Sir: When Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was elected the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in June 2014, hopes were very high that he and the National Working Committee (NWC) would manage the party very well after securing the presidential victory that was then near certain. APC came into existence as a coalition of several organizations and interests of varied background. Apart from winning the 2015 election, the Oyegun-led NWC was to glue together into a perfect near ideologically homogeneous blend the different tendencies in APC. He and his team were required to administer and build a party. Four years was enough to wipe out the various cleavages in identity and the suppressed individual egoistical tendencies that accompanied the unusual creation of APC.
Oyegun was a former federal Permanent Secretary and former governor. Going by what he has been, no one expected that he and his NWC would fail at the monumental dimension as has been witnessed while managing APC in the last four years. Were a corporate business entity to be managed the way Oyegun and his team managed APC, such a corporate entity would have gone bankrupt even within the first two years! No wonder APC is going through the stress it is currently experiencing. It surely will require extraordinary efforts for APC to survive this ordeal, no thanks to Oyegun and his NWC.
A simple management checklist is can easily be used to expose Oyegun’s incompetence. In four years, Oyegun’s NWC did not have a single budget, no operational plan, no goals defined, no coherent or scientific approach to managing the party. Everything was ad-hoc, management by whims and caprices. In four years, there was no organized way of monitoring, analyzing and appraising the political environment.
APC failed to operate as a leaning organization. It had no means of learning from its activities. There was no strategic approach to management. In four years, Oyegun’s NWC was not able to resolve a single crisis in any of the state chapters of the party and they were many, almost everywhere from Ebonyi, to Kaduna, Delta, Sokoto, Kano, Cross River, Ogun, Ondo, everywhere; none was successfully resolved by Oyegun’s NWC. Every situation was left for time and divine intervention to take care of; no conscious human managerial effort. Many state chapters put so much trust in the NWC that they looked up to them as children would look up to their parents in times of trouble only to be met with unprecedented disappointment and a most uncaring abdication
Employees in the party headquarters never ceased from complaining. There was no organized record of employees, no identity cards issued; no real administration process was put in place. Whatever there was existed as ad-hoc with no formal systems and procedures. There were no archives or any organized approach to record keeping. No corporate filing system was in place. Of course, what all these mean is that document security was nil. Approach to management was so lackadaisical and so casual to a level that a keen observer would inescapably develop the notion that APC as an entity was being managed to destruction or that may be perhaps, Oyegun and his NWC had a mandate to wreck the party.
To compound the brazen incompetence, Oyegun and his NWC became serial violators of the party’s own constitution. For example, there was supposed to be a mid-term convention. Oyegun and his team manipulated their way into ensuring the convention did not hold. They looked for excuses of convenience. First it was the poor health of the president; then it was that a convention cannot take place under the vice president as acting president. Then it became no fund to host a convention and this for a ruling party! Yet behind this hide and seek and frivolous excuses was an instinct for self-preservation that got elevated over party integrity and the sanctity of its constitution. A National Working Committee that cannot faithfully and diligently implement the constitution of its own party, how can such a National Working Committee be trusted by Nigerians to produce a leader who will faithfully and diligently implement the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
Clearly Oyegun could not have come with an agenda to build the party. Yet in the greatest irony of our time, this same NWC was being considered for tenure elongation! A golden reward for their perfidy and utter incompetence! What a tragedy this extension would have been had it been sustained. May the party never again suffer the curse of incompetent managers that a most unfortunate destiny bestowed on the party. It is time to redeem APC and its integrity before it is too late.