By Femi Ayelabowo
After almost seven days of keeping interested party members and expectant Nigerians waiting, the All Progressives Congress (APC) finally named a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) pastor and crony of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as the running mate to General Mohammadu Buhari. A photograph of both men standing side by side has already been tagged in the social media as a good image of Tom and Jerry.
The national leader of the APC, Tinubu, was himself cut to size in his ambition, by a pack led by the powerful bloc of Governors, especially those who left the PDP for the APC. As a fall-back position to his demystification, the leader put forward the name of his own man. It is obvious that Tinubu is not a happy man with the crash of his ambition after those he did in at the party presidential primaries brought their daggers out and tore at him for wanting the big pie next to Buhari. Many shot down his ambition because they had all agreed there was not going to be a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
The former Lagos Governor is now claiming that Buhari offered him the number two seat, but he turned it down. Hogwash never smelled as foul as this claim. After causing to be issued a statement in which the latest entrants to the APC from the PDP were soundly and roundly lampooned for fighting against him, the party leader now wants everyone to believe he was offered what he was deliberately denied. He may have had his way in Lagos, even sending Babatunde Fashola to early political retirement; he may have had his way at the party primaries where Buhari emerged; but the other power blocs have proved to him that he is not as invincible as he makes out.
Many are beginning to be afraid that with the latest developments in the APC, another sell-out may happen to the opposition in the South-West in February 2015; but it is clear now that many persons aggrieved that they were not considered good enough for number two ticket will also sell out because they have nothing to lose. It appears now that former Kano Governor, the runaway APC chieftain, Ibrahim Shekarau, was wise when he took off from the party. The former governor, according to the New Telegraph, last February, said the APC should forget the presidency in 2015 because the party remains in the hands of a clique.
An indication of the forgery and cloning for which the Department of State Service (DSS) is now investigating the APC reared its head early in the day but no one paid attention. Shekarau, the New Telegraph said further, disclosed that the Constitution drafted by the 89-member committee of the parties that gave birth to the APC had been fraudulently tampered with before being taken to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He stated that the provision in the original draft of the constitution, which recommended that the interim committee of the party has only a lifespan of six months, during which it should superintend congresses and convention and handover, has been removed. The second violation, according Shekarau, is the removal of the provision that recommended for elections at the unit level.
These two violations, Shekarau said, were clear indications that some persons in the party were out to rubbish the vision of those who mooted the idea of floating a mega opposition party that will give power to the people. “Eighty-nine of us were part and parcel of this constitution. But when some people wrote to INEC to obtain the certified true copy of the constitution, to our dismay, we discovered that the constitution with which INEC registered APC does not contain Schedule 3, which specifies six months interim leadership. Incidentally, it is the last schedule and the last page, but it has been removed,” he said.
With the bad blood generated by Tinubu's inability to get the number two ticket to Buhari threatening to rock the party in the next few weeks preceding the elections, Nigerians may show their disappointment, just like other aggrieved party big shots on voting day come next Valentine's Day. By commission and omission, the ambition of one man is bound to tear the APC apart in the next few days. Already, Professor Wole Soyinka has made his position known on the matter, preferring a GOODLUCK Jonathan, whom he clearly does not like to a Buhari whom he loathes.
Mr Ayelabowo sent in this piece from Ibadan via [email protected]
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