Mass Defection Of Opposition Party Members To APC In Ebonyi : Beware Of The IDES Of MARCH

From a Concerned Citizen

William Shakespeare dropped this popular statement: “Beware of the ides of March” through a soothsayer who forewarned Julius Caesar about his impending betrayal and death  before he finally met his waterloo around March that year. This episode was contained in his classical novel entitled “Julius Caesar.” 

Julius Caesar was a notable leader of the Roman Empire who had conquered many nations and brought honour to his country, Rome. But, a group of Roman Senators who felt that he was overambitious conspired and stabbed him to death during their senatorial meeting which he reluctantly attended after being persuaded to attend by his close friend, Decimus who plotted his killing.

Among the people who conspired to kill Caesar were his close friends,  associates, confidantes and trusted allies including Brutus and Decimus. This conspiracy of silence made Caesar to curse one of his closest friends, Brutus before his untimely death saying: “Ettu Brute, even you, Brutus.”

The recent influx of notable members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, APGA and other political parties in Ebonyi state into the Ruling APC especially by March, this year 2024 could be likened to the aforementioned analogy. The ides of March depicts the inevitable aftermath of the recent gale of defections from the opposition political parties into the APC. The development calls for concern rather than celebration. This is because it portends imminent implosions in the once peaceful and progressive Ruling party in the state. 

The Ides of March not only orchestrated  the death of the life -dictator-Caesar but equally led to the collapse of the once blossoming Roman empire. Again,  if these gale of defectors being admitted into the Ruling APC fold are not properly quarantined, they may infect the Ruling party with their trademark of  internal strife, betrayals, and backstabbing. Thus, the unending internal conflicts and power tussles that will erupt in the Ruling APC will be better imagined than experienced. It will definitely spell doom for the party if not properly handled timeously.

Already, many keen observers have questioned the moral justification for admitting mostly the archrivals of the Ruling party into their folds as well as rewarding them with juicy positions at the expense of the staunch members of the party. They also contended that it’s uncharitable for the  state government to reward those who dragged the party to the apex court of the land before sheathing their sword after realizing that they had no other option to explore. They recalled that these set of people deployed all sorts of strategies to dislodge the Ruling party including mudslinging, backstabbing, and character assassinations. But, today, they are the greatest beneficiaries of the collective toils of the genuine party faithful who laboured very hard to enthrone this government.

Contrary to the slogan of this current administration: “ Onye rua, orie” which loosely translates to “those who laboured should be “, those who worked are currently wallowing in the dark while the defectors are swimming in the ocean of political appointments. The opposition members  are now reaping bountifully from the sweats of the faithful members of the party. It’s also bizarre that even those who are yet to defect officially to the Ruling APC are given privileged positions more than the old members. This development is to say the least, unacceptable and unjustifiable.

Some of the pointers to the above submissions are the undue advantages accorded some of  the so called elder statesman and stakeholders who are lately romancing with the Ruling party after losing their elections. They are now given many chances to nominate candidates for political positions in the state executive council, boards and parastatals etc. This is a time bomb that will certainly explode sooner or later because those who worked for the party are already grumbling while those who joined it lately are harvesting the gains. This is an improper fraction which must be disproved by all men of good will.

Nevertheless, this article doesn’t  rule out the admittance of opposition members into the Ruling party because it’s their inalienable rights to join any legal organization of their choice. But it contends that they should be made to queue behind the old members who stood by the party during her challenging times of  the electioneering campaigns. 

Thus, the allocation of political positions after the elections should be premised on the performances of the various party stalwarts and critical stakeholders in their respective areas of control. Sadly enough, most of those appointed by this government didn’t even win their boots not to talk of their wards. This is a testament to their political irrelevance.  Besides, most of the people parading themselves as stakeholders have no electoral value in their respective domains. It is now clear that big names or positions don’t win elections, the youths and women especially in the rural areas are the ones who vote massively in an election. 

Sadly, those who churned out the massive votes are dumped immediately after the elections while the potbellied so called stakeholders who have already fed fat from the common patrimony are handsomely rewarded with more appointments, contracts and political patronages. 

The questions begging for answers are: what were their contributions to the success of the party? How many votes were harvested from their strongholds? What is their political relevance or electoral value in the party? Thus, it is not enough to be a former this or former that who claims to be a godfather and elder statesman without contributing to the victory of the party. It’s earned and diligently worked for and not a political patronage. 

Potentially,  cataclysmic implosions are bound to erupt in the Ruling APC if her reward system is not holistically reviewed. This is because the defectors who are now feeding fat from the party never really loved the party, they are only harbingers of the party’s goldmine. It’s certain that they will certainly desert the party when the die is cast. Above all, most of them can not add any value to the party other than being a burden to it. Empowering some of the defectors entail giving them the arsenals  to wage war against the party in the next election cycle. 

On the contrary, there are many staunch APC members who contributed their resources, time, energy and even risked their lives to ensure the enthronement of this government but are yet to be rewarded. What’s then is justification for this anomaly? Will the opposition parties accept people from the APC in their own folds? Why do defectors only defect to winning parties after challenging their victory at the apex and final court of the land? These posers need to be addressed by the Party Constitutions and that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if we want to get things right in this country. 

Summarily, incessant cross carpeting and political meandering must be dissuaded in all its ramifications. Political parties are supposed to be rooted in deep ideologies which demand a lot of time to imbibe. It is not a dumping ground for sour losers of elections. Therefore, the governor of Ebonyi state must muster the political will to reward his foot soldiers first and allow the defectors to queue behind them instead of the reverse being the case.

Obviously, the devil you know is certainly better than the angel you don’t know. Hence, the old APC members who have been through thick and thin with the governor in order to install the Ruling party in power must be considered first in terms of appointments and other rewards before the new entrants who intentionally came to reap where they didn’t sow. This is the real meaning of reward for diligence and hard labour which our party is known for – Onye rua orie.

In conclusion, this political expose is not meant to antagonize any person or witch-hunt any political party but it is supposed to serve as a wake up call for our great party to forestall possible impending crises that had hitherto bedeviled the opposition parties in the country. I will end this article with the time-honoured adages: To be forewarned, is to be forearmed and a stitch in time saves nine.

From a concerned Citizen.

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