APC In Terms With Comeuppance | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APC In Terms With Comeuppance

Posted: Jun 16, 2015 at 12:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The so-called progressives hailed it as ‘democracy at work or the beauty of democracy,’ while the democrats bemoan their loss. That was the state of affairs in the nation when Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, against the wish and dictates of the then ruling party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – emerged as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011. It was a coup, by a PDP dissent ably supported by the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).  While it lasted, the Senator Ahmed Tinubu-led ACN enjoyed the romance, with members of the party in the House of Representatives enjoying key positions as chairmen of committees. The PDP on the other hand could only count its loss, regretting the activities of a ‘recalcitrant son.’

But as it is with life, nemesis and the laws of retributive justice laid wait on due time to appropriate reward. As ACN eventually metamorphosed to the All Progressives Congress (APC), it consummated the relationship with Tambuwal in his defection from PDP. The progressive elements (if that name really approximates) saw their party grow from strength to strength; Sokoto State’s Governorship seat was good enough for him the party leadership willed. PDP, a fast failing ruling party, stood helpless unable to appreciated the unfolding scenario, until it eventually lost the presidential elections.

With change now on the scene, APC, as its harbinger, is now confronted with the reality of leadership. Of course, they want to do things differently; and so, saw no reason in the PDP time-tested principle of zoning. “APC has no zoning in its constitution,” screamed Tony Momoh; former chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) – one of the converging parties in APC. He was obviously reacting to discourse on the need to zone the leadership positions of the National Assembly, so that the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will reflect a true federal character. While the debate was on, the President stated in clear terms that he was not interested in who becomes what in the Senate or House of Representatives.

But there were entrenched interests in the party that, indeed, thought otherwise. The kingmakers wanted to have their way, preferring, within the same party, some candidates to others in the search for Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives. Jagaban, it was speculated, was not contended with having the Vice President; he also wanted the National Assembly in his pocket. But that calculation failed to recognise the fact that APC is a conglomerate of ACN, CPC, the factional New-PDP and the splitter faction of APGA. As it were, the CPC has the President; ACN, Vice President; something just have to be there for the New-PDP – whose entrance to the party with five State Governors turned the political equation in the country in favour of APC.

For the New-PDP, anything less than the Senate President would have been a far cry. But the APC leadership hushed; and that was the beginning of the grudge. In Ahmed Lawan, the leadership had its choice, so too was Femi Gbajabiamila for speakership. Little did the party give consideration to the fact that it was not only APC legislators that constitute the National Assembly. With Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara on collision course with the party, PDP legislators-elect waited patiently and calmly (in the trait of a vulture) to do a ‘Tambuwal’ on APC.

Sweet tasting it was for PDP when on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, the Eighth National Assembly was inaugurated with Saraki and Dogara emerging as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively. It was a much heavier blow for the APC in 2015 than what PDP suffered in 2011. That is comeuppance; leaving APC wanting in the haywire politics of governance. Nemesis has come at apportioned time to take vengeance. Or is it retributive justice.

Save for Mr. President who accepted the outcome and PDP’s Ebenezer Babatope that hailed the emergence of the new leadership of the National Assembly, the APC was all grudge and anger. Lai Mohammed, the APC’s National Publicity, vowed that Saraki, Dogara and those who aided the legislative coup must be punished, in order to instill discipline in the party. Howbeit, those who understand constitutional matters posited that, while the party brood the arm twisting tactics adopted by the emergent National Assembly leadership in connivance with the PDP, fact is, the process was legal and no known law was broken.

It was possibly in recognition of the legality of the actions of its two prodigal sons, coupled with the timely intervention of Mr. President that the APC came to terms with comeuppance – a punishment reality deserved – and accepted the new leadership of the National Assembly on Friday, June 12. Much more than that though, the party’s leadership, particularly in the persons of Tinubu and Lai Mohammed, ought to know, in all sincerity of heart, that what was deemed and applauded as good for democracy in 2011, cannot suddenly become bad in 2015. May the ‘Tambuwal’ metaphor remain.