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APC Convention: Consensus is not a failure

APC Convention: Consensus is not a failure

Now that All Progressives Congress (APC) convention has come and gone, the just concluded convention for the election of the National Working Committees (NWC) has been laced with intrigue which many observers see might implode the party. The action and inaction of the major stakeholders of the party during and after the convention has reinforced the long held belief that politics is all about interest, and there is neither permanent friends nor foes but permanent interests.

The process was an elective convention to fill the vacancies in the National Working Committee. It was an internal arrangement for APC members only. This convention is not electing candidate for general election, but can serve as stepping stone for whoever is going to emerge as candidate for general elections. However, the convention has thrown up so much drama with the way it was conducted which many believe was not democratic, all the officials emerged through consensus arrangements which in itself is not bad, but the shoddy way it was done by the party raised concerns about its genuineness.


Consensus is like a family deciding who uses the bathroom first. That you are asked to allow your younger ones first does not make anyone weak. Consensus has been with us from time immemorial and as old as political process. It is usually adopted to save any rancour from emanating. Going through our political history, there has been enough examples of a situation where candidates emerged through consensus arrangements. Consensus have been with us since the days of AG and UPN Politics, but it is not always predictable!

During third republic, SDP election was about Shehu Yar’adua and Olu Falae. Yaradua emerged before the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) cancelled that primary election, ordered them to run another election and both faces should not participate again. This ultimately threw in Moshood Abiola (MKO) and Atiku Abubakar, and it became a thing for the SDP primary afterwards and MKO won at the end of the day through consensus arrangements. Shehu Yar’adua, Olu Falae and Atiku still had a say in the party with MKO’s emergence. Did MKO become the face of the SDP without support from those three men? No, because their interests aligned with one another.

Fast forward to fourth republic during the build-up to 2007 presidential election, D most important thing in politics is building a strong base of support which can make u relevant for ever. Peter Odili did step down after he has campaigned so hard, he would have beating Late Umaru Yar’Adua hands down for PDP candidacy. Before that time, Atiku could have beating Obasanjo in primaries in 2002. What happened is still “consensus” engineered by the leaders of the party at that time.

However, the thing about consensus is that, it is both good and bad, first when it favours you and secondly when it does not – and this is for everybody. Everybody wants to get everything the easiest way same as they never want to be cheated out. Politicians are the same. They only condemn a process that does not favour them. If consensus was against those that emerged victorious with the outcome of the convention, those in other camp would have said this is democracy and party Supreme no matter your status. Everyone should enjoy! We all only go against anything not favourable to us.

What happened at APC convention is strange to a lot of people now because it is being done in the public glare. Before now, it used to be a private arrangement between the contestants and some leaders of the party.

See Also

Convention: Full list of 77 newly elected APC national officials - Punch  Newspapers

My take in all these is, aspiring politicians should not lose friends because of ambitions, do not create enemies, do not burn bridges, always leave room for reconciliation. If nothing has taught you these, just take a look at how our politicians do all the above once it suits their agenda with so much ease.

Against all odds, it was a successful convention for the party. Congratulations to the new leaders of the party.

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