By denying its twitter account, the APC has proven that it is such a bad loser.
It should have known.
The @APCNigeria twitter handle boasts half a million followers and numerous victories to its name since it was opened in February of 2013--just a couple of hours after the then opposition APC was born.
But this week, the APC twitter account bit the dust and was floored in a poll that it must have thought would go its way.
The poll read as follows:
Two years on, what's your assessment of the APC-led administration in Nigeria? Kindly vote and RT.
At the close of voting a few hours later, 54 percent of respondents scored the party "Poor", 33 percent said the party has been "Average", only 10 percent said the APC has been "Excellent", while 3 percent said they really didn't care.
@APCNigeria is a verified twitter account which came in handy circa 2014 and 2015 when the party needed all the votes it could scoop to topple the PDP-- a party which had been in charge of Nigeria's affairs for 16 years--at the center.
But as results of this infamous poll filtered into Wuse Zone 2 and Aso Rock in Abuja, the party hierarchy wasted no time in throwing @APCNigeria right under the bus to crash and burn.
“The attention of the APC has been drawn to some false and misleading news reports that the party conducted a poll to assess the performances of President Muhammadu Buhari administration", National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, wrote in a statement made available to Pulse.
Abdullahi added that: “For the record, the APC has not conducted or authorised any assessment poll on the President Buhari administration. The media and indeed the general public are advised to ignore the questionable poll.
“The twitter handle, “@APCNigeria” with which the so called “assessment poll” was purportedly conducted is not the official twitter account of the APC.
“Unfortunately, media organisations that published the story did not verify from the party’s publicity department the authenticity of the unauthorised poll credited to the party.
“Recall that the party had on February 21, 2016 distanced itself from the twitter handle, @APC Nigeria, following a similar false report credited to the party on the outcome of the Benue South Senatorial rerun election.”
Let's bear in mind at this point that the APC has no other official Twitter account(s) to its name and that @APCNigeria has been associated with the governing party for four years now.
The APC had also not denied this twitter account until last year when @APCNigeria erroneously congratulated a victorious opposition candidate.
During the very stormy electioneering campaigns of 2015 that decided State Governors, lawmakers and the nation's president, @APCNigeria was the go-to account for just about anyone who wanted to know how the new party was faring.
The twitter account provided up to the minute information concerning the party's candidates, their chances of winning, its manifesto, its myriad campaign promises and its values.
@APCNigeria was always copiously quoted by journalists and citizens alike up until last year when the governing party first said it had nothing to do with the account.
Immediately after it was thrown out in the cold, @APCNigeria sought for and received twitter verification status--that blue-tick that has become something of a status symbol and bragging right on twitter streets.
Once it became a verified handle, no one was going to stop news hounds from quoting @APCNigeria and so it was.
By distancing itself from the account a second time only because it lost a poll conducted by the handle, the APC has branded itself a sore loser.
To erase a few doubts, @APCNigeria is run by a young man called Philip Obin who has remarkably grown the account, one propaganda tweet at a time.
Obin has also opened Facebook and website pages in APC's name. He obviously owns the APC patent online.
These days, when Obin gets bored (which appears to be very often), he tweets pictures of himself in APC colours on @APCNigeria.
You see, Obin wants to become Chairman of Biase local government in Cross River State and after growing the @APCNigeria account to amass half a million followers, he must consider himself foolish not to reap the fruits of his labour.
So, he tweets pictures of himself campaigning, hugging APC politicians and posts selfies where he's gallivanting round the States with a top ranking APC politician visiting; armed with a smartphone and plenty of APC memorabilia.
Obin also advertises his businesses on the APC account.
Why the APC never stopped him all these years is the real question.
But the answer isn't far-fetched.
Obin was giving the party exactly what it wanted. He wasn't running the account with instructions from the APC secretariat in Abuja, but he wasn't rocking the boat either.
And Obin was pretty good at his job, you've got to admit. Growing a twitter account like he did, in such a short time, isn't beans.
What the APC should have done was cajole him into handing over the account or pay him an amount commensurate with the labour and time he's put in, in order to get him off @APCNigeria.
Granted, it's the APC brand on the handle, but why didn't the party stop Obin dead in his tracks while it was yet day?
You certainly can't cut the man loose now just because you are the biggest political party in the land.
The APC could have acknowledged the poll as good feedback for improving its performance in the next two years, tell the people something along the lines of "we heard you loud and clear", invite Obin over for some rounds of Champagne on ice, make him an offer he can't refuse and ask him to hand over the passwords behind the scenes.
Distancing itself from an account that has raked for it plenty of goodwill and votes, was uncharitable and daft of the APC.
And it's laughable that Nigeria's governing party has no social media accounts to call its own in 2017.
In any case, there are no guarantees that you win every poll you put out there, unless you are doctoring the votes behind the scene.
Polls like the one Obin put out for his political party, are meant to gauge the mood of the people, feel their pulse and help you deliver on the job.
APC really messed up here...which isn't really a surprise.
Since it cornered the popular vote in 2015, the party has been consumed by its own overnight success: its secretariat in Abuja stands in stark contrast to the chunk of States it controls--dusty, falling apart, deserted and cobweb infested.
Funding has also been hard to come by for the governing party; with the presidency keeping its promise not to funnel public funds into the coffers of the political party that controls the center.
The APC has also been consumed by internal crisis, an indication that it faces an uphill battle at the next ballot if a more organised political machinery finds its way into the nation's political space.
Denying its twitter account was a new low for the APC.
Spokesperson Abdullahi and party Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun should cover their faces in shame on this one.