Why Are CPC Leaders Impervious To Reason?
Tue, 28/08/2012 ? 2:14am | Abubakar Yusuf Bakori Opinion Comment & Opinion

How far can the national leaders of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) go in their stubborn resistance to reason without ultimately weakening or harming the party? Their present approach to ending the internal crises rocking the party is only making the situation worse.

The appointment of caretaker committees to run the affairs of the party in states such as Kano and Katsina states is only intensifying the crises. In fact, these committees are not welcomed in these states because they were brought to displace grassroots-based politicians who are the main strength of the party.

They are being tolerated rather than welcomed. Appointing caretaker committee is a clever way to shield the national leaders of the party from taking? full responsibility for the party?s disappointing performance during the 2011 general elections.

No keen political observer of Nigerian politics can be fooled by the subterfuge of creating or imposing caretaker committees to protect the national leaders from responsibility. Were they not responsible for the crises in the first place by the introduction of the needless and unjust policy of substitution and imposition of candidates?

Didn?t they deliberately reject the outcomes of peacefully and credibly conducted gubernatorial primaries in Kano, Katsina and Bauchi states because the results didn?t favour their preferred aspirants? Instead, they imposed candidates that lost the primaries and the voters revolted at the polls. This injustice was the beginning of the intractable internal crises rocking the CPC.

Therefore, the establishment of caretaker committees is a clever way of dodging the solution. General Buhari needs to assert himself over the way? the party national officers are running the CPC. Why should Buhari remain indifferent when injustice was committed against duly elected candidates? He is the moral pillar of the party?s credibility and Nigerians would have expected him to overrule any decision by the party leaders, which was inconsistent with justice and the principle of internal democracy. The tail should not be wagging the dog in this respect.

If the CPC leaders are really serious about addressing the internal crises decisively, then a caretaker committee should also be appointed at the national level of the party to replace the officials responsible for the mismanagement of the party?s goodwill.

It is immoral to remain in office after being responsible for the losses your party suffered during the elections. Leadership is about taking responsibility for your own poor judgement, which ultimately cost your party victory.

It is on record that the former British Labour Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown took personal responsibility for the defeat of his party by the Conservatives.

Do the current national leaders of the CPC have any justification setting up caretaker committees and creating scapegoats when they themselves have no reason to remain in office any longer? They exhausted energy fighting the party?s popular candidates and imposing their own who were never legitimately elected at the primaries. Do they have to wait for General Buhari to tell them to take the path of honour and resign? Should any sensitive leader value office more than his credibility?

When they called a post-election evaluation meeting at the party secretariat in Abuja, the national leaders were openly booed by the chairmen of the party chapters across the country. Wasn?t that embarrassing incident a signal that they have lost the confidence of the CPC members and supporters?

Let us face it: the CPC requires radical surgery and that cannot be achieved by the present cosmetic strategy of sacking democratically elected leaders and replacing them with caretaker committees. The excessive idealism of the CPC national leaders was mainly responsible for the poor showing of the party during the 2011 elections. Humility is a critical element of effective leadership.

The all-knowing mentality of the CPC national leaders, which seeks to shut out other better ideas and opinions, will take the party nowhere. Any humble leader should listen to well-meaning advice. Unfortunately, when leaders assume a tin god posture, they cannot see reason or acknowledge where they go wrong, even if it may cost the party dearly. In the words of the great inspiration writer, John Mason, ?the person who never changes his opinion can never correct his mistakes.?

Inflexibility and the posture of indispensability is the core reason why the current national leaders of the CPC should not be trusted with the responsibility of restructuring and reforming the party. They are part and parcel of the crises rocking the party. No realistic party leader should expect to displace popular politicians like Mohammed Abacha, Lado Dan Marke and Dan China in Kano, Katsina and Bauchi States and carry the people along. These popular politicians have touched the lives of the people so much that you cannot detach them from hearts of the ordinary people.

Only a man living in the moon would have expected Col. Lawal Ja?afaru Isa to defeat Mohammed Abacha at the primaries or any other elections. But the national leaders ignored reality and imposed Isa at all costs. And the party paid dearly for that miscalculation.

The appointment of caretaker committees to replace elected chairmen of CPC chapters in the country is like holding a conductor responsible for a man-made accident and letting the driver go scot-free!

General Buhari should order the immediate dissolution of the national leadership of the party and replace them with credible and grassroots-based politicians who can relate with the people better and win their trust. They should stop scratching the surface of crises that demand radical and courageous solution. In fact, Chief Mike Ahamba, a former Buhari loyalist, foresaw the disaster they were leading the CPC into and resigned. They are exploiting General Buhari?s trusting attitude to sit tight even when it is obvious that their continuation in office is an obstacle to progress.

?Bakori is an advocate of good governance and internal democracy

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