THURSDAY COLUMN BY SAFIYA ADAMU
It is with some kind of uneasy relief that I go down memory lane to fish out some remarks of President Muhammadu Buhari who came to power on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. It was the first time I know since he became President that he came out to speak and even take a stand strongly on internal matters of the Party. The President stepped into the leadership of Nigeria with his infamous pronouncement or proclamation with these now questionable words “I belong to nobody, I belong to everybody”. Questionable from where I stand because to the best of my knowledge, no politician really belongs to everybody and nobody. As a matter of fact everyone belongs to somebody or some people. It is a hard one to carry off especially in our clime where expectations by “winners” aka members of the ruling party or block or group or associates are sky high, and the big picture to deliver on governance is so far in the background that it literarily fades into oblivion.
I say the President is speaking out strongly and taking what could qualify for a strong stance for the first time ever. Why? The President has always given to aloof posturing in matters of states, his political party and issues that bother on governance at almost all levels. The President’s attitude has been interpreted rightly or wrongly as leaving the general public with a sour taste of disbelief that the one who should be in charge is just not in charge; he seems to have abdicated, shirking all responsibilities and allowing his mob to run amok. It has been a tragedy of sorts as we watch the ruling party threatened to implode under the weight of selfish egomaniacs intent not on any meaningful goal but just being poster boys for anomalies. The President allowed so much that the question that begged for answer was really one that left the people more baffled by the day. Who is in charge? The people wanted and still want an answer; because those select “good men, can’t and won’t do wrong, are above board “. Men of the President have proven by all means to be the weevils eating up his foundation and undermining him.
We may all agree that the man, President Buhari is a stickler for procedure and processes but how well has that fared under him? In party governance and administration the APC almost came unraveled; under his stewardship the ruling party lost some six or so states to the opposition, some under very annoying, avoidable and irritating circumstances. The case of Zamfara state for example is the most absurd thing. The APC lost not just the seat of the governor but also every other seat up for contest ….the National Assembly seats and the state Assembly seats all because some individuals refused to see the bigger picture and narrowed it to their individual selves and persons. The people of Zamfara will not readily forget the team of Oshiomole and the President’s seeming acquiescence even with the governor’s recent defection to APC. For those in charge of the Party structure it was all about them, their ego and those warts under President Buhari’s watch. The same unpalatable selfishness played out in Bayelsa and we watched in awe and amazement as the Party let go Obaseki.
Rascality and lawlessness have characterized the APC from the moment it took over the reigns of power in 2015. The rebellion at the National Assembly during the election of principal officers to state governors who refused to align with the President’s call for change. Things were made worse with his insistence to work with only those he trusted and know. In a country claiming to be the most populous black nation and population clocking “200 million” how many people or what fraction of the total does he know? What happened to his façade of clean, prim and proper? The result was as disastrous as was to be expected. Nepotism overtook rational acions and primordial sentiments prevailed. Those who should be at the helm of affairs given their experience and exposure were relegated despite having been champions of change along side the President. At a point and I guess to date the Party leader the Asiwaju himself cannot easily access the President, a candidate and person he staked so much for, it was a bewildering development. Those President’s men and their chariots brought the situation to that level and what it is today. A sad note hopefully not the endnote for a person who came to power on a popular vote. Is this it? Hopefully it is not.
The situation has taken on a different tone now. Permutations and posters of presidential and vice presidential candidates are already flying the landscape. The ridiculousness of this lies not in any persons’ ambition but in the deliberate attempt to undermine our collective intelligence; please someone should explain the Jonathan/ Malami poster on APC platform. Who is really afraid of who? Are we short of leadership material? It is sad that our Supposed youths are the ones canvassing and carrying on this caricature. Agreeably Malami has distanced himself from this vexing deliberate prodding of no embers. The question is what is the APC really up to? We need to know, I need to know.