Come 29 May 29, 2015, the president-elect General Muhammadu Buhari will be sworn in as the next president of Africa’s most popular nation. As a result, his party, All Progressives Congress, APC, which before now was the main opposition party in the country, will assume a new status as the ruling party. It is, therefore, imperative for APC to learn some lessons from what befell the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that had vowed to rule the country for 60 years.
In the presidential election held on 28 March, 2015, Nigerians showed they were more determined this time to decide who rules them in the next four years. They vehemently displayed this time that they could not be fooled or deterred by some hate propaganda or intimidated by any military factor. Against all odds, they trooped out en masse and exercised their franchise to dethrone the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan due to his unimpressive performance in tackling security, corruption, management of the economy, among others. APC made history as the first political party to dethrone an incumbent democratically elected president in the country while Buhari who was once tagged a serial contestant broke the jinx.
It was obvious that PDP could not manage its success and internal crises and as a result crashed to pieces. PDP under the watch of President Jonathan turned to a one-man show. Decisions that were meant to be taken focusing on the bigger picture of making the country better were subverted. The lawlessness, corruption abetting, financial recklessness and the impunity that characterised his administration spurred massive defections to APC and Nigerians to cry for change like never before.
However, there is need for APC to be wary of the opportunistic characters that are now defecting from PDP to the party. Contact is not an excuse for being contaminated. As APC accommodates new entrants and defectors, it will be important for the party to be cautious of sheep in wolves’ clothing. They could pretend to be APC members but end up as moles planted by the PDP to undermine APC and eventually cause its disintegration.
Those now defecting from PDP to APC could cause serious disaffection within the party and the fate that has befallen PDP as a result of the implosion occassioned by intractable internal wranglings may be the lot of APC in a few years from now if they are not properly screened. Buhari should be wary of sycophants who painted a picture of a rosy Nigeria to Goodluck Jonathan when many Nigerians wallow in abject poverty. Jonathan was deceived by those who surrounded him until he did not know when the majority of Nigerians deserted him. Buhari and APC leaders should learn from the terrible mistakes of Jonathan and the PDP in order not to suffer the humiliating defeat the outgoing president and his party suffered in this year’s general elections.