These are not the best of times for President Muhammadu Buhari. Barely a fortnight after he succeeded in prevailing on the All Progressives Congress (APC) members to enthrone Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the new national chairman of the party, things are falling apart with the speed of light for the ruling party. Like W.B. Yeats wrote in his famous poem, “The Second Coming,” the centre cannot hold anymore unless and until the leadership of the party is able to arrest the drift now threatening to rip the APC apart.
Earlier in the week, a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital granted an order of mandamus to compel federal lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings against the President based on alleged constitutional infractions. The order, which was sequel to a suit filed by Kanmi Ajibola, chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ilesa Branch and Suleiman Adeniyi, a human rights activist has again brought to fore the qualification saga that dominated headlines in major tabloids and hours of real time on television channels in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
While the lawmakers are not likely to kick out the first citizen from his exalted office through the impeachment process, a former Minister of Information who craves anonymity told Saturday Vanguard that the President is likely to suffer the pain of a moral question he is fated to answer “one way or the other.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed an Executive Order to improve his administration’s fight against corruption.
In a chat with this medium on Wednesday, the ex-Minister said: “The ex-parte order by Justice Maureen Onyetenu is a vindication of sort to those young men who took their time to task federal lawmakers to impeach President Buhari. When the lawmakers failed to act, they turned their attention to the court and their prayer has been granted. What this means for the President is better imagined because as it were, the learned Justice has alluded to instances of constitutional violations in the processes that characterized the candidacy and subsequent election of the President more than three years ago.”
Although, the Presidency refused to issue a statement on the court order, there is little or no doubt that legal fireworks would again trail Buhari’s quest to continue in office beyond 2019.
Birth of R -APC
From the get-go, the signs were there for all to see and not a few predicted an implosion for the APC before the 2019 elections. Before his election in 2015, Buhari had passed through the proverbial valley of death, suffered uncommon humiliation as some friends, allies and associates deserted him on the long walk to the Villa. But there were some who stood and weathered the storm with him without falling for the filthy lucre that was all for grabs in those ignoble years. One of such men who passed the test of loyalty and friendship is Alhaji Buba Galadima, a veteran politician and grassroots mobiliser per excellence.
In 2003, Galadima rallied support for Buhari who contested the Presidency on the platform of the defunct All People’s Party (APP); a task he repeated in 2007, 2011 and 2015 when Buhari sought the plum seat on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Congress, APC, respectively.
With Buhari’s victory in 2015, Galadima and his likes that stood in rain and shine with the civil war hero were thereafter left in the lurch as new picks found their way to the corridors of power and its associated trappings. So much was the isolation of these men and women that Aisha, the delectable wife of Mr. President took to the media to avail the world of inner happenings at the Villa but came short of accusing her husband for dumping old and trusted allies for new unknown acquaintances.
Galadima would later join other aggrieved members of the APC to register their displeasure about Buhari’ governorship style but were left in the dark still. Not prepared to be rendered irrelevant ahead of the 2019 polls, the group broke away from the ruling party to find shelter in the Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC with Galadima as national chairman.
While addressing a press conference on the decision to form a splinter group on Wednesday, Galadima gave a grave assessment of the Buhari government that left the Presidency in utter shock.
“The APC government has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced. The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations,” he said, noting that “after more than three years of governance, our hopes have been betrayed, our expectations completely dashed.
He continued, “The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people. It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism.
“It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to unacceptable height. The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation. There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.”
PDP game plan
The major political party in the land, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in the past few days, intensified its reconciliation moves with APC estranged members, preparatory to their former return to its fold. Apart from members of the newly formedrAPC, the Contact and Integration Committee of the PDP chaired by former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke has been mandated to reach out finally to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara following the no-love-lost between them and the ruling party.
Findings by this medium show that although Oshiomhole has been pleading with aggrieved party members to stay put, many of them have resolved to move elsewhere in what an insider attributed to the uncertainty surrounding the popularity of the APC platform with only about eight months to elections. A female politician and memberof the PDP told this medium in confidence that PDP will receive key defectors with open arms in the next few weeks.
Her words, “We are happy that the lies of the APC have been exposed. Galadima and other patriots now know that all along, the APC was a party of opportunists who never wish the nation well. There is no doubt that they will look up to the PDP as the only vehicle to take us to Aso Rock Villa in 2019. Nigerians are tired of fake promises; promises that have been largely left unfulfilled. Unlike the APC, the PDP will provide them the platform to pursue their dreams because we are the only national party in Nigeria,” she noted.
SDP, 35 other parties in alliance talks
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and 35 other political parties have begun preliminary talks over possible alliance, SDP National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae has said. The move, according to our findings is to build a formidable platform to wrestle power form the APC in the 2019 general elections.
“We have identified implementable, relevant and effective solutions to the problems confronting our nation. To that effect, we are going to set up a committee to work on common blueprint for the survival, growth and progress and unity,” Falae stated.
Asked if the parties were mooting the possibility of fielding a joint Presidential Candidate, Falae was evasive, saying however that “we cannot pre-empt the outcome of our discussion.
What is happening is that we are consulting with one another. We are 36 political parties. We will distill our various ideas with common blueprint. At the end of the day, it may be a common alliance or coalition. We don’t rule out any option. Before you start a discussion, you must not rule out anything or conclude before you start.”
The SDP is one of the parties currently in talks with the PDP over a possible coalition to prosecute the 2019 elections.