Somewhere in the creeks of Otueke, a certain Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Mainasara Jonathan is probably sitting under the cold morning breeze nursing a drink as most locals from the Niger Delta are wont to do as part of a well established culture and tradition, in an area where drinks are never ever in short. And in between sips, the percentages are high that Jonathan would be indulging in the occasional throaty laughter brought about by a sense of intense relief and satisfaction.
The occasional phone call from the erstwhile Senate President David Mark and Senator Ike Ikwerenmadu is sure to have lifted his mood even further. From the intermittent bouts of laughter, Jonathan now breaks into a break-dance that defied his age. He was swiftly joined by Dame Patience, who, soon after being updated by her husband, also breaks into her own version of Ozonto dance singing “I feel good”. And why not!
But the first couple will for sure not be the only people who are currently celebrating the fractious crisis in the APC over the choice of leaders for the National Assembly. We can also add the open sore of the Southwest Ayo Fayose, Olusegun Mimiko, Femi Fani-Kayode, Doyin Okupe, and of course, David Mark, along with legions of the other well-known PDP hordes and their cronies in the private sector.
Despite his public proclamation that the PDP has no ambition to field a candidate for the senate presidency in the current dispensation, should the current crises in the APC over the selection of leaders for the NASS in the current dispensation reaches a crescendo like many have predicted today, one of the first beneficiaries is sure to be David Mark! All he requires to be re-elected as Senate President is for the PDP senators to vote en-bloc and for those from the APC supporting Bukola Saraki who are disgruntled to vote along with them and the deed will be done! And when that happens we can be sure that the party in Otueke would erupt with fanfare.
When the APC trounced the PDP in the general elections a little over two months ago, nobody saw this coming. And the biggest irony is that if the APC plays into the hands of the PDP today as they seem condemned doing, and David Mark gets re-elected, the process would have met every requirements of democracy.
It cannot be flawed. And with the tussle over who emerges as the next Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives continuing to ravage the party, the prognosis are that the PDP is likely to be the greatest beneficiaries of the status-quo.
Even as I write this, in a move so eerily reminiscent of the serial plots to bar President Buhari from the last election, news just reached me that a faction of the APC reps have sued Femi Gbajabiamila – one of the candidates for the Speaker of the House at an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking to disqualify him from contesting altogether. The scenario is now certain to compel the millions of Nigerians who supported the party during the elections to start asking if this is the change they voted for with sufficient justification.
And unfortunately for the party, the crisis is set to reach a climax when its leader and moral compass is far away in Bavaria to seek the support of the G-7 for the changes he promised to impact on Nigeria. But even if the President were to be in Abuja I don’t honestly see how much difference he can make when the various gladiators are so well dug-in and unwilling to shift their positions. Besides, I sincerely agree with the former Vice-President AtikuAbubakar that President Buhari is essentially a leader and not a politician in the strict sense of the word.
It is not an abuse. It is a compliment. It is a measure of PMBs leadership credentials that he has balked at supporting any particular candidate for any of the positions. He demands only that such candidates must be credible and be free from allegations of graft. In his position, he cannot risk allegations of partisanship.
That is precisely why I feel that other APC heavyweights like AtikuAbubakar and Bola Tinubu must step up to the plate. They cannot afford to do otherwise. To be effective Tinubu must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in the interest of the nation and the collective progress of the party.
Like him or hate him, AtikuAbubakar is a consummate politician to the core. He is also highly resilient and influential. Without the slightest doubt, if any leader from the party is capable of breaking the impasse the APC presently finds itself in over the choice of leaders for the NASS that person is AtikuAbubakar. Nigerians who voted for change, not crisis. The elections that brought the APC to power were concluded more than two months ago. The party has had over two months to put its house in order and should not have waited until the eleventh hour to determine its candidates for leadership positions in the NASS.
Muhammad can be contacted through: [email protected]