Aso villa

 

A timely roar from the Villa

The Nigerian political terrain never ceases to surprise.

The ambush tactics unleashed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the warring members of his party, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), to douse the fire that had been roaring in their midst must have taken most of us by surprise.

Many of us have watched the unsavoury developments in the APC with deep disapproval.

We were worried because when your elected leaders are distracted by wrangles among them, it is governance that becomes the first victim.

It was even more worrying because the APC had both the Presidency, the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives and was sitting tight in half of the 36 Government Houses in the states and their Houses of Assembly.

Prior to the intervention of the president, many had written off the APC believing that it was on the self-same path of self-destruction trodden upon by the rival People Democratic Party (PDP) just a few years ago.

It was just the supreme irony of all times that at a time when the PDP seemed to be getting its acts together, the APC was at a point of implosion.

But APC had really never known peace since it wrested power from the PDP in 2015.

A few days into the APC administration at the federal level, the headships of both the Senate and the House of Rep were brazenly hijacked against party wishes by a rebellious, determined, and headstrong elements – a feat that I believe must now be an important footnote in the history books on how to betray your political party and survive.

When the APC and the president refused to acknowledge the new leadership in the National Assembly, they on their part responded by making operations of government difficult for the administration.

Year after year, passing of budgets was delayed deliberately and other bills from the Executive were given similar filibustering treatment.

Even in the states, where ever you looked, there was a crisis here and there.

It just seemed as if the APC was in power but was jinxed never to enjoy its appurtenances.

The party was just going from one wave of crises to the other and was on the downward spiral to implosion.

A colleague that was a powerbroker in the previous PDP administration would quip to me, ‘it is just like old times’, probably recalling what they went through.

At the approach of the 2019 elections, the APC  was clearly in disarray and needed to do something fast or the PDP that had just regrouped could topple the applecart.

Fortunately, Adams Oshiomhole had just finished his two terms as governor of Edo State in November 2016 and was at home contemplating the future.

He was then drafted and supported by the powers that be in the party to win election as the APC chairman.

His background as a combative trade union leader was just what was needed to corral the faithful in the party that were being led astray.

In 2018, a year to the national election he assumed office as national chairman of the APC.

His approach to party politics, bohemian as it would seem, had produced results.

The party won the Presidential elections, a majority in both the Senate and House of Rep and took more than half of the state governments plus some opposition states, with Kwara as an icing on the cake.

On the other hand, the party lost states that were in their kitty but allowed them to slip off due poor handling and irascible behaviour all round.

Running the office of APC chairman in an election year must have been a daunting task, even for the likes of Adams Oshiomole, with all manner of state governors carrying on as lords of the manor.

He stepped on some sore toes, as one would expect, and many of those state governors who could not get their way marked him out as a target duck due to be dressed for shot practices.

Even at the time the APC victory in the elections was being celebrated, it was common knowledge that there were serious moves to get rid of the chairman.

They did not succeed then, but they did not relent.

They just kept their guns dry and waited for the right time.

It is a pity that Adams Oshiomhole allowed home squabbles with his protégé and successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki to strengthen the ranks of his traducers and finally break his back.

The surprise intervention of the president would at the moment seem to pour cold water over the party fires.

The fact that the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) has accepted their dismissal with equanimity should at least give the party some relief and room to reorganise.

There might not be much time for that because what is looming ahead is the Edo State governorship elections, which would definitely not be a piece of cake.

The rows in Edo leading to the elections had already gobbled up the party chairman, and the sitting governor after scattering the local APC chapter of the party, had last week walked into the waiting embrace of the rival PDP.

Beyond that, the Ondo gubernatorial elections also beckons.

Even though it is still months away, internal wrangles have already broken out starting right from the precincts of the Government House.

The Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, resigned and moved out of the Government House in a great deal of public rancour under the klieg lights of the media.

He was later reported to be joining the PDP. But I consider all these to be skirmishes.

The battle is still ahead.

That one will be decided in the arena of the end of the year national party convention.

That is where who would take the soul of the party would be decided.

This is exactly the consideration of those whom you might think have been vanquished, and are now hobbling about throwing their guns down and raising the white flags of defeat from every rooftop.

I have a sneaking feeling that they are just retreating and veterans in the field know that retreat is not always defeat.

I guess that their eyes are firmly screwed on the national party convention dates and of course, it would even be trite to add, far beyond.

One silver lining for the party was the selection of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as the interim Chairman.

This should gladden the hearts of many faithful in the party.

Known to be level-headed and down to earth, Mala Buni is also seen as an efficiently unobtrusive operator particularly when he ran the national secretariat of the party for many years as its national secretary.

He is expected to return the ship of the party to an even keel, stabilising it for the national convention.

It is all quiet now at the APC front, which should be an opportunity for those we elected to fill government offices to get down to brass tacks and deal with the outstanding issues now confronting the nation.

The coronavirus pandemic is still with us and with no cure or vaccine in sight is rampaging throughout the country, picking the high and low, the young and the old with no discrimination.

Boko Haram is still out there holding the communities in the north-east hostage to a debilitating war of attrition.

The north-west is not faring better either as bandits operate openly, killing and maiming citizens without let.

Many calls to rejig the top of the armed forces to bring in fresh blood and a new approach to the wars have so far been ignored by the president.

We demand another roar from the president on these and other sundry matters.

More Stories

    Aso villa

     

    A timely roar from the Villa

    The Nigerian political terrain never ceases to surprise.

    The ambush tactics unleashed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the warring members of his party, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), to douse the fire that had been roaring in their midst must have taken most of us by surprise.

    Many of us have watched the unsavoury developments in the APC with deep disapproval.

    We were worried because when your elected leaders are distracted by wrangles among them, it is governance that becomes the first victim.

    It was even more worrying because the APC had both the Presidency, the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives and was sitting tight in half of the 36 Government Houses in the states and their Houses of Assembly.

    Prior to the intervention of the president, many had written off the APC believing that it was on the self-same path of self-destruction trodden upon by the rival People Democratic Party (PDP) just a few years ago.

    It was just the supreme irony of all times that at a time when the PDP seemed to be getting its acts together, the APC was at a point of implosion.

    But APC had really never known peace since it wrested power from the PDP in 2015.

    A few days into the APC administration at the federal level, the headships of both the Senate and the House of Rep were brazenly hijacked against party wishes by a rebellious, determined, and headstrong elements – a feat that I believe must now be an important footnote in the history books on how to betray your political party and survive.

    When the APC and the president refused to acknowledge the new leadership in the National Assembly, they on their part responded by making operations of government difficult for the administration.

    Year after year, passing of budgets was delayed deliberately and other bills from the Executive were given similar filibustering treatment.

    Even in the states, where ever you looked, there was a crisis here and there.

    It just seemed as if the APC was in power but was jinxed never to enjoy its appurtenances.

    The party was just going from one wave of crises to the other and was on the downward spiral to implosion.

    A colleague that was a powerbroker in the previous PDP administration would quip to me, ‘it is just like old times’, probably recalling what they went through.

    At the approach of the 2019 elections, the APC  was clearly in disarray and needed to do something fast or the PDP that had just regrouped could topple the applecart.

    Fortunately, Adams Oshiomhole had just finished his two terms as governor of Edo State in November 2016 and was at home contemplating the future.

    He was then drafted and supported by the powers that be in the party to win election as the APC chairman.

    His background as a combative trade union leader was just what was needed to corral the faithful in the party that were being led astray.

    In 2018, a year to the national election he assumed office as national chairman of the APC.

    His approach to party politics, bohemian as it would seem, had produced results.

    The party won the Presidential elections, a majority in both the Senate and House of Rep and took more than half of the state governments plus some opposition states, with Kwara as an icing on the cake.

    On the other hand, the party lost states that were in their kitty but allowed them to slip off due poor handling and irascible behaviour all round.

    Running the office of APC chairman in an election year must have been a daunting task, even for the likes of Adams Oshiomole, with all manner of state governors carrying on as lords of the manor.

    He stepped on some sore toes, as one would expect, and many of those state governors who could not get their way marked him out as a target duck due to be dressed for shot practices.

    Even at the time the APC victory in the elections was being celebrated, it was common knowledge that there were serious moves to get rid of the chairman.

    They did not succeed then, but they did not relent.

    They just kept their guns dry and waited for the right time.

    It is a pity that Adams Oshiomhole allowed home squabbles with his protégé and successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki to strengthen the ranks of his traducers and finally break his back.

    The surprise intervention of the president would at the moment seem to pour cold water over the party fires.

    The fact that the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) has accepted their dismissal with equanimity should at least give the party some relief and room to reorganise.

    There might not be much time for that because what is looming ahead is the Edo State governorship elections, which would definitely not be a piece of cake.

    The rows in Edo leading to the elections had already gobbled up the party chairman, and the sitting governor after scattering the local APC chapter of the party, had last week walked into the waiting embrace of the rival PDP.

    Beyond that, the Ondo gubernatorial elections also beckons.

    Even though it is still months away, internal wrangles have already broken out starting right from the precincts of the Government House.

    The Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, resigned and moved out of the Government House in a great deal of public rancour under the klieg lights of the media.

    He was later reported to be joining the PDP. But I consider all these to be skirmishes.

    The battle is still ahead.

    That one will be decided in the arena of the end of the year national party convention.

    That is where who would take the soul of the party would be decided.

    This is exactly the consideration of those whom you might think have been vanquished, and are now hobbling about throwing their guns down and raising the white flags of defeat from every rooftop.

    I have a sneaking feeling that they are just retreating and veterans in the field know that retreat is not always defeat.

    I guess that their eyes are firmly screwed on the national party convention dates and of course, it would even be trite to add, far beyond.

    One silver lining for the party was the selection of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as the interim Chairman.

    This should gladden the hearts of many faithful in the party.

    Known to be level-headed and down to earth, Mala Buni is also seen as an efficiently unobtrusive operator particularly when he ran the national secretariat of the party for many years as its national secretary.

    He is expected to return the ship of the party to an even keel, stabilising it for the national convention.

    It is all quiet now at the APC front, which should be an opportunity for those we elected to fill government offices to get down to brass tacks and deal with the outstanding issues now confronting the nation.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still with us and with no cure or vaccine in sight is rampaging throughout the country, picking the high and low, the young and the old with no discrimination.

    Boko Haram is still out there holding the communities in the north-east hostage to a debilitating war of attrition.

    The north-west is not faring better either as bandits operate openly, killing and maiming citizens without let.

    Many calls to rejig the top of the armed forces to bring in fresh blood and a new approach to the wars have so far been ignored by the president.

    We demand another roar from the president on these and other sundry matters.

    More Stories