Senate Presidency, APC, Jagaban and Tortoise Sense

By Mike Akpati

Since the new dispensation, I have been forcing myself to believe that APC could still have the magic wand and are just waiting for the take-off of the National Assembly before it does justice to their so much taunted blue print. But on the 9/6/2015 APC confirmed that if they have anything in their kitty at all, it is to go back to the drawing board and plan.
What a shame that they failed the first test of electing those to steer the ship of the legislative arm of the government. It is a poor show of disorganization and I am sure that all the leaders of the party are dumbfounded now. What with the confusion arising from the party rejecting the election of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara calling for a meeting for internal discuss yet with the presidency accepting the election as constitutional!
Observers have been vocal and I have never hidden my disdain for Tinubus’ quest for power. Now it is no longer business as usual. It will be fool hardy to think that he can carry his luck further.
I am in a hurry to shout Hallelujah on the part of the electorate for the successful inauguration of the 8th Assembly. My joy stem from that fact that the outcome of the election is at variance with the expectation of everyone, the APC leaders – worse hit, the PDP and even the common man in the street who will benefit massively from it. For me, what the election did were many in one fell swoop. It has exposed the APC as naive and unorganized and now under check, given the PDP hope alive and will deliver better to the masses.
For a man whose wealth has remained very questionable and who has remained a stumbling block to the integrity of Buhari, a man who want to hold the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Works, just as he desires to hold the President, Vice and the legislative arm in his armpit. The Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara has put a death knell on the expectations of the Jagaban Lagos.
This election has exposed the fact that the main thinking room of APC is in Press propaganda an advantage they enjoy based on the South West being the home of all publishing companies. That of course was bought by the power house of the party based on reasons that major issues were left for him to decide. In his quest to put his men in relevant positions for effective looting maybe, he forgot that others are working behind the scene. So all other party members left things to chance because Oga has placed his men in relevant places.
Cameron of Great Britain picked his ministers within 48 hours after his inauguration in England. Buhari contested for presidency for four times. During all the elections he had his men. Hence, when he choose the Transition committee chairman to be Alhaji Ahmed Joda, I was forced to think that he wanted to bring the old order. I was already appraising his choice in that direction, when the happen happened in the senate on the 9th June 2015. Why is it that to date nothing suggests that ministerial appointments are in the offing? Are we running the first month of his tenure without direction only because of his seeming integrity? Integrity alone does not run a government.
Things have started falling apart ahead of 100 days in office in just few days of APC leadership. The party criticized Jonathan for travelling to Chad and Niger for Boko Haram. PMB made the two nations his first port of call on assuming office. The likes of El-Rufai had criticized him then and in fact accused GEJ of going to negotiate for more killer squad. Do we assume same of Buhari today?
President Buhari said in very clear terms that he would not be involved in who becomes the Senate leader and the lower house. Why it is that Pro-government group started splashes cash on lawmakers to buy votes for Lawan and Gbajabiamila? This is a government we are told that abhors corruption!
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and APC governors arm twisting did not help matters. All through Monday, the two camps were busy spending heavily to buy votes.
“…It was gathered that the pro-Buhari group which has Bola Tinubu as its arrowhead allegedly doled out thousands of foreign currency to ensure that Lawan and Gbajabiamila win…
…The level of corruption that has engulfed the APC in house in the failed election leaves much to be desired. It appears that money politics and arm twisting will rule the 8th Assembly…”
In 2011, I wrote that Muhamadu Buhari was a great solder, disciplinarian, but a bad politician. That was my deduction after his utterances against Former President Goodluck Jonathan. The reason was simple – you do not destroy a house just because you are not the occupant. Again I wrote of Buhari’s season of un-complimentary remarks. Today who is the beneficiary of the democratic divide created by the wisdom of Jonathan? Where we to have been in the war situation, would we have had a Nigeria that Buhari is now the President? Nigerians prayed for peaceful election and finally asked God to have His way. The postponement of the elections heightened the fear of most people some of whom relocated overseas, and others to their villages. But on the day of reckoning, God showed up. Since then he has been in the business of reshaping Nigeria not only for the followership but most importantly the leadership.
Since the victory of the APC at the poll, they have been acting as if they alone have the mathematical edge in political calculations. But No, the trouble which has been the defining theme of the party continued to lure its ugly head within. It is common knowledge that the APC has no standard structure, only make shift. And that is what becomes of any group which leaves itself to the whims and caprices of an imposter–one man band. They have now seen the results of mathematics of failure also.
I did know long ago that Tinubu is a political albatross to any group he would be associated with, but it remained to be seen by those who blindly followed him. His sincerity of purpose ended at NADECO. Even then, most of his associates who discovered his antecedents choose to focus mainly on national issues of salvaging the nation from Abacha. None of his old friends at NADECO remains with him today because he is an expert in burning the bridge after crossing it. In 1999, he hid under the umbrella of Alliance for Democracy (AD) an off shoot of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) to become the governor of Lagos state. When he saw that the power that be in the party couldn’t give him lee way, he formed the Action Congress a break away from the mother AD and became the emperor. He needed the leadership of the entire southwest but could not penetrate either the Afenifere or the elders of the region and in pretension forged a relationship to ostensibly fight Obasanjo in the region. That gave birth to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). If Tinubu is a team player can somebody tell us who are his friends from UPN, AD, AC, ACN and even the current APC and how they stand now? Ask Alhaji Shekarau, Chief Segun Osoba, Tom Ikimi in whose home the party took off or Ribadu and many more. None exist or at best some who are maintaining studied silence. What is the relationship of Tinubu and former Governor Fayemi? Those who remained in the party along with the decamped PDP members who arrived to meet the logjam had only one option – to wait, bid their time and clip the wing of the de’facto lord after the elections then ensure that the order is defined or changed. Now the chips are down and it is becoming clearer by the passing days that Chinua Achebe was right when he wrote “Things Fall Apart” that the center is no longer holding. It is common knowledge that we have politics of stomach infrastructure. Tinubu is rich and so is Saraki. They both can stop at nothing spending on what they believe in. Politically, they are almost equal. Both have been governor, Senator with Saraki being more current and influential and with wider spread in the house now. Saraki has been the chairman of the governors’ forum. Given all the qualities, wealth of experience, financial muscle, he has a balanced influence that speaks. Tinubu on the other hand feels that it is a carry-go affair once he pays you off.
I here that Tinubu says he will not recognize Saraki. In a statement credited to him shortly after the election of Bukola Saraki, he was quoted to have said, “I will never recognise such a kangaroo arrangement that produced Bukola as the Senate President.
“Or how do you want me to recognise a man who deliberately defied his own party because of his personal interest? It is not done anywhere.
“Therefore, recognizing Bukola as the Senate President after all he had done to our party today, having gone against the wish and pattern of our great party, honestly will amount to endorsing impunity, and wish you should all know I will not.” Didn’t all of us agree that the assembly members must be left alone to choose their leaders?
Such statement is very undiplomatic. It felt good for Tinubu when he led Hon Wazziri Tambuwal to do it against the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and he enjoyed it while it lasted. Why is he complaining now being at the receiving end? The import of such statement is that the battle line has been drawn. With the insignia given at the swearing in and the inauguration of the 8th Senate by the president, the minimum to expect is battle within. Who will win the war? Only time will define the direction of the South West, Northern and Middle belt APC. On the other hand, the PDP stands to gain from every part of the divide. Tinubu has succeeded in promoting sectionalism and this is what informed Nigerians are struggling to kill in our body polity.
Pained by the unfolding drama, the APC may decide to sanction the beneficiaries of the National Assembly election. That may be ok, but it remains a party affair. It must be appreciated that National interest over rides party or personal interest. APC therefore need to know that to upturn the election is to cause chaos in the land and no one will welcome that for now. When the party shot themselves in the legs it would have been foolish for them not to expect wound.
The import of Goodluck Jonathan’s acceptance of defeat was to accept that irrespective of who is right or wrong, we do not and cannot have a perfect situation. He set a very hard example for us to follow here is the reason he must be seen as the hero of our current democracy.
Finally, the All Progressive Congress (APC) rejected the election results in both arms of the National Assembly and called for a meeting to resolve the issues. Neither the president nor the affected members attended. The APC spokesman Lai Muhammed has confirmed that punitive measures will be dished out to the offenders but the president said that the act was in order. If fences are not mended now, we shall get double dose of Aminu Tambuwal’s black leg in the APC and that will be the coming fall of the party. A stitch in time saves nine.
This is the political intrigue awaiting all of us and while it is getting more interesting, I see all these as the great hand of our great God manifesting in such a way that finally we shall have a balanced leadership in Nigeria with NO VICTOR NO VANQUISHED. Tortoise is known for high sense but has always been deflated in his own tricks.
God bless Nigeria

Mike Akpati is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Port Harcourt

Mike Akpati Ph.D
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