APC Jagaban & The Treachery Within
It looks like I was in a hurry the other day when I posted an article “THE SENATE, APC, JAGABAN and TORTOISE SENSE” on the current scenario in the National Assembly. So because going by the current discuss in the political circle in Nigeria, the ruling party is at best in tarter or disarray. There seem to be no one at the helm of affairs again. Tinubu the Jagaban of Lagos and APC National leader is sulking, Lai Muhammed is dazed, and the party chairman has compounded issues. How can all these be reconciled so the party can move on?
This is the price being paid for inconsistency.
From the first intake of defecting PDP members to APC, I sounded a serious note of warning to the party that they were in for a shocker and advised that APC is better alone with her undiluted members. For me, it didn't matter if they remained in opposition but with men of integrity which would have won them more sympathy and followers in the long run, but having a mixed bag would produce very venomous snakes.
There is an adage in my place which is better understood in Pidgin English that says "e fine nor de for snake pipkin". Translated, it means that no matter what, a small snake is as dangerous as the mother- catch word avoid it by all means and at all times.
There is no rule that everyone should be in politics or belong to one political party. For one, I am not interested and am very vocal about it. Given all the money in the treasury of any political party, I still will not budge.
APC says through its Commander general for Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed "... decried a situation in which some people, based on nothing but inordinate ambition and lack of discipline and loyalty, will enter into an unholy alliance with the very same people whom the party and indeed the entire country worked hard to replace and sell out the hard won victory of the party. There can be no higher level of treachery, disloyalty and insincerity within any part." Hum! Hear him again on Tinubu’s sponsorship of Tambuwal to undo PDP in 2011. The question to ask here is this does the APC have primary democracy? If yes, why did the party field multiple presidential candidates at their primary and choose to arm twist every member in picking the National Assembly leadership? I am surprised at the views of the respected Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) whose opinion is that the president ought not to have recognized Saraki and Dogara and called it immoral because more than 50 members of the Senate were not there in the chamber on that day! "It is not only an act of gross impunity which Senator Saraki has brought from the PDP but he has now demonstrated it in the senate. It is an illegal act because there is no way a Senate can be formally inaugurated without all the members being present - provided they want to be present" did our very knowledgeable Prof come from the moon that day? What did Order 10 of the Constitution/Assembly rule say on this matter? - That only one third members of the senate ie 38 Senator need be present! How illegal was this? We're the senators served the necessary notices as is customary and for a fixed time and date? Why would the party (uncertain of its position) fix such a crucial meeting same day of the election at 9:00am (just an hour difference to the election) at a different venue? Were they suggesting that having won the election and being in the majority, the party is now bigger than the country? Did the affected senators send apologies and/or request for postponement? Why has the Clerk of the house not been queried if he was in the wrong?
The challenges posed to the APC today was the PDP's experience on Tambuwal's exploit in 2011. See how the same Tambuwal, for personal future ambition ditched both the party APC and his illegal sponsor Tiunbu?
Did somebody hear Obasanjo warning President Muhamadu Buhari to be cautious of Tinubu? I am really very sorry for APC.
The feudal lord of APC has been defeated and so are his stooges. Hail the common man in the street! Look irrespective of what become the outcome of all the nocturnal meetings of each caucus, the die is cast already. Saraki and Dogara would hold on to their edge knowing that failing to do so would sweep them out of office in less than no time. The South West caucus on the other hand, if they choose to remain the stooges of their feudal lord would remain suspicious of other movements.
To lead us out of the eventual consequences of the current debacle, we must go back to history, study and see what happened in the first republic. The NCNC' Zik in the Western House of Assembly, Eyo Ita in the Eastern flank, Action Group against Tafawa Balewa and the war of Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola on a coalition government. A reading on these personalities including Chief Michael Okpara, Joseph Tarka Ahmadu Bello among others shows that history is just repeating itself. These were regular occurrence during the first republic. The eventual consequences was the civil war and eventual military involvement in politics which finally brought us back to where we are today. Must we be learning new negativities every election year?
The Feudal lord of APC was simply defeated in his own plot/game. I expected the party members to be shouting free at last but even now most of the South West members are in secret jubilation afraid of the Octopus! What a pity.
It must be immediately understood that the current internal bickering has nothing to do with President Buhari who has made his point clear from inception. He told everyone who cared to listen that "…I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody". This he has demonstrated first by ignoring all parties in the hoolabaluu by maintain a single mindset raising the fear in the heart of almost every APC leader. Jagaban and his associates ought to have praised him for this instead of the displayed hostility. Imagine a Lai Muhammed telling the world that Tinubu, not Buhari is their leader. This is one of the most unguarded statement of Lai. Let’s see if awards of juicy contracts will come from the way of Tinubu or Buhari in the next four years.
At the home front, supremacy war is on already. Former Vice President Atiku Abubarkar has raised the bars in the game he knows best. Atiku is of the Peoples��� Democratic Movement (PDM) and PDP extraction. Given his painful exit from the PDP twice, his flirting with ACN under Jagaban Tinubu before now, he is certain who the enemies are and when to sting. It would be unnecessary to go to the records to reproduce statements made by these politicians against themselves in their earlier political campaigns between 1999 and now. Listening or reading Tinubu, Lai, Atiku, Obasanjo and Buhari making a mincemeat of themselves on pages of newspapers and television screens, and seeing them all together gathered ostensibly to save Nigeria at Obasanjo's home leaves us wondering. Can this house really stand?
At the formative stage of APC, I thought that the founders had considered serious prerequisite for membership but they started failing. Former Governor Balarabe Musa was right when he said in an interview that neither the PDP nor the APC is good for the country as both of them are one and the same group of people. Right now, even the staunchest members of the APC cannot beat their chest about the views and expectations of the party even at Central Working Committee level because loyalty is gradually fading away.
Back to the realities on ground. It please my sense of humor that the powers that be are beginning to come out of the dull drum and they better be fast. Unanimity alone will win the day. See the way the party has been polarized even by immediate past beneficiary Tambuwal.
If all are not settled soon enough, it will be seen that the party is living true to its negative acronym Aggrieved People's Congress (APC) this will be a bad omen for the taunted victory of the party.
As I write, visitors from the British parliament have paid homage to the Senate President assuring him of support. This has jolted the leadership of APC forcing them to swallow their pride and forcing the party to accept the verdict of the election and so endorsing Saraki and Dogara as the President and Speaker of the Senate and the House of Rep respectively. Good. The saying goes that we should say nothing when we are angry. But given that we have an unforgiving spirit which rules among the leadership of the party what are the expectations of the members? From my obscure corner, I can foresee danger. Yes, Tinubu still own Lagos as he pleases, but his wild dream to dominate Nigeria has been effectively quashed. Somehow, the secret things have been made public now and it is good for the betterment of the country as we now know the desires of most of them either in the PDP or APC. All these confirms that between the APC members and the Jagaban of Lagos the permanent feature is treachery, deceit and inconsistency and they will deal treacherously among themselves in the coming days, weeks and months.
As things stand now, the insinuations from every quarter that the black sheep in the party would be punished with serious sanction has been seen as unpopular and is temporarily dropped. But irrespective of which side if the divide they all belong, one thing is certain – greater CHANGE among the change agents. There will be alignments and realignments among the members and loyalists. Whichever way they may go, it is foregone that Saraki/Dogara team will never be accepted wholeheartedly to the Tinubu fold. This polarization will lead to clipping the power, influence and gradually pushing to obscurity, the man Jagaban of Lagos. Oh my God! Former Vice President Atiku Abubarkar is not just watching! This is a topic for another day.
The struggle continues. God bless Nigeria.
Mike Akpati is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Port Harcourt
Mike Ossai Akpati
God Is All Sufficient