It’s Not Yet Uhuru For APC And President Buhari By Etem Utung
The March 28, 2015 victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), brought with it joy and great expectations. Most Nigerians felt that with the APC change mantra coupled with the cult-like followership of President Buhari and Zero tolerance for corruption, a new dawn has manifested in Nigeria’s political landscape.
For obvious reasons, the defeat of the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) was long foreseen, expected, foretold and sufficiently predicted by the spiritually loaded Rev. Father Mbaka, leader Olumba Olumba Obu, the Spiritual Head of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Stars admonished the PDP. Even at that, the PDP was still bent on doing political business as usual and its leaders paid no attention to the voices of other men of God like Evangelist Ema Isong of Christian Chapel Church (CCC) Calabar.
The failure of the PDP at the polls was as a result of many factors. For example, the PDP State Governors did not help matters, they held President Jonathan hostage, he allowed them to operate like Emperors who conquered the voters in their States. They handpicked from Local Government Councilor, Chairmen, State Assembly Members, House of Reps, Senators and State Governors in their states. They thought perhaps that, by putting all the elected public officers in place, they would whilst out of government arm-twist incoming governors.
It is important to note that, prior to March 28 2015, the PDP oligarchy did not advert it mind to the fact that most Nigerians had bought completely into the APC change mantra. The PDP and its leaders reasoned that its rigging machine was still intact. They took Nigerians for granted. However, it took the political icon and master strategist, Bola Tinubu and his crack team sleepless night to come up with deft strategies that finally dislodged the PDP.
Nigerians were happy that the era of impunity has gone, and a new beginning was about to be born, the era of corruption extravaganza had also gone for good as the international communities quickly expressed support and desire to return the people’s stolen wealth stacked abroad to the Buhari Administration. The G7 was quick to invite President Buhari to merry with them in far away Germany.
However, whilst the Buhari victory celebration euphoria was going on, luck however smiled at the PDP when 57 Senators with the management of the National Assembly Government gave Senator Saraki the senate leadership position as its President with Ekweremadu (PDP) as his deputy.
By this deft move, APC suffered a technical knockout to the joy of the PDP. No matter how APC and its leaders rationalize, the fact still remains that, it has a duty to come to terms with the tomorrow effect of what happened in the choice of Senator Saraki as Senate President
The leadership of the APC and the presidency has an un-shifting responsibility to tackle the issue of the Saraki Senate Presidency with the maturity and seriousness it deserves. Saraki’s action is extreme sabotage against the APC and the presidency no matter which angles one looks at it. It is a matter of law that every member of the National Assembly was elected first on the platform of an identifiable political party to form the next tier of government. In a democracy, the political party is supreme to its members. If it is not the desire of the party to have Saraki as Senate President, and he forced himself to be there, the authority of the party must be given precedence. It may be argued that a precedent was set in the Tambuwals’ case, this is not enough justification. The PDP, the architect of the present conspiracy in the senate, was as when Tambuwal emerged not organized like the APC is to discipline Tambuwal for going against the party’s choice of Hon. Mrs. Adesola.
It may now not be appreciated that what Saraki achieved using the PDP in the Senate is a pointer to what the APC or the Presidency should possibly expect sooner than later. That, Ekweremadu of PDP is the Deputy Senate President is enough to make any right thinking man to accept that PDP leadership has been given a lifeline come 2019. This may however materialize if the APC closes its eyes to accept the Saraki issue without caution.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. One should be bold enough to point out squarely that, some of the PDP cross carpeters to the APC ought to be viewed with suspicious eyes. It has been noted and even argued that if one of a former PDP desperate Presidential aspirant now in the APC is not checked, watched or closely monitored, he may in his usual and inordinate ambition go the same way using some PDP decampees in APC to fortify his ambition. By Saraki running to our respected Chief Obasanjo, his treasury should not be an excuse as to allow him continue. Out-gone president Obasanjo is known for calling a spade a spade, he should be bold as always and honest enough to let Saraki who admitted that there is conflict in the APC since he became the Senate President, to be civil enough to respect the wishes of the APC if he is a true and real APC member. This indeed is not the time to procrastinate at all. The APC leadership and the presidency must be constantly on its toes expecting more organized conspiracies from some of the PDP decampees.
It is important to remark that, the fame, strength and sudden turnaround interest for the APC was a direct hard work and political sagacity of Bola Tinubu, the cult-like followership of Gen. Buhari and the resilience of Rotimi Amaechi and his doggedness. The trinity without any equivocations is the nemesis of the PDP. The leaders of APC and indeed the presidency must realize early enough that the PDP money bags both in APC and in PDP are ready to do anything to smear Tinubu, Amaechi and others to have their way and cause disaffections in the APC.
However, it is not here meant that without Tinubu or Amaechi, our President would not have won. The point of emphasis however is that the three together played risky frontal roles to usher in the Buhari and APC change mantra. It would not be out of place to opine that, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar should be closely watched not because he still has the capacity to create an opportunity for the PDP to take back power using any methods, but because some of his loyalists are fanatical about his continuous presidential ambition even in the APC. If some Senators in APC colluded with PDP senators against Lawan, the popular choice of the APC simply because Tinubu was thought to have a hand in the arrangement, it must be noted that Tinubu and Amaechi are the highest risk takers among all those who worked closely with Gen. Buhari. President Buhari whether he won or not would still have been allowed to be a freeman if Jonathan I feel won the Presidential Election, but the same cannot be said of Amaechi and Tinubu. The APC must take early steps to enforce discipline in line with what Buhari stands for. Let APC leadership not sleep with its two eyes closed with the Senate leadership in the hands of Saraki, a PDP decampee.
A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE.
CHIEF BARR UTUM ETENG
Private Legal Practitioner
Human Rights Activist and
71B IBB Way, Calabar.