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ANALYSIS: APC Leaders: Be Careful, Watchful As Your Time Winds Up!

By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, African Examiner, Nigeria Bureau – The world keeps moving. Days and times are counting. Nothing virtually in life is static. Painfully, the Nigerian ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts are somewhat over distracted, such that, the above reality is gradually being lost on them. Their recent conducts give impression that in their wildest imagination, it is as if, less than 47 months left in the office for them, amount to almost 47 years!

Today, I am engaging in a very painstaking yet, an inevitable task. I mentioned that the focus (issue) in view today is uniquely tedious as the tone is set to challenge; caution and warn the actors and stakeholders about the looming and crushing disaster, relating to their actions as well as reactions on the issue in question. Also, my dimension might be considered unusual or harder, given my previous positions on the present administration and its party, (the last), evident in the last weekend – Friday, July 3, 2015 Analysis with the title: “Nigerians, Give President Buhari Little Time He Requests”.

It is over a month now that the present administration and Nigeria in general, have been plunged in endless leadership tussle of the two chambers of her National Assembly (NASS). It is sad, worrisome and disheartening that despite the public, mass media, even President Muhammadu Buhari (very belated) intervention, it appears there is no hope for a quick end to the dragged debacle.

Recall, I have raised the question in the past, relating to the interest (personal or self) being protected by the two arrowheads, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara of the messy crisis. Regrettably, the last critical efforts (Buhari’s pleas for all actors to respect party’s supremacy; Sokoto State’s Governor, Aminu Tambuwal’s mediation; the APC Governors solidarity for party’s position) all aimed at resolving contending issues have failed to yield targeted and desirable outcome.

It is very unfortunate today that the power play currently unfolding in the ruling party is suggesting and sending the signal that the large membership of the APC, which was used to its advantage in the last general elections, has ironically become an albatross, just as none of the warring parties, within and outside the NASS is ready to shift ground.

From indications, the sentiment being echoed now is that all the ‘blocs’, including the defunct ACN; ANPP and CPC that made up the APC have been adequately compensated and taken care, except the new PDP. And this is the reason why the ‘converts’ (former PDP members) have stick to their position insisting their wish must prevail. For instance, the latest reports have it that despite consent of Speaker Dogara to

another veteran colleague in the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to announced as the House Leader, (yet to be confirmed), his supporters perhaps (within the APC and opposition PDP) are kicking against the move. These are certainly not best of the time for the party which many were very hopeful, will do very well when ushered into power.

The Turaki Atiku Abubakar/New PDP and the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is yet another very critical dimension of the disturbing leadership tussle saga. If the truth must be told, the former Vice President’s opposition stance (to the APC’s leaders) both on the NASS leadership election outcome and announcement of the Senate Principal Officers (suspect he also aligns with Dogara’s APC version in the House) are shocking and not very honourable. As I mentioned last week, Atiku is also a leader in the APC and as such, he is expected to play mediating role and not setting one part against each other, as he is perceived to be doing at present.

What gain (s) is Atiku after, working in isolation and not necessarily in the interest of his party? What ideal objective is the former Vice President is out to achieve by tactically inciting members of his party against its National leadership, which he also belongs? Does Atiku realize the ongoing wrangling within the APC is affecting the smooth running of President Buhari’s administration; affecting his (Buhari’s) rating and the ruling party with respect to capability and competence to adequately attend to myriad of socio-economic challenges confronting the country? Is Atiku aware that some APC apologist’s confidence and trust in the party have started waning due to the lingering crisis? Which comes first to Atiku – personal/caucus or National interest? Most importantly, why is Atiku allegedly so particular that, his friend and political ally, Tinubu should be gagged and completely cut off from the way and direction things go in the ruling APC?

It is important that Atiku and other gladiators including Asiwaju Tinubu face the reality that the opposition PDP is glad over the NASS leadership stalemate; its effects on the APC and present administration. As a matter fact, the PDP is a prime ‘suspect’, regarding those with unrelenting sinister plots that Buhari’s government should and must fail. Giving this obvious fact, is it not wise enough that the APC leaders bury personal interest and sacrifice them, for Buhari and their party to succeed in the engaging tasks before it? Turaki Atiku, note, if the agitation and the reason for your tacit support to the ‘rebel’ APC members in the NASS is to resist the alleged moves against the new PDP to be shortchanged in the ruling APC, you must appreciate that ‘your people’ have heard their share of the cake – with Saraki and Dogara at the NASS helms of affairs. Atiku should also realize that none of the founding composite parties have stick to, or demonstrated the ‘winner takes it all’ attitude. The National Chairmanship; the President and his Vice combination are good examples of my thought here. In effect, the new PDP which Atiku has aligned himself, should allow others or better still, allow the party to have its way in nomination of the NASS Principal Officers.

On Asiwaju Tinubu and his alleged over bearing tendency and influence on the party’s National EXCO as well as the party, it is very important the former Lagos State Governor

also faces reality that the APC is now the ruling (National) party and no more regional. Therefore, in as much as I take exception to former VP Atiku’s last week outburst – calling on the APC leaders to shift from the extreme and come to the centre, yet, he (Tinubu) must work on his perception and attitude as a party leader with respect to (how best) to relate with members, especially of a party like the APC which membership were drawn from other parties, which approaches are quite different from the progressives.

As for his roles at the National level, I might not necessarily point at his faults (for now), still, what Tinubu must do very urgently now, is that he should set out and make more friends than enemies, within the ranks and files of the APC; portray the picture and give the impression that despite belonging to the progressives, the ‘party is for all of us; does not belong to an individual and that, he is indeed for all and truly for the good of the country. This is very significant as speculations are viral that the new PDP (Federal legislators) elected on the platform of the APC might ‘return home’ – go back to the PDP. If this eventually happens, President Buhari and the APC are in for serious trouble. Although, Mr. President takes the responsibility if the present Government failed, still, Tinubu as a prominent figure in the party, has a lot to lose, both within his South West region and in the entire country. Similarly, if President Buhari could not deliver on his electoral promises, that might signal the death and final burial of the APC. But could Tinubu afford to allow that to happen after laboring so much, with other progressives to wrestle power from the former ruling party?

As I write, there are so many factors why the APC, its leaders and members, whichever side of divide they belong, must urgently come; work together; resolve the mess within; ultimately put the past behind them and settle down for real business of good governance they promised Nigerians.

The first is the approaching Governorship Polls which hold in Bayelsa and Kogi States next year. Even if the APC understandably lost in Bayelsa in the last general elections, the party’s overwhelming victory in Kogi, despite being presently governed by the opposition PDP was a function of the “change” revolution in build-up to last general polls. APC should therefore realize that if they must win the two gubernatorial polls, despite being in power, there must be credentials or score card to relate to the people and seek for their votes. The APC should be told that if the NASS crisis is not resolved as promptly as possible, President Buhari’s government might not perform as expected and it is just natural to see the PDP using the flaws to its advantage. So, the APC members and leaders must watch closely and be wary!

Another reason the ruling APC, its leaders and members must put their house in order is the rampaging dreaded Boko Haram insurgents with their renewed attack. Six weeks after inauguration of President Buhari, about 200 souls have perished in various types of terrorists attacks in different parts of the Northern region of Nigeria. The renewed killings by

the militants are very shocking and offensive to many, who had expected a check and final stop to insurgency, considering the background of President Buhari as well as many applauded steps he has taken since assuming power.

Now that the terrorists rage on one hand, while the APC and Mr. President are enmeshed in the party’s internal crisis which is subsequently affecting the performance of the government on another hand, how and when will the President concentrate on delivery good governance, which security of life and property constitute focal part? The APC leaders and its members should come to terms and appreciate the fact that Nigerians and those who voted for change party are watching; assessing; recording and gradually deciding on whether the ruling party and its leaders are competent for the jobs before them. They are also watching to resolve if the present administration could be trusted at all. Is it therefore not advisable for the ruling house and its members to bury personal interest and be responsive to the pulse of Nigerians and act fast as expected?

For instance, the latest threat by Hon. Gbajabiamila, that there will be more crisis if Speaker Dogara and his APC as well as PDP supporters resist his emergence as the House Leader, is another dangerous angle to the ongoing NASS leadership stalemate. And this is coming after President Buhari has asserted that the party was supreme as well as warned that personal interest should be kept and sacrificed.

Finally, the bitter truth is that the PDP is benefitting immensely from the ongoing ‘war’ within the APC, thus to reason and allege it is, as well fueling the conflict, might not be far from truth. Therefore, the best the ruling APC leaders could do now is to avoid falling victims of political antics of the opposition members who never wanted Buhari and his party to be successful in the current assignment. APC leaders must appreciate that their party was just opportune to win the last Presidential election, mainly due to mis-governance of the PDP in its 16 years at the centre. They must be sincere with themselves that should they mess up with this hard-earned chance, it will be very disastrous and painful while similar opportunity might never come again, the way of the party and its prominent personalitie. A word they say is enough for a wise and a ‘stich in time saves nine’. Again, the APC leaders, members, must look back and be watchful as the limited they have to spend in the office gradually winds up!

FFK: Prophet Of Doom; Nigerians Not Keen About Your Sermon

Like some of his allies in the opposition PDP, reckless Femi Fani-Kayode who still embroiled in the controversy of his recent change of name choice, is at it his belligerent attack and game again. This week, the ‘busy body’ and floating politician declared that the renewed attack by the Boko Haram insurgents was an aftermath of not re-electing former President Goodluck Jonathan and his party. In fact, he totally misfired and said Nigerians deserved the harrowing experience (killings) ongoing in the Northern region. And

Pastor FFK predicted that the country should expect worst consequences of voting the present party.

Ironically, the controversial PDP Chieftain denied ever making such statements. Now read FFK and decide if the man is actually free from mental challenges as previously contested or not.

“…There is a much wider picture unfolding here which the Nigerian people have yet to see and which they find difficult to accept, understand or comprehend. There is a hideous and frightful hidden agenda which is slowly manifesting before our very eyes. Though we warned them, the Nigerian people wanted “change” so they must live with the consequences of their choice.

One of those consequences is the new-found audacity, courage, growing power and rising strength of Boko Haram. Another is the resurgence of a clearly ethnic agenda which is designed to leave no-one in doubt about who really owns Nigeria and who the slaves are…

There are many other grave consequences which the Nigerian people will witness, in a most harrowing and frightful manner, in the next few months and years. May God deliver our people and our nation and may we learn to make the right choices…”

In the thinking of many Nigerians, FFK by his latest outburst was doing nothing but only confirming that there is no extent or efforts to dignify a bastard, he will still descend so low in character’. So, if the Prophet of doom, which he is, preaching the hell in his and cronies’ Ministry, Nigerians are not keen and careless. Whatever he says, is only for for him and his followers. They only, will appreciate him and his false alarm. However, on a more serious note, inflammatory jabs like these, which FFK is reputed for should not go unattended to. Specifically, President Buhari should direct the IGP to summon him and offer explanations on his fake and self-seeking wake-up call and alert. He must also be warned to desist from such callous and less meaningless vituperations.

Insurgency And Anti-Hijab Advocacy

I overheard debate on certain mass media this week that the Government should place ban on the use of Hijab in the entire (country or Northern part?) as parts of the measures to check the insurgents’ deadly attacks in the Norther region of Nigeria. Well, to the advocates, I wish to ask what is their knowledge of Islamophobia? This concept is concerned with fear displayed with anything Islamic. Painfully, it is the same phobia that resulted to many non-Muslim terrorists, but who appear in Muslim garb and image to unleash attacks on their unsuspected preys. This happens in every country facing insurgency challenge. Therefore, banning the use of Hijab on the premise of using it ‘to commit crime’ can never be a smart decision.

Besides, the Hijab wearing is not just a dress code but a religious obligation (not optional for the matured Muslim female). So yielding to a demand like this will not solve the problem, rather, will wreck more troubles on us as a nation. The advocates of this should remember that Nigerians are religious people and they play too much politics with it. Also, there is an angle of individual right to religion faith and practice. For Nigeria to be shielded from another sectarian onslaught as well as avert multiplying the problem of insecurity in this part of the world, those who are clamouring for the Hijab ban should please stop the campaign. It is a deceit for anyone to link Hijab wearing to insurgency. Instead of setting stage for another crisis, let there be advocacy on how to improve security intelligence, especially in the aspect of bursting the criminal base and pre-empting their fatal attacks.

E – Mail: tjaysuccess10@gmail.com; Facebook: Tajudeen Balogun; Twitter: @tajudeen balogun


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