One obvious challenge currently staring APC in the face is the problem of maintaining order in its house added to the moral obligation of meeting expectations. This, in the long run, will prove if indeed APC possesses the qualification to be called a true national party or a party for the select few. Perhaps, in time, the APC may turn out worse than it’s predecessor unless urgent drastic measures are taken. Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara may be happy they have
thrown the sucker punch. Why not? That is the sad state of politics in Nigeria. But if one should dispassionately and diligently analyze the recent events in Nigeria’s National Assembly as regards the emergence of the Assemblies’ leadership, then the obvious thread which would emerge will be thus: the APC, from available indications, seems to be
a house divided against itself. And one need not go far to imagine the disastrous consequences of bickering and strife amongst kith and kin. At least the PDP is a living example. And if Senator Saraki and Hon. Dogara, as APC stalwarts could go against the party’s ‘anointed’ choices for the Senate Presidency and House Speakership, respectively, then one can safely presume that all is not well within the party. One might conclude that since the close-door arrangement by the party to hand over the Assemblies’ leadership to different individuals is not binding in the first place, then there was not anything to cry about with the emergence of both men (i.e Saraki and Dogara) as the presiding officers of the Assemblies.
From all indications, the emergence of Saraki and Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives was against the party’s choice of candidates. Now, failure of the party to cooperate will no doubt prevent a peaceful transit of the National Assembly and will only breed disunity. Part of the blame rests on the unwholesome nature of politics in the country, but the larger share falls on the the party’s leadership for neglecting its duties. It is certain, at any rate, that the present bickering in the party is one of more such to come unless – and only unless – the party redirects its steps.
Nigeria’s National Assembly, in recent times, has achieved an uncanny reputation tinged with greed for power. It is walking on a tight rope, dangerously dangling from one end to the other. It is majorly peopled with politicians who are mostly out to bring the country down to its knees notwithstanding the costs. Even the history of the Assembly for much is the story of struggle among personal interests. Hence, no wonder fights ensue amongst members at the slightest instance. That one would have ample reason to claim that the political chaos in the National Assembly is a prime menace to Nigerian politics should be quite apparent. It is on records that the average Nigerian Senator or House of Representatives. member pockets nothing less than the combined salaries of 50 senior civil servants.
There is one certain principle that applies to politics everywhere: “Not only should a political party, and one that controls the whole federation at that, be unified and bonded on matters, but that on no account should triflings become the stumbling blocks of such a party.” The subtle warning signals are clearly showing whether the APC has what it takes to indeed steer the country off the path of political tumults. This then brings me to the fact that it is inconceivable if the APC would sufficiently administer the country when vested interests are clashing in the party.
If indeed the APC, as claimed from it’s widely-advertized slogan, has truly revolutionized politics in the country, this cannot but be one of the times to truly test that change. Nigerians are waiting to see how the party is going to cure its early morning headache so it does not turn out a heartache for the country. But even, the apparent flip-of-the-coin decision by the powers that be in the APC to dish out the National Assembly leadership to selected personas instead of allowing the Assembly members do their own thing does not augur well for the party. This is akin to laying down for themselves political
landmines which they are bound to step on in the nearest possible future. This was the same incongruous path taken by the PDP that has put the PDP currently in second fiddle. What can be more failing than that?
As a matter of fact, there can be no second-guessing what likely cracks might appear in the country’s political landscape. The resultant political instability which has characterized Nigerian politics in recent times. But that perhaps might not be as bad as being outfoxed – after plotting, counter-plotting and plotting – right under your nose. In which case, I think if what transpired in the National Assembly stands, then APC will be on shaky ground, if not in outright quicksand. It might turn out a political disaster. Though with no less doubt, one can confidently assume that in the next elections, the APC will have a hard time trying to sell itself to the Nigerian populace again. People are watching, and better still, they do understand. Another round of elections are coming soon.
President Muhammadu Buhari has a task at hand. Though his neutrality is commendable. One can only hope that the APC through Mr. President would intervene and call all the parties to a round table dialogue. Compromises should be made. Everybody should be made to swallow the bitter pill since it has already happened. Otherwise, the resultant effects of the current problems in the party will not only be felt in the National Assembly but the country as a whole.
Written by ARIKOR COLLINS OGONNAYA.