Kogi Politics: Tinubu, Faleke And Contempt For Party Supremacy By Tunji Balogun
The emerging conundrum in Kogi State over the replacement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the recently conducted inconclusive election, late Prince Abubakar Audu has again bring to fore renewed debates on the age-long mechanism of party supremacy in Nigeria’s political system.
Party supremacy is widely believed as a principle where the interests of a political party is placed ahead of interests of individual members, sectional interests or the interference of another political party.
The coinage is not strange to Nigeria’s political history. In 1981, the Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa and his Kano State counterpart, late Abubakar Rimi were caught in the web of party disloyalty to People’s Redemption Party by romancing the ruling National Party of Nigeria- led federal government.
In June, the decisions of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of Federal House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to defy the outcome of the APC’s unconstitutional mock election and subsequently contest for their present offices drew the irk of party leaders. Saraki and Dogara were accused of party disloyalty and disregard for party supremacy. The mock election had thrown up Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as APC’s preferred choices for the offices of Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives. Anyway, the mock election which was unknown to APC constitution turned out to a mockery of party’s primary election.
What is however comical and likewise reek of hypocrisy is that the exponents of party supremacy during the National Assembly brouhaha are the same individuals caught in the web of glaring contempt for party supremacy in the fierce political battle to replace the late Prince Abubakar Audu with another candidate for the scheduled supplementary election.
With the decision of the leadership of APC to nominate the first runner-up in its primary election, Alhaji Yahaya Bello as its new governorship candidate and likewise retain Hon James Faleke as the deputy governorship candidate for the Kogi governorship supplementary election, the protest by Hon James Faleke is clearly a protest against party supremacy.
Faleke is a political godson of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the godfather cannot claim to be indifferent on this raging issue. Infact, the godfather has been reported to have assembled a team of legal giants for Hon Faleke to sue the party and the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Should Faleke eventually sue the APC, the whole hypocrisy about party supremacy would have been blown off. For Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Hon. Jame Faleke, is party no longer supreme?