2019 Election And The Echoes of 1966
Nigeria News takes a look at the present political atmosphere and compares with what happened in 1966.
The 1966 feud between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Ladoke Akintola eventually led to the military takeover that truncated the civil rule in Nigeria six years after independence.
Tagged “operation wet e” in the old wild west, the clash between Awolowo’s Action Group and Akintola group, “Demo” was fierce and it threw the headquarters of the Southwest, Ibadan and other adjoining cities into chaos.
Many were killed, thousands were injured; houses were razed down, just because two leaders could not resolve their differences.
Awolowo had accused Akintola who was the premier of the western region of conniving with the north to kill the developmental agenda of the Yorubas.
Most adults believed that problem erupted because Akintola would not succumb to the ideas of his former boss Awolowo anymore.
The politicians’ inability to manage their internal crisis gave the military the opportunity to strike in 1966 and since then, things had never been the same for Nigeria.
The echo of what happened in 1966 is reverberating and most adults can hear it louder. The 1966 crisis started like a joke but became one of the worst histories Nigerians would not like to tell. There were coups and counter-coups, which eventually led to civil war.
For three years, Nigeria was under siege. Citizens were governed by decrees and guns.
What is currently playing out in the All Progressives Congress, APC has a semblance of 1966 politics. The APC internal structure is shaky. The former members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that formed the core of APC are warming up to decamp.
In some states, incumbent governors and former governors are at loggerheads. For some, it is either the governor or the deputy has grievances with the state lawmakers.
At the Federal level, the officials of the party have divided. The current National Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun may lose his seat soon as his kinsman, the former Governor of Edo State, Mr Adams Oshiomole has declared to take his position.
I ask, are we back to pre-1966 era? For students of history, we know the consequences of the internecine war of attrition in AG/”DEMO” and Awo/Akintola in the South West, exacerbated by the violent election disputes.
This may be far-fetched, but if the various crises in the APC are not quickly nipped in the bud, this could truncate next year’s election. This is no time for social media politicians and APC supporters to wish this away as just ordinary party feuds, but l can say that this portends great danger to next year’s election.
Deep-seated animosity between the contending tendencies in Kano (Ganduje v. Kwakwanso ), Kaduna (El Rufai v. the three APC Senators), Kogi (Bello v. Dino), Rivers (Amaechi v. Abe), Imo (Okorocha v. Deputy and party exco), among others.
And considering the various security challenges the nation is currently contending with, we are unwittingly laying landmines against smooth transition next year.
APC, put your house in order. You are endangering our democracy. This is not a time for its supporters to grandstand and dismiss this red flag as one being alarmist.