You are currently viewing The executioner’s song for APC
Share this story

Like an animal that has been in deep hibernation, the APC often wakes from its metabolic depression and general abdication of governance to frenetic, breakneck hyperactivity only to lapse into slumberous repose once again.

But there are times when the elements simply refuse to cooperate in defiance of the established laws of nature. A return to torpor is summarily ruled out. The hibernator in question must get on with it. Work is aplenty, and this is not to talk of unrest and widespread acrimony in the larger society. In order to maintain the illusionist fantasia, the factory of suspense and suspensions has to be kept working overtime.

The APC is like a smoke-filled, blood-splattered boardroom chamber after the last power mafia had been cleared out by force and by fire. The wailing of the mortally wounded and the weak moaning from the dying could still be heard in the distance. The odour of gore and smoking gunpowder pervades and persists.

The thunderous noise of artillery could still be heard in the background, suggesting unfinished business. The political remains of the men and women of power and substance who fell in the last uprising are being interred in the nearby Cemetery of Patriots. Curiously, a surviving parrot in the antechamber is running a damning and subversive commentary on the men and women of timber and calibre.

It appears that the principal executioner, or Baba Mai Dumbu, is still very much around and alive despite exaggerated reports indicating otherwise. He may not be on top of actual governance, but those who accuse him of soporific lethargy or who believe that his indecision is final do not seem to appreciate that faking inactivity or even near death catalepsy is an old military ploy. Let us just say that Baba Mai Dumbu is a past master of the game.

The explosions rocking APC are like a cascading coup within an even bigger putsch incorporating the party convention and the actual presidential election itself unless a superior force intervenes. Those who are not fit for purpose or are deemed surplus to the requirement will be summarily defenestrated, never to be heard from in a long time. Political dirges will rent the air extolling the virtues of the faithful and asking their creator to grant them eternal repose.


It should be obvious by now that despite the appalling casualties and the collateral damage to the health of the nation and the whole notion of progressive politics, the civil war in the APC is set to continue. It is not a war amenable to compromise, consensus or conciliation. It is a duel unto death among hostile combatants with ruptured commonality. The modus operandi is political assassination and God marches on the side of the bigger battalions.

Despite the gore-filled boardroom floor with banana peels at every conceivable point, the new APC chairman might do very well. His not being a professional soldier notwithstanding, he must have taken some lessons from his father, Col Sani Bello, an old military governor of Kano State and former colleague of the incumbent head of state. The reticent and self-effacing elder Bello later made a seamless transition into the world of high-wire business deals and commerce upon retirement.


As for the outgone and outgunned former acting chairman,  Mala Mai Buni and John Akpanudoedehe, the equally feckless and heedless secretary, they have had it coming for a long time. It was clear to all who could read the game that restless opportunism, immoderate ambition combined with sheer political obtuseness will push them in the direction of reckless self-help which must end in political annihilation.

For most of the time they chose to punch above their real weight, finally convincing themselves that they are invincible political heavyweights when they couldn’t even fight their way out of a paper bag. The real political heavyweights do not fight preliminary skirmishes with heavy artillery, preferring to lure their opponents into a false sense of strength and security until the sledgehammer descends.


Despite his quiet mien and reticent airs, Mai Buni’s conduct has been particularly repugnant and unworthy even in the zero-sum game of Nigerian politics. He was neither there to ameliorate his party’s image problem. Nor was he there to advance the cause of genuine democracy. Having virtually abandoned his constitutional duty as a serving governor, he was no longer distinguishable from an Abuja-based political huckster.

Akpanudoedehe was openly gaming to succeed the incumbent governor of his state while Mai Buni was said to have busied himself with securing an injunction to scupper his party’s convention and the very last chance of democratically electing its flag bearer in the coming presidential polls. With the nuclear bomb in his pocket, the Yobe state governor promptly disappeared into the bowels of sybaritic pleasure in Dubai to rendezvous with his latest wife while waiting for the appointed hour.

It was there in the paradise of torrid splendour that superior machinations met the flustered and self-deluded major domo while rehearsing his latest plot of party subversion. In the case of Akpanudoedehe, he had sealed his own fate by walking out on the new power supremoes before realising that the ground had actually shifted under him. His attempt to walk back his earlier rebellion was met with a stiff rebuff. The duo has been taught a memorable lesson in power play.

It is party politics as a compelling movie. As we write, INEC has just put in the heavy boot even as APC objects. This column has averred many times that there has always been something surreal and intensely captivating about post-independence politics in Nigeria, particularly its post-military variety. It is a moveable feast of suspense and surprises; cinematography of horror and intrigues in equal parts.


If this feels straight out of The Godfather, the film adaptation of Mario Puzo’s timeless classic, there is also a lot about it that recalls Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, a real-life dramatization of the murderous exploits of a criminal and chronic offender who simply reverted to a life of crime and murder on being let off the hook by the state after a nation-wide campaign spearheaded by the great author himself.

Do you have an important success story, news, or opinion article to share with with us? Get in touch with us at or Whatsapp +1 317 665 2180

Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.

Share this story

Leave a Reply