By: Valentine Adese and Alfred Saiki,
About this time in 2014, the major opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is a merger of three strong opposition political parties in the country made up of the ACN, ANPP, and CPC, which was later joined by a breakaway faction of the PDP (nPDP), was celebrated across the country, especially, in Plateau State for a peculiar reason.
The APC, owing to its acceptability among most politically mindful Nigerians, swept most elected offices at the national and state levels apart from Plateau State in the 2015 general elections.
Despite the “sunami”, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) still had its strong hold on Plateau like most states in the South-East and the South-South.
The PDP in a show of political strength, swept most, if not all, of the national elective offices. This includes the Senate, House of Representatives and some strong holds in the State House of Assembly.
All though it turned out that PDP had the majority in the early hours of inaugurating the 8th Legislature in the state, the sunami of the APC, also affected the House, which made the Speaker of the 8th Assembly to emerge on the platform of the APC.
The quest for a shift in power in the state at the governorship level also saw more energy burning in the direction of the APC, as the disagreement on the power shift to the Southern zone of the state, generated anti-party activities among members of the state chapter of the PDP in favour of the APC.
Analysts, who witnessed that period, told REALITY that the situation was a win-win for the APC, “as most politically minded people were not concerned of who emerges as governor in 2015, but were in support of the APC in order to protect the power shifting culture, which the then administration was allegedly attempting to re-write.”
To most of the analysts, the issue of competence and performance were not instrumental in picking and supporting any candidate that emerged as long as he or she hails from the southern part of the state.
“So, there were no expectations or benchmarks for the candidate that finally picked the gubernatorial ticket on the platform of the APC hence, no output or result were also expected. It was simply the change slogan and the “sunami!” They added.
However, three years down the line, the need for performance, result oriented programmes, security, reduction of poverty, employment, new road constructions, killings, have crept in as bases for evaluating the ruling APC’s administration led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong in the state.
As evaluators continue to be disappointed daily, over alleged poor performances of the APC administration in the state, the membership and returnees to the PDP continued to swell.
With three years of bringing back repentant anti-party members and registering of new members, the 2014 witnessed political activities in the state APC chapter seems to have finally returned to the PDP, while the once admired APC’s head office in the state capital has continued to degenerate into a ghost of its self.
“Facts are that the APC chapter in Plateau state has become a grave yard when compared to its emergence in 2014 and the activities that took place therein in 2015, after its gubernatorial victory.” Pundits in the state submit.
With less than six months to the scheduled 2019 general elections, can the APC in Plateau state bounce back? Keep faith with us as we bring you developments.