Perhaps no other political party in the history of this country has to its credit a strong tsunami wind like the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, which berthed boldly in the murky Nigerian political water under the captainship of General Muhammadu Buhari. In less than six months became a force to be reckoned with in the country’s politicking.
The party at inception came in at the time the Nigerian electorates, especially the masses, were agitating for a shift and an ultimate change in the country’s democratic setting. And from the beginning the party without doubt had the sympathy of most Nigerians, irrespective of political, religious or ideological differences. majority of Nigerians were really fed up with the ruling PDP and wanted a change from the un-focused and unstable policies of the party over the past twelve years. They wanted a change from the Katakata and internal wahala that was then bedeviling the party and some of its corrupt and myopic party officials.
And like God sent, the CPC berthed at the stormy political season and a majority, especially here in the northern part, where the party had a cult-like followership, saw it as a final liberator from the hardship and poverty that have continued to ravage them over the years. They saw the sincerity and patriotic zeal of its leader, General Buhari, to take them to the Promised Land and as expected most of them willingly boarded the phenomenon fast moving political train of the charismatic General and the whole world waited to see the outcome of the much expected April elections.
The party,as predicted by most analyst, did not disappoint its followers in the first election, where they swept most of the seats in the northern parts of the country and uprooted the all- powerful and money inducing PDP. The majority of the talakawas were really happy and most Nigerians, I believe, thought that at last the Nigerian political arena now has a formidable opposition party that could boldly tackle the PDP ;this is coupled with the emergence of another phenomenon party the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN ,under the guardianship of Ahmed Tinubu,whose party gave PDP a bloody nose in all the south-west states. And then came the now controversial presidential election and without warning the CPC under some of its misinformed and undemocratic supporters took a fatal step that set them tumbling backward disgracefully, a step that cost them all the anticipated seats across the states where they hitherto had a strong patriotic support.
The CPC got it wrong from that very moment when the leadership failed to checkmate the barbaric post-election political violence that shocked every right thinking human being across the country. They got it wrong for allowing some hoodlums to hijack the goodwill of the Nigerian people; especially some of the struggling masses who got their houses burnt and lost their lives in the orgy of madness that took over sense of reasoning of some of the so-called party supporters and sympathizers.
The CPC got it all wrong for not appreciating its sudden rise and gains in the 2011 election, despite its short sojourn into the political arena.
They failed to consolidate on their victories at the grass roots and nurse their patience silently to prepare and fight democratically another day. They got it wrong and failed to understand that Nigeria is bigger and broader than being popular and famous in only a section of the country. They got it wrong, for the leaders failed to see the huge resources and manpower being deployed by the ruling party and the desperation of some of its candidates to win at all cost. Importantly, the CPC got it wrong for allowing itself to be painted with regional, religious and tribal coloration.
They failed to comprehend that globalization is fast breaking down the walls of segregation and regional sentiment and the PDP were quick to capitalize on this weakness, which saw them bounce back confidently to snatch the various contested positions across the country, with a superlative collaboration with the ACN during the presidential race. Again the CPC failed to see the writing on the wall that the party was not at peace with itself in most of the states across the north, where some of its members were busy rumbling with each other and the glaring shame of lack of internal democracy among its candidates. They folded their arms and watched as other parties were getting set and ready for the gubernatorial elections, while their own candidates were busy slugging it out in various courts across the country.
And they failed to put up a strong diversified political machinery that would have educated and enlightened their followers on the need to fight for power intelligently and diplomatically, instead of the barbaric Stone Age attacks witnessed across the north recently.
If only the CPC had been patient and allowed God the giver and taker of power to take the decision, instead of taking the supreme law into their own hands, I am sure by now the voices of the people as usual would have come to their aid and spoken loudly in support of them. But they displayed their weakness by allowing those thugs to take on innocent people and glaringly showcased their feudalistic style of leadership to the already suspicious and over-oppressed Nigerian electorate. And you can’t blame the electorate if they decided to withdraw their sympathy and support for them at the last minute. For the devil you know, they say, is better than a new one.
I just hope the CPC had learnt its lesson from these mistakes and other political parties in the country would comprehend that Nigeria as long as we practice a federal system of government, would always be bigger and broader than an individual or group that seeks for power under tribal, regional or religious indoctrination. And no matter the intimidation and wuruwuru, the people shall always give power to parties and their candidates in a democratic setting and only those parties with human feelings and lucky to have the sympathy and the listening ears of the people will always carry the day.
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dele osase houston,tx, usa May 11, 2011
for the first time, I am seeing a comment about the CPC and the post election violence that I think should be read and analyse and use by political science scholars in Nigeria. I agree with this piece, I said in my immediate reaction to the riots as soon as it started the Gen Buhari and the CPC has lost an opportunity to become a power house in the Nigerian political scene.
Sometimes Nigeria and nigerians may not be as complex as people deem it to be. We are very reasonable people regardless of ethnicity. If Buhari had taken immediate steps to show that he does not support the approach to protest by his supporters, that will immediately stop some of the attrocities and also the whole world will see his sincerity.It is so shameful that barely 2 days after innocent Nigerians were slaugthered, Buhari's VP is talking about massive rigging ? also, prior to the election Buhari wept and promised that this will be his last run for the presidency and that he will never challenge the outcome, but his party may decide to do so ??? who is fooling who ?
I will say again, in one of the daily publications on the presidential election day, Bola Tinubu was quoted as saying that, he has high regard for gen buhari, but the gen was presented with opportunity 3 times and he did not seize it. he went further to say that a true leader knows how to recognize an opportunity.Buhari failed to see the opportunity in the presidential election, if he had remained calm, CPC would have been rewarded by Nigerians, however, this may have been in another 4 years, maybe the gen knows that he would definetely not be the beneficiary of such reward. But if he was TRULY a real leader, his focus would have been on CPC being the beneficiary.
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