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By Emmanuel Aziken

It was something of a shock when your correspondent arrived the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja last Tuesday to realise that conditions there were not too removed from the lot of the majority of Nigerians. For the correspondent arriving from his Lagos base where he had seen electricity supply dwindle to the lowest level in his life, it was a little surprising that a similar condition was prevalent in the national secretariat of the ruling party.

This was the party whose leading chieftains had before the 2015 general election affirmed that any government not able to fix the country’s power problem in six months was not worth its salt. The APC national secretariat evidently bore testament to the degree of success of how far the APC change government had gone in reinventing the wheels of government.

Evidence of the difficulties in the land now technically couched as recession was apparent on the faces of the people around. The hustle and bustle that in the past made the secretariat wear the aura of festivity were totally missing. A sense of expectation prevailed in the conduct of the security guards and the lower staff. The staff of the secretariat were very courteous, evoking the saying that a poor man is everyman’s door mat.

Nearly all the members of the National Working Committee, NWC were absent by midday. There was gossip that they were keeping away because of the absence of power supply.

Just about 1.30 p.m. the whole secretariat was enlivened with the chorus of Up Nepa! Up  Nepa, following the restoration of power supply to the secretariat.

The chorus and excitement that came with the restoration of electricity reflected the forlorn hope of those who ordinarily should form the engine room for the change that Nigerians asked for in 2015.

It was gladdening that the party did not paper over the infrastructure problem of the country by putting on its generator—even that it was learnt, is even difficult given the fact that the party is much cash strapped and can hardly afford to pay for fuel.

A Southwest governor who had been subsidising the party is reported to have withdrawn his support after the national leadership of the party supposedly crossed the interests of the governor’s benefactor.

Even worse, President Muhammadu Buhari it is claimed, has refused to toe the path of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by not channelling security funds for the running of the party.

However, hearsay is that the president has refused to erase from his mind the actions of some in the national leadership of the party who sided with Ibrahim Shekarau when the former Kano State governor supposedly betrayed Buhari in their former political party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP towards the end of the last decade.

As your correspondent departed the national secretariat that day, it was reassuring to know that the operatives at the APC secretariat are not wholly detached from the pains of the citizenry. But how far the party has been able to convey the anguish in the land to the government is another matter.

The same problem of mutual distrust between the party and its government has resulted in the failure of the ruling party to even hold statutory meetings. The National Executive Committee, NEC has been unable to hold its quarterly meetings as stipulated in its constitution. The Board of Trustees, BoT that ordinarily should serve as the conscience of the party is yet to be inaugurated, and the statutory National Convention that should hold every two years has not met since Buhari emerged as the presidential candidate more than two years ago.

With all these, could anyone still be surprised why the much-promised change has yet to materialise?

 

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