploying various antics including attacks on my integrity using proxies who made statements that questioned my citizenship of Nigeria and much more.
The whole thing reached a dangerous crescendo when the APC in Delta North would hold meetings with aspirants from the Senatorial District without inviting me even when they knew that I was in the country and within reach. I did not need anybody to tell me that I was not wanted by the leadership of the party at that level. They did not like the fact that I came from America to struggle for positions with them.
In a nutshell, I left the APC because:
1. The party leaders lack clear understanding of Democracy and how it works. The leaders are so dictatorial and are not open to new ideas that would help the party grow. Members are reared like sheep and scared with the “Party is supreme” slogan which silences them and flagrantly violates their rights to freedom of speech and choice outside what the party leaders want
2. The youths are not given the opportunities to express themselves and so, they run like robots and that is why you hear “My leaded, I am loyal’ all the time, elevating sycophancy to high heavens. I bled severally seeing that our youths have no minds of their own and take in every rubbish some octogenarians feed them because they are elders even as wrong as they usually are.
3. Moneybags has the party in its jugular because they bankroll party meetings which the commoners hail without understanding that those men are merchants trading on their lives and future. That is why some of them would leave their farm work and important things to attend party meetings anywhere with the hope of picking up a few Naira at the end if their ogas dropped. This is how they have turned the people into beggars and robots that they manipulate the way they like and that is why you see the type of practical demonstration of manipulated loyalty in their ongoing factional war. These men have the people in steel strangleholds.
4. The culture of extortion which has been passed from the top on to the party members, especially the youths some of whom think that an Aspirant has all the money on earth to share indiscriminately at every meeting convened to discuss or review winning strategies without understanding that the Aspirant is just one who has decided to run for office as a way to serve humanity is something that bordered me all along. The whole thing has become a business where even men of means would expect an Aspirant to fuel their cars for attending meeting because according to them, they are working for him. I discovered there and then why aspirants who become candidates and then representatives don’t pick their phones once they assume office. This is dangerous for democracy and I was sad that the APC, a party that came to power with the change mantra permits this retrogressive behavior.
5. The power struggle among the warlords and factional leaders with ignorant youth armies within the party until I left and even as I write is scary, and if they carry that attitude into their party primaries, there will be fatalities. Everywhere one turned was a warlord or a demigod who expected to be worshiped, and unfortunately some misguided youths that they use as pawns are ever-ready to do the dirty job without knowing the underlying cause of what they are being made to do. How can a responsible party have two state Chairmen and multiple Local Government Chairmen at the same time. The annoying thing is someone coming to tell you that it is Okay because that is how Nigerian politics work as if Nigerians are barbarians who hate order.
6. The party has become an elitist conglomerate that shuts the doors on the common people endowed with abilities, competency and exceptional contents of character to lead but accepts and elevates corrupt men who have stolen the people’s commonwealth and ran their states aground as governors. This negates the president’s declaration of war against corruption and the sustainability of the war. The allergy arising from the declaration of one of such corrupt ex-governors for the APC and his reward with automatic leadership status in the party nearly choked me to death. That singular act will remain an everlasting moral albatross for the party to deal with even though some will use the Bible to justify it even when he has not made restitution.
7. The ridiculously high cost of purchasing the Party’s nomination form was crushing for some of the Aspirants who had to borrow or sold their properties to buy it as if it was an investment for which returns are to be expected. That is an open check for corruption on day one and it is sad that, that had to happen in a party that prides itself as the people’s party. One of the victims of this assault on the common man that made me bleed was Mr. Young Piere, a young and very smart Senatorial Aspirant from Delta South who was doing everything he could to reach out to people to help him raise the fund to pay for ransom. How can a party whose leader signed the “not too young to run” be sacrificing the same youths it sought to project for the leadership of the country? The APC’s draconian lock-down of the youths with abilities, competency and good contents of character is an assault on the future of Nigeria. I couldn’t validate it because of my conscience and my principles, and so, the best thing for me was to quit the party.
8. The APC, especially its Delta State Chapter is hook, line and sinker an extension of the PDP which majority of us believe ran Nigeria into the ground. Nearly everybody in the APC leadership of the party at the state level is dual member of both parties with very strong allegiance to the PDP. In fact, there is no APC in Delta.
I discovered that my aspiration was under threat and so, I had to act to protect it from being made a stillborn by resigning my membership of the party.
I feel great right now because I will go it all the way for our people and I know that we will be ready before the main election.
God bless Nigeria