The Daily Times reported yesterday of a crisis seriously brewing in the All Progressive Congress with regards to the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to spend only one term in office. The question is did the retired General ever categorically state that he would spend only term in office or this is the work of spin doctors bent on causing disaffection so early in the day?
The Nelson Mandela option will be interesting. We remember the sacrifices and personal discomfort the late Madiba suffered in his altruistic bid to dislodge the colour bar suffered by the black race in the Rainbow country. Would Buhari willingly give up power after four years without a fight after being in the race three times?
The peculiar nature of zoning throws up a question. Will this decision by Buhari be a surreptitious ploy by the north to hold on to power for longer than necessary? If indeed it is true, will his northern successor be content to just spend one term in office? If he goes ahead to angle for a second term, that will keep power in that region for twelve years instead of eight. Will that be fair to the other regions? We all remember a popular advert during the last presidential campaign when Obasanjo said that Jonathan planned to only spend one term in office. Northern politicians felt his decision to seek another term was a betrayal and this worked against him as he was roundly rejected there. Will history repeat itself as Nigerian politicians never learn the lessons?
Accusing fingers are being pointed in the direction of former vice-president Atiku Abubakar for being part of the plot to go against the party decision on the choice of candidates for the office of the Senate President. It is a well-known fact that the residence of the Turakin of Adamawa was the first port of call for Bukola Saraki. Could that lend credence to that well circulated rumour making the rounds? There are speculations that the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu is working behind the scenes to prevent the emergence of Atiku as the Chairman of the Party’s Board of Trustees. When one considers the bipartisan leadership of the Senate – a far cry from the winner takes all principle which is characteristic of Nigerian politics, one is tempted to wonder whether this is a far sighted ploy to keep all options open in a manner similar to a pre-nuptial agreement. Is there the possibility of Atiku ditching the APC for the PDP to actualize his long-held dream as politics is a mere game of interests where morality takes the back seat?
Will Tinubu capitalize on this to want to bounce back as a possible vice-presidential candidate by pressing for a Northern Christian by playing the Middle Belt card for a balance of power so that the religion card won’t be used against him as it was done last year?
The formation of the APC was merely for the pursuit of power without any clear cut ideology as it is an amalgam of strange bed fellows who can jump out of the ship at any time. This is the tragedy of politics in the supposed ‘Giant of Africa’ as there is no ideological bind that can weed out the wheat from the chaff. It seems it is going to implode soon as this emergency marriage of strange bed fellows is not really working out. One of the flaws of the PDP was the lack of party supremacy. The Party Chairmen held the office at the pleasure of the President with the Commander-in-Chief above the law. This ugly trend has reared its head in the APC. There is the dearth of the spirit of camaraderie in the party and the Party Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun looks more like a court jester trying endlessly to entertain the members of the treacherous and unpredictable court.
The APC spearheaded by the so called progressives is supposed to have its roots in what made the Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria tick in the first and second republics. There was a clearly identifiable welfare agenda which benefitted the masses. It was courtesy of the free education of the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo that led many in the western region which included Edo and Delta to embrace education that is the greatest tool of liberation and economic emancipation. That legacy was carried on to the Unity Party of Nigeria – the welfare of the proletariat was put at the apogee. What can one really identify with the APC? Nothing of concrete substance beyond the mere rhetoric of the change slogan that is akin to the difference between six and half a dozen.
More than two weeks after Buhari’s inauguration, he is still yet to hit the ground running. The basic appointments of the Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation which is the fulcrum of the administration are yet to be made coupled with the blunder of having two spokesmen when he claims to want to run a lean administration. He seems to be playing cat and mouse games with some key leaders as he has been keeping them guessing. For how long? Why should governance take a back seat when he had more than two months to set the agenda of his kitchen cabinet? Nigerians are still in the dark as to what the party has in store for the hapless populace.
It will be a monumental tragedy if Buhari who is the Abraham Lincoln of Nigerian politics and the first to get elected by strident efforts ends up in the garbage heap of history.
We are watching!