NASS ELECTION: APC ONLY CONCEDING TO ITS PDP HYBRID
The outcome of the just concluded election of the National Assembly leaders is indeed a remarkable show of how the hybrid responsible for the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is beginning to turn the barrel at itself.
The emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki (APC) as Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu (PDP) as Deputy Senate President has not only revealed a hybrid of leadership in the senate but has indeed expressed it as the sum total of the APC alliance and what Nigerians may expect from the marriage that formed the ruling party.
For the House of Assembly, Yakubu Dogara emergence as Speaker is also seen as a loss to APC as he is seen as APC in flesh and PDP in spirit. The woe of the ruling party under the possible grips of Ahmed Tinubu and his cabal may have begun. The bigger problem is still in the offing as the party is about wielding the stick against the victors for disregarding the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo who earlier called for a parley. The pendulum is swinging and the hour glass might be running out for the APC alliance.
The National Assembly experience is therefore a delirious dance of the APC as it engineers itself into a vortex of a political doldrum created out of a party united under the canopy of ethno-religious sentiments, prebendal interests and grievances borne out of political impunity.
Whether or not what happened at the NASS was borne out of constitutional lacuna, or crass impunity in the ruling party, the emerging reality is that the party is weaning itself quickly from the breast milt of godfathers, which indeed is supposed to be a political mileage. Sadly, however, it might be a looming political danger as godfathers are already kicking.
APC, a party weaved around Buhari's gargantuan political acceptability, sustained financially by Tinubu and promoted by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) impunity, its true nature may just be dished out in piecemeal as those who formed the alliance are still sympathetic to their erstwhile party, political associates.
Now the hybrid of Action Congress members and the 'aggrieved' PDP members appears to have worked in favor of the leadership of the NASS. Those sympathetic to Tinubu have distanced themselves from the election which they described as a charade.
Those who were aggrieved over the brewing battle of leadership were earlier called for a meeting at the national conference center. Tinubu the convener of the meeting came in late while the 8th senate was already convening for inauguration. He obviously forgot he was handling a national issue and not a regional affair.
It is therefore clear the leader of the party Tinubu is still thinking APC is his prebend. He has forgotten that Abuja politics is far more trickier than his whimsical control over the South West states. Already Tinubu may be on his way to an unceremonious political retirement.
Tinubu may not want to retire any time soon or be cowed to a corner in the happenings of party he nurtured this far. His back and forth movement to saddle the APC may eventually destroy the ruling party.
The statement therefore credited to Lai Mohammed denouncing the newly elected leaders of the NASS is therefore an attestation to the angst Tinubu is holding against the action of the senate. Many described the statement as an unfortunate opinion of Tinubu voiced through his stooge Lai Mohammed.
President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar have failed to view the political saber-rattling from the perspective of the Tinubu divide. They have resolved to view the leadership construction from a nationalistic point of view, which indeed is credible but not entirely devoid of critical review.
Some analysts opined that since the senate president and the Speaker are from the Northern extraction, the duo of Buhari and Atiku have decided to give it a nod. On the flipside, aside the moves to entrench political monarchy by the Tinubu led divide the South West is not represented in the power play.
It is indeed clear the APC will direct its operations taking into cognizance ethnic considerations rather than national interest. The trouble in the party is so unfortunate Vice President Osibanjo is not respected and still seen as a 'commissioner' under Tinubu administration.
Buhari must work extra hard to keep the party from disintegrating. Already the process of dismantling the hybrid of PDP disgruntled members and ACN members has gone past warning stage. Good development in the entire episode is that godfatherism is waning off but care must be taken to avoid the wrath of the likes of Tinubu who indeed is the real game changer.
It is therefore time for our politicians especially those who formed the APC alliance to understand that it is not yet uhuru for Nigeria politically. It is not just enough that Buhari is now the president, it is not just enough that APC has pushed PDP into opposition decisively, it is not enough that Nigeria escaped disintegration during the election. The right thing is to ensure the Nigerian project reaches its completion stage this time.
Therefore, the success or failure of Buhari administration will have effect on the future of Nigeria. Once Buhari who is seen as the messiah fails to bring the change people are yeaning for, then it will indeed be difficult to convince Nigerians that something good can come out of the political class. Then it would be revolving chair of leaders with resultant anarchical tendencies from the masses.
The brewing discord in the APC is therefore possibly the beginning of the problem the Buhari administration may encounter. Conspiracies have always been the bane of Nigeria political leadership. Buhari must be warned that forces within may start acting up to bring his administration to disrepute.
The power play at the senate is indeed the beginning of many more conspiracies that might follow. Buhari is not ruling alone. Once other aspects of his government conspire to fail, a dent will be created and public sentiment generated against him and everything that concerns him will crumble.
Ex-President Jonathan may be called clueless, rudderless or a misfit. He couldn't have ruled Nigeria all alone. He took the heat as the leader but that does not rule out the fact that he was indeed a victim of conspiracy. His offence? He planned to stay beyond his 'required time'.
The case of Buhari may be issues of glaring power play like the one that played out at the NASS. Already politicians are aggrieved and in the characteristic Nigerian factor, someone must be blamed and prices must be paid.
If PDP is watching the trend, if the trend continues statues quo ante, if PDP has learnt from its mistakes, then 2019 will be a very interesting battle where the masses will only use their votes to buy the best from the two political divides.
Written by Israel A. Ebije.