The Dilemma of a Ruling Party The Challenges Ahead of APC’s Quest to Retain Power

The biggest challenge to APC holding on to power is not the lumbering opposition, but internal divisions that threaten to destroy the party.

‘Ah, winning was easy, young man, governing’s harder.’ This line, by American president, George Washington, to a young Alexander Hamilton in the hit musical Hamilton, easily captures the challenges Nigeria’s ruling political party, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), currently faces. Riding into power on the promise of change, APC performed a historic feat when it took control of the centre and defeated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a 16-year strong federal politics hegemon.

However, in the years since that historic 2015 election win, all has not been rosy for APC. Opinion polls show a loss of support for President Buhari, and APC has lost gubernatorial elections in states such as Bayelsa, Edo, and most recently Anambra. Despite this, pundits agree that the biggest challenge to APC holding on to power is not the lumbering opposition, but internal divisions that threaten to destroy the party so soon.

This essay features in our current print issue, ‘The Road to 2023’ and is only available to paying subscribers. To subscribe, buy a subscription plan here from $1.99 / month (students) and $5.99 / month (non-students). Already a subscriber? log in.