The controversy surrounding Honourable Duro Meseko becoming Deputy National Publicity Secretary and Dr Mary Alike Idele, the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC is the latest instalment in a quite disturbing trend within the ruling party of Nigeria.
I was dumbfounded to see the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, leading a delegation to the National Chairman of our party, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, to protest the election of Meseko to his new position.
In his typically brash and often times rather tactless style, he proceeded to undermine the office of the National Secretary of our party while going about his totally unwarranted crusade.
Indeed, if one may ask, what did Governor Bello mean by saying that neither the National Chairman nor the National Publicity Secretary had announced a particular thing?
If Governor Bello requires an illumination on how political parties work, he should understand that something announced by the National Secretary is deemed to have been PRECISELY, PROPERLY, AUTHENTICALLY and LAWFULLY announced by the party.
Our National Secretary, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Bashiru, was Senate Spokesman, Attorney General of Osun State and has a doctorate in law.
Common decency, alone, should compel a high degree of respect for his person, especially from someone like Governor Bello, who is expected to lead by example.
With respect, in his capacity as National Secretary, Senator Bashiru is actually Governor Bello’s leader too, and it is most unacceptable that the Kogi State Governor should try to undermine his authority.
Duro Meseko and I served in the Media and Publicity Directorate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council and I can vouch for him as one of the hardest working campaigners for President Bola Tinubu during the campaign.
Our Director, Bayo Onanuga, would be able to do the same, as would even our National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Felix Morka, and, indeed, every other member of our directorate.
Honourable Meseko was simply all over the place deploying time, skill, effort and resources campaigning for our President all over this country.
This attitude of grabbing everything for one’s self will only create resentment and backlash in this party.
For God’s sake, we are not fools.
With respect, Yahaya Bello, himself, is only Governor today because he managed to snatch what should lawfully had gone to James Faleke, a long time ago.
If then, according to Governor Bello, the Igalas had hitherto relegated his fellow Egbiras to second class status in Kogi State, is his solution to the problem to then relegate the Okuns of Kogi West to third class status in the state?
He denies them the governorship ticket and will now try to take away the position of a national officer of the party from them?
Is he trying to give the Okun people the impression that anything they get will be taken away from them by him – how does that help our party in the state?
The Right Honourable James Faleke was Secretary of our Presidential Campaign Council and manifestly distinguished himself in that role, as far as I am concerned; is it that he should have absolutely no say in the party anymore, or what?
Our National Chairman is today from the North-west because that is the decision the party took and because Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is our choice as a party.
No one has tried to undermine the party on that basis but when it is even still someone from his own state that is made Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Governor Yahaya Bello wants to start a fight?
Coming to the position of National Women Leader, I am just as astonished by the ridiculousness of the opposition to Dr Idele’s emergence.
When Stella Okotete was National Women Leader did she succeed someone from Delta and was she, then, in turn succeeded by someone from Delta?
Is Dr Idele not a Niger Deltan anymore or has Edo State suddenly been miraculously translocated to some other geopolitical zone and is no longer a South-south state?
Senator Adams Oshiomole was a two term Governor and former National Chairman of our party and is today a Senator of the Federal Republic, and while not being even one of the principal officers of the Senate, is he then to be relegated to the background to the point that he should have absolutely no voice, at all, in what happens in the party?
Yes, Cross River is our only state in my beloved Niger Delta but it has two ministers, already; is it really too much to ask that it concede the National Women Leader position to another Niger Deltan state?
Is it by grabbing everything for itself that it is going to encourage fellow Niger Deltans to vote for our party in other South-south states so it doesn’t remain the only APC state in our geopolitical zone?
We will just have to respect one another in this party and the impression must not be tolerated that some people own the party more than others.
We cannot keep giving this nauseating impression that people can be used and dumped by our party.
We have more than enough enemies already in the opposition, especially those of a kleptomanic bent angling to steal President Tinubu’s mandate while pretending they are are merely trying to “reclaim” theirs.
We really don’t need to be doing this sort of horrid crap to our own selves.
*Onokpasa, a lawyer, was a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, and writes from Abuja.