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Tinubu’s house cleaning exercise: Who’s next?

Not a few Nigerians were taken by surprise over the sudden exit previous weekend, of the duo of Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore, erstwhile…

Not a few Nigerians were taken by surprise over the sudden exit previous weekend, of the duo of Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore, erstwhile National Chairman and National Secretary respectively of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).  While Nigerians were waiting for the next big story on the a turf being the list of nominees designated for screening and appointment as ministers in the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration, the newsbreak of the decapitation of the APC would come as more than a place holder. It became the main issue for the day. Meanwhile even as there were indications that the duo had garnered significant ill-will at the highly exalted offices, their exit still attracted surprise across the entire expanse of the country, more because of the manner it was executed. Meanwhile, a new acting Chairman in the person of Senator Abubakar Kyari has taken over the affairs of the party while the search for a new substantive incumbent is on.

Among the triggers for their exit was an in-house audit report which allegedly indicted them for mismanagement of party finances and the open secret that the hand of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was implicated. The narrative is that in the light of the audit report, Tinubu gave the go ahead while Imo Sate Governor Hope Uzodinma championed the plot in his capacity as the Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum. Hence their joint exit was to say the least not voluntary, but was a sack delivered through the subterfuge of ‘resignation’. In any case, their resignation was also a face saving measure as it was believed that the party would have axed them eventually.

Subsequent revelations would implicate as the causes for their sack, acts that qualified as anti –Tinubu’s  remote and proximate interests.  Hence for Adamu, beyond the damaging audit report, his sins as trending in the media include high handedness and an unrepentant aversion to the ascendancy of Tinubu as President. It is on record that during the APC presidential primaries in June 2022 he had fronted then President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan as the consensus candidate of the party when such was not the case. Meanwhile there was neither a consensus candidate for the APC, nor was Lawan disposed to emerge as one, even if the party had indulged in the search for one. He assumed the role of   ‘Mr-Fix-it’ in that respect.

Before the foregoing, the whole country had watched Adamu live as he was active in fixing a political  alchemy that defied public expectations, and which fostered the return to the Senate by the duo of Godswill Akpabio and Ahmed Lawan. It is easily recalled that the duo had lost their bid for the party’s presidential ticket, and reverted to fresh belated bids for the Senatorial tickets in their respective zones, which had been won earlier by Bashir Machina in Yobe State and Udom Ekpoudom in Akwa Ibom State. It is instructive to state that the eventual victories of Akpabio and Lawan were procured under circumstances that many Nigerians are still scratching their heads over. Today, both Akpabio and Lawan are in the Senate with the former benefitting maximally from that enterprise, as he is actually serving as the President of the Tenth Senate.

To deepen Adamu’s anti-Tinubu brief, is the fact that the APC lost the presidential polls in his Nasarawa State during his tenure as the National Chairman of the party. This is in spite of him having served for eight years (1999-2007), as governor of that state and 15 years (2007-2022) as Senator representing same Nasarawa State in the National Assembly, before emerging as its National Chairman. Even if the allegation of sabotage of the fortunes of the APC against him may be seen as outlandish, the results of crass failure of his party in his state points to no other direction than that Abdullahi Adamu may have lost political clout and electoral value in Nasarawa State. On what premise then one could ask, should he be standing to preside over the affairs of a political party with such deficit in political potency, even in his own base?

Moreover, even as a scant recourse to the poetic verse of William Shakespeare ‘that the evil that men do lives after them” will reveal, the democratic credentials of Abdullahi Adamu as a serving Senator representing Nasarawa State, failed the acid test in the troubled efforts to pass the Electoral Act by the Eighth National Assembly in 2018, as he was reportedly a leader of the forces that tacitly scuttled the process in that dispensation. His later ascendancy to the high office of National Chairman of the APC offered him an opportunity to redeem himself. However, his forced exit from that office tells much about what he made of the opportunity.

With respect to Iyiola Omisore reports of his sins suggest that he may have allowed himself to be roped along with Adamu in a maze of opportunistic tendencies, including a less than impressive outing for the APC during the Presidential polls in his Osun State, where Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), carried the day.  This factor among others nailed him as inseparable from Adamu’s sins and in that context the former’s fate as well.

With the fall of Adamu and Omisore, they join the growing list of public officers from the Muhamadu Buhari era who have fallen victims of an apparent house-cleaning exercise by Tinubu. The list started with the former Governor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele, and added the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa, and now Adamu along with Omisore. In the circumstances it will be pedestrian to presume that the house cleaning exercise will end with these two last victims, especially in the face of the misplaced maxim that a Nigerian President needs to have in his team only those he can ‘work’ with. So, who is next remains a matter of time.

Meanwhile, from the look of things, out of three power centres of the administration being the Presidency, the legislature and the ruling political party (APC), Tinubu already controls the first two with his sway over the Tenth National Assembly already proving worrisome. The fall of the ruling party to him or his cronies and therefore the whims and caprices of a President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will mean his total privatization of the Nigerian state. In all of these, there will be consequences which complacent Nigerians who elect to be aloof now, may end up ruing over in the course of time.

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