APC: The Enemy Within

By Julius Oweh
The All Progressives Congress, the political party that gave a lot of Nigerians hope that things would be done differently and that change was here to stay are simply bemused and gnashing their teeth at the turn of events. Under our very nose, the APC is drifting and there seems to be no end to the confusion enveloping the party and the symbolic brown has been destroyed as the pieces are scattered all over the place. It is a case of the enemy within and it would be difficult to overcome these challenges. The more the senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara tried to explain their actions, the more they are stick in the mud of betrayal and disloyalty to the party that gave them the platform.
Saraki the other day selected a group of journalists and told his side of the story. He said that he decided to defy the party because on the day of inauguration, he learnt that some people were planning to abduct him so as not to participate in the exercise. Only those from outer space would believe him. What stopped him from reporting the matter to the police? He also defended the rejection of the letter from the national chairman of his party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on the ground that he had earlier received a letter from the APC regional caucuses on the nomination of principal officers. What the distinguished senator failed to realise is that a regional letter from APC cannot take precedence over that of the national office. Furthermore, the selection of the principal officers of the senate is a party affair, be that of the majority or that of the minority. Can the senate president in all honesty say the same thing of the PDP? Will he reject the list of the PDP national chairman on the same flimsy excuse? Nigerians are rather too educated to fall for such third rate lies and propaganda. What is making Saraki to behave the way he is doing is because of vaulting ambition and obeying his masters in the newPDP that fused into the APC. Some of the APC distinguished senators still have their love for the PDP. Only time shall tell those who are interested in the progress and development of APC as a vehicle of change and anybody that deludes himself that Nigerians are not taking note of their anti-democratic postures should know that in less than four years, another day of reckoning would come knocking.
As for Speaker Dogara, it is the same streak of ambition that is driving his ego and love for power. Against the grains of the party that the speaker should come from the south, Dogara in alliance with PDP members decided to run for the speakership. He won with a narrow margin of eight votes and this is supposed to be enough signals that he should run an inclusive administration. Instead of him to read the list of principal officers given to him by the national leadership of the party, he is hiding under the pretext that there was a court case to that effect stopping him from taking action. The brawl in the House of Representatives was caused by him and the people of the nation would not accept his apology as the deed has been done. The only apology the people of the country would accept from him is to toe the party line and announce the names submitted as principal officers. His adjourning the sitting of the House to July to buy time is only trying to postpone the evil day. Thus since January 9 inauguration of the National Assembly, the distinguished senators and honourable members have not done anything to justify their outlandish salaries and allowances. The debate about part time legislating has already begun.
What is happening in the national assembly is very unfortunate and painful reminder that some powerful forces outside the legislative chamber are pulling the strings. And this was the theme worked on by the former interim national chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande. Akande, a former state governor observed that those who do not want President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed are those making a mockery of the national assembly by the way and manner the principal officers were elected. Listen to Akande:`Most northern elite, the Nigerian oil subsidy barons and other business cartels, who never liked Buhari`s anti-corruption political stance, are quickly backing up the rebellion against APC with strong support`. This is a very strong allegation the national leadership of APC and Buhari could ignore to their peril. The happening in the national assembly is a distraction to the Buhari presidency and the mass of the people of the country are not happy about it. That is why the APC national leadership and the presidency should put on their thinking caps and invent strategic ideas on how to leave the present political mess.
But some northern elements are seething with bitterness and anger over the allegation of Akande and would have preferred a situation the matter is amicably resolved instead of adding more fuel to the fire. A northern chieftain of the APC who claimed anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter advised Akande not to inflame passions and that the matter is beyond the North /South political divide. He admonished thus: ` We (northerners) are unhappy about Chief Akande`s outburst. It was unnecessary because we are trying to put out a fire that is threatening to consume our house. And when you have a respected leader and elder making such unguarded statements, it does not help’. While these sentiments are not really off the mark, what some of the northern leaders in APC should try to convince other Nigerians about is why the president of the country, the president of the senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives are from one section of the country? Or are they telling Nigerians that they are not aware of this political travesty? The issue at hand is beyond the sharing of the spoils of office. It is about the unity and progress of the nation and how the commonwealth could be used for the development of all.
That is why Speaker Dogara and Senator Saraki should think more of the interest and welfare of all Nigerians and support Buhari in his bid to clean the rotten stable and make the country better for us all. Those who are fuelling the crisis do not wish the nation well and are more interested in what they could gain from the crisis. These are professional merchants of doom and disaster whose forte is fishing in trouble waters. The enemies within the APC are swimming against the tide of events and the earlier; they have a change of heart, the better for the nation. Saraki and Dogara may be smiling about their victory and defying the wishes of the party that placed them in the national assembly. It is a pyrrhic victory and it is not too late to retrace their steps and be true party members. In seeking political offices and fortunes, you do not burn the platform that propelled you into prominence and hope to have crisis free tenure.