National Assembly defections: The humbling of APC, Buhari’s complicity
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The All Progressive Congress (APC) is on the ropes and could fall, but not so fast. Serious rescue operations by its leaders may still save the day, but we have to wait. If the party survives it will be nice to know how it came this close to failing.
Every which way one looks at the events leading to Tuesday July 24, 2018 one sees the failings of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari.
- APC was formed by hatred of Jonathan or rather those who wanted Jonathan’s position but failed to get it. They decided to look for another place where they could get a shot at the presidency. But because everybody wanted this one position, they settled on weakest of the aspirants, General Muhammadu Buhari. The hope was that he would be there for one term and the struggle will begin. There was no ideology, sets of beliefs, how to govern, national development planning, etc. Not even a national interest. Without any of these, it was clear to some of us that APC will not endure.
2. It is conceivable that without any of the items on the list above a skillful politician could gradually bring party members to embrace a set of beliefs. But not PMB. His first action was to humiliate the people who anointed him. The first was Mr. Bola Tinubu and his Vice President who he assumed was Tinubu’s surrogate. He bared him from reading Presidential Security Briefings and from important meetings in the hope that the less he knew the worse off the VP would be and the less of opportunity for any Palace Coup.
2. PMB surrounded himself with so called trusted friends and family who were/are political neophytes, and who would not dare to raise their voices against King Buhari. Even his knowledgeable wife was sidelined and marginalized. Without a voice of dissent, when the king started to walk around with no clothes on there was nobody to point this out.
3. The general who had tried three times before and failed was a very bitter man so when luck smiled on him, his first instinct was to settle scores; against the Igbo and people of former Eastern Nigeria; against Christians, against the Yoruba Elite, even against the Shiites. That did not leave much more Nigerians left. He forgot that his duty was to unite the country, including those who did not vote for him. He forgot the very principle of party politics, take care of your base.
4. The main tool of settling score with perceived enemies was corruption blackmail. Jonathan Administration was target number one, then Obasanjo and his administration, PDP, etc. He even started to praise former President Abacha from who billions of dollars have been recovered and saying Abacha was not a looter. Many sensibilities were offended.
5. PMB’s inner circle made sure that he is the sole administrator of Nigeria. His ministers who had been successful as governor’s such as Fashola, Ngige, etc. were held by a short leech, to seen but not heard from. A rising star Mrs. Adeosun at Finance would not even be allowed to present the annual budget she supposedly prepared.
6. The list is endless.
With the nation drifting and no plan to do even the basic acts of government such as safe guarding the lives and property of citizens, old hands started wondering and offering some advice but the deaf PMB would not listen. He also could not read the handwritings on the wall. When OBJ, IBB, GEJ, etc., started talking and meeting, PMB did not notice. He could care less about his party’s Senate President or his Party’s Speaker of the House.
It was a matter of time before the grumbling will become a rumbling.
Is APC’s case lost?
In ancient religions the gods when angry are offered a blood offering starting with chicken, rising to goat, ram, and cow. It could get to the point where a human sacrifice would be required as in the case of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Mr. Muhammadu Buhari might be what the gods demand for the remission, beneficence, and pardon of his failures. Or the house built on betrayal could be destroyed by betrayal.
*Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.