The 2019 general election has come and gone. But the ripples from the audacious display of impunity, insubordination and lack of cognizance of party supremacy by pig-headed saboteurs within the All Progressive Congress (APC) will take longer to settle down.
In Rivers State, our great party was poised to wrestle power away from the obnoxious and abhorrent administration of Governor Nyesom Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); but for Senator Magnus Abe, who was allegedly in cahoots with Governor Wike, put a terrible spoke in our electoral wheel.
Rivers APC saboteurs were allegedly sponsored and used as subterfuge by our opponent and the party was subsequently barred from participating in the Senatorial, House of Representative, Governorship, and State House of Assembly elections.
The efforts of state and national party Chieftains that prevailed upon Senator Abe; to place party interest above personal ambition, drew a blank. The Senator refused to get off his high horse because he was engrossed in fulfilling his own part of an alleged quid pro quo with Governor Wike.
In an article published on 29th October 2018, entitled “Senator Abe Accept Defeat And Stop Being A Pariah”, I stated that “Although I have always encouraged people to pursue their dreams with great determination and vigour; but there may be times, when you may have to allow your dream or ambition to be subjugated for the greater and common good of your party, community, state or nation. And this is my fundamental quarrel with Senator Abe”.
Meanwhile, as Chairman of Buhari Support Group North East England, I published an article on January 1, 2019, titled “Phony Atiku, Wike, And Emmanuel In Despair, As the South-South States Moves To The Centre Ground”. I contended that “As the election timetable draws nearer; we are asking fellow Nigerians at home to be steadfast in their support for President Buhari and vote for All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates in the entire election; with the exception of Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central Senatorial District) and Governor Rochas Okorocha, (Imo West Senatorial District). These recalcitrant dictators refused to accept party supremacy and as such, they should be expelled from our great party at the earliest opportunity – PERIOD”.
I, therefore, commend the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) for the suspension with a recommendation for expulsion; of the above Governors and others, for engaging in anti-party activities in the recently concluded general election. Their behaviour would have had an adverse impact on our party victory in the presidential and National Assembly elections; if not for the overwhelming votes we received from the Northern Geo-Political Zones.
The Bible says “A house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). Our electoral failures in the States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Cross River, Imo, Oyo, Ondo; as well as victory by the skin of our teeth in Ogun State, and the terrible humiliation in Rivers State, are indicative of a divided house, in which unruly and over bloated egos, flaunted party supremacy and flagrantly engaged in anti-party activities.
Henri Fayol, writing in 1916, on the scalar chain principle holds that “authority and responsibility flow, one level at a time, in a vertical line from the highest level in an organization to its lowest level”. And on the principle of the unity of command, Fayol postulated that “A subordinate should report to one and only one supervisor”.
Senator Magnus Abe’s much-celebrated pursuit of selfish ambition and adamant refusal to submit to the leadership of His Excellency and Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, made a mockery of party supremacy and goes against the grain of Fayol’s scalar chain and unity of command principles.
Senator Abe’s modus operandi is antithetical to our progressive values, but in sync or affinity with Governor Wike and Senator Saraki’s political dogma and strategy.
2023 election is not in a distant future, and Rivers APC needs to get on with the huge task of rebuilding and repositioning the party for successful future electoral contest. Thus, we cannot afford to contemplate the prospect of another turbulent four years of insubordination, skullduggery and self-serving characters in the party.
The National Working Committee (NWC) cannot be decisive in other cases while appearing to be vacillating and dilly-dallying when it comes to Rivers State.
The NWC should, therefore, suspend Senator Abe with the recommendation for expulsion, without further dithering.
Any indecision will be tantamount to a battle postponed, and to be fought in the future. And the future battle may be protracted, bitter and messy with severe ramification for our great party.