Oluwole Josiah-Uanzekin

The 2023 presidential election is two clear years away from now, but the drumbeat of war from within two major political parties is already sounding loud enough sending a signal that appears to indicate that the heavens may fall.

The whole scenario is still without form and void and darkness is sprawling powerfully over the face of the deep.

It is a stage of deception, subterfuge and supplantation where the first may turn out to be the last.

The political tremor is a farce. It is neither new nor strange. It is just the way of the Nigerian politics and political players. Heavens will not fall, the barking of dogs and the roaring of lions are all gimmicks to force the people to drop the meal in fear.

It is a game of wits and feats and in the extreme, fists. At the end of the day when the dusts settle, Nigerians again would have been fooled while the winners will be smiling away with our commonwealth.

The events that appear to be tearing apart Nigeria’s two leading political parties, namely, the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), are a replayed hostory. Both parties also share a lot of things in common. Basically, those running the show in the APC today were sometimes top players in the PDP and this can also be said of the latter.
The ideologies are similar: get power by all means. “If you can’t get it in PDP, go to APC.” The motive are purely selfish and nothing patriotic. It is just a game and it’s end will usher in a reshuffle or a remix for another episode.

Both parties have the uncommon tradition of wrestling their chairmen out of office. Ask Audu Ogbe, Barnabas Gemade, Ahmadu Ali, Bamanga Tukur and Alli Ahmadu Sheriff. The story has been that the fundamental political interest and power positioning set the power blocs at variance and then the internal crisis begins and those who call the shots start shaking the platform until the unwanted players fall through the seive holes.

The ‘crucify Adams Oshiomole’ rumpus is just about settling, when the APC hawks seized the opportunity of the Supreme Court Judgment in Jegede Vs Akeredolu, to rock the Mai Mala Buni boat out of office. The judiciary has helped to compound this confusion with its ambiguities in judicial pronouncements.
Although efforts are ongoing to keep the peace, the magma is still issuing.

The minority, as well as the majority judgment of the Supreme Court pointedly identified the constitutional breach of the emplacement of the Buni-led caretaker committee. The ruckus therefore is over fears that further electoral actions by the caretaker committee may end up suffering legal disasters if challenged in the court of law.

The cacophony of opinions raging within the fold of the APC is having ripple effects in the state chapters which have embarked on rancorous ward Congresses. At the moment, many chapters are already in court to challenge the outcomes of the congresses.

The intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari is rather coming late. the warring groups in the party have drawn an indelible battle line. Fears were heightened earlier that groups opposed to the caretaker chairman would forcefully take over the party’s secretariat along Blantyre Street in Wuse 2, Abuja. The authorities quickly brought in the police and the SSS to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

The President’s men are at war. Ita Enang, a former Senator and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, has spoken to the seven judgments of the Supreme Court on the Jegede Vs Akeredolu case and concluded that the caretaker committee was an error. He had argued that it was unconstitutional for the Governor, under Section 222 and 223 of the Constitution to operate as chairman of the APC. In fact, Enang says the APC does not exist as a political party with Buni on the leadership saddle. The movers of this position want Mala Buni out of office as quickly as possible before it becomes too late and the party’s electoral efforts become a waste. Enang calls APC a party that is habitually lawless in what happened in Rivers, Zamfara, Kwara and other states where judgment had been given against the party

But Buni is powerfully aided and his position ensured by powerful persons in the kitchen cabinet of the President. Backed by legal advice from the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the APC Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), directed its members across the country to proceed with the ward congresses. This decision was taken regardless of the fears raised by stakeholders of the party over the Supreme Court decision on Ondo gubernatorial election. Sources close to the Presidency revealed that even the directive of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to halt the congresses until an peaceable option was found, was ignored.

For the APC, it is a battle of the demagogues who have armed themselves with the constitution. With the benefit of hindsight, there is only a little hope that the Constitution will prevail this time. It has always been illegality. Otherwise, the Mala Buni committee would not have surfaced in the first instance.

However, the plot against Uche Secondus of the PDP is reportedly cooked up by those who had worked to bring him to office. The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is being fingered as the promoter of the anti-Secondus movement. Those who are in a position to know submit that Mr Wike is eyeing the presidency in 2023. His interest swings between the President or a running mate to a leading candidate. Secondus is a threat to this interest and if the issue of zoning is settled in his favour it would abort the governor’s ambition. This thesis is different from a second, which supposes that if Mr Second is is left to run his tenure until November with the power to organise the party’s national convention, then he would be able to create hiccups for the powerful elements.

The sudden attacks on Secondus and the eventual resignation of members of the NWC depicts the power of political drama, and the willingness of politicians to act out any script to achieve some devious political ends, (if you understand that Nigerian public office holders are not use to resignation under moral persuasions). The call for Mr Secondus resignation and his unwillingness to concede, is a bright attestation to the afore assertion.

Apparently, a compromise looms, as the PDP Governor’s Forum and the Board of Trustees have reached an agreement on the way forward. By the peace proposal, Secondus will now leave office in October after a national convention is held to put in place a new National Working Committee. The questions needing answers and which would determine whether the truce would last is if Mr Secondus will be eligible to stand for reelection.

Behind the facade of political rhetorics is the endemic unpatriotic and lawless drive of the political dramatis personae who would eventually prevail to circumvent the processes putting party democracy in jeopardy.

The zest with which they pursue these causes is completely absent in the manner the country is run. The people are completely out of the focus. The security situation has worsened and the economy is biting harder. This drama will continue to play out as the days of the election draw near. The governance will completely go into hybernation or autodrive. Nigerians must not be carried away by the activities of the political parties at the moment. Holding the leaders to account and t deliver on their promises in previous elections must be emphasised.

“Soon the war will be over and the losers will surfer,” and what will be the lot of the people who queue to vote-in the parties on election day? But we never stop repeating history. The people still can change the story if they make the right choice.

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