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APC, PDP and the analogy of the horse

Many who are knowledgeable about the horse will tell you that it is probably the most useful animal to mankind. It is a sturdy, powerful,…

Many who are knowledgeable about the horse will tell you that it is probably the most useful animal to mankind. It is a sturdy, powerful, well-built, and swift animal which has greatly aided man in his bid to conquer and dominate his immediate and far-flung environment.

Man’s recognition and tribute to the horse is such that it is very often used as a measurement of power and strength. Words and terms like horsepower, stud, and thoroughbred are attributes that we have ascribed to the horse in recognition of its immense power, resilience and endurance in the service of man.

The horse itself recognises that it was created exclusively to serve man and is always ready for whatever tasks given to it by its master. Thus the horse craves to be controlled and dominated by its rider and, in this regard, it can take the rider who knows how to control it to the ends of the earth.

But just as the horse craves to be dominated and controlled for it to perform its tasks optimally, it nevertheless can be extremely difficult and even brutal if it senses that the rider does not have the skills to control it. At first sign that its rider does not have the skills to dominate and control it, the horse can buck its rider violently; throwing and trampling him off often fatally underneath its hooves.

As I watch both the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) and its twin, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), engage in an elaborate but deceptive hollow ritual of exhibiting power that they no longer possess and will soon enough be rid of what little remains of it in their possession, I am reminded of the analogy of the horse.

Like the horse, the exercise of power not only has to be justified with the application of the responsibility that goes with it; it abhors a vacuum. To those who wield it, power is alluring and as some would say, it is the ultimate aphrodisiac. But power can be deceptive and lulling, leading to a sense of complacency, hubris and false invincibility. And it is at that particular point when all sense of reasoning and nuanced introspection has departed from the wielders of power that they all too often invariably bite the dust.

The APC and the PDP are presently at that point where they cannot see themselves in the mirror. Both parties are posturing about the 2023 elections that they are neither prepared for nor even sure of. Both political parties are in an advanced state of decay consumed as it were by their corruption of the power that they seemingly wield; they cannot even see the looming danger to themselves of their poor exercise of power in the country.

The PDP was in such a state back in 2015 and by the time it realised the danger, it was left biting the dust. The PDP since then like humpty-dumpty has fallen to pieces and all efforts to pick back the pieces together have proved impossible and by all indications will remain so.

The PDP deceives itself that it is poised to cash in on the failings of the APC. But how can the party pull this off when it does not have a convergence point on any issue? It is a party run on the whims of a garrulous larger than life governor who has subjected it to his rule of thumb. With glaring contradictions within the party, how can it hold a successful convention to choose a presidential flag bearer without rancour?

Like PDP, like APC and perhaps even worse. Between Asiwaju Tinubu and Vice-President Osinbajo, who will the APC elect to be its presidential flag bearer and how will the process and outcome not be problematic? And quite frankly many people believe it will be a miracle if the party remains intact after its February 26 convention.

It is back to the analogy I used about the horse. Both parties are made up of people who have exercised power one way or the other since the coming of democracy in 1999. But for the most part they have exercised power without the responsibility that comes with it. They have defined and exercised power within the narrow context of the trappings and the entitlement it brings and they are now attempting to make it a self-perpetuating template.

But the unresolved challenges facing the country which have morphed greatly under their collective watch, their exercise and justification to self-perpetuate themselves in power through their template are now exposed glaringly. The prevailing situation in the country, which they clearly do not have answers to, challenges their quest for power in 2023.

I make bold to say that both the APC and PDP, as presently constituted, will implode soon. It is not about flying about the country engaging in elaborate but ultimately meaningless meetings or driving around in convoys of vehicles announcing their presence. It is also not about addressing press conferences and saying things that we all know are not what is meant.

It is really about lack of capacity and ability which ostentatious posturing and drama by both parties cannot be hidden. That the two parties have found it hard going to organise the little matter of their conventions should tell us Nigerians that this lot doesn’t just have it.

And the two parties will soon face the reality check that the exercise of power without control and responsibility imposes on political leaders. And like the horse, the power they have taken for granted and not applied responsibly will demand and exact a toll for their not using it well for the benefit of Nigeria on whose behalf they purported to exercise it.

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