APC And The Herculean Task Before Maimala Buni – By Sanusi Muhammad

July 26, 2020
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One should not bother himself with the sensational dissolution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national working committee by President Muhammadu Buhari and his equally dramatic order on the feuding parties to sheath their swords, most observers agree that the crisis-ridden ruling party has at least been handed a sure life-line out of its self-inflicted troubles. Whether the measures taken were strictly legal or constitutional or whether they actually reach to the roots of the problem that caused the crisis which is the unbridled jousting for the control of the party as indeed the contestations over the soul of the party is a different matter entirely.

With a good chance, Yobe State Governor, Maimala Buni has a fair chance of putting the broken components together within his given time frame. Towards achieving success, the former national chairman, Adama Oshiomhole and the out gone NWC members have made the Maimala Buni task easier. Whereas Oshiomhole has accepted the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in good faith, going as far as withdrawing his pending appeal at the Supreme Court, the latter has sensibly acquiesced to the resolutions taken at the party’s NEC to allow peace a chance.

Unfortunately, if we agree that the catalyst- certainly not the casus belli- for the rapidly unfolding events was the debacle in Edo, one cannot but wonder if the party has equally adverted its mind to the other crises foisted by the factionalisation of the party in the state more so as the gubernatorial election is few weeks from now. Yes, the highest organ of the party, NEC has affirmed the primary that produced Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as its candidate; but then, with the state chapter of the party torn down the middle with one party rejecting the process that produced the candidate, the handshake, would appear to have gone past the elbow-so to say!

For a party, that is an enviable position to be. Here is a party that produced the governor who has now decamped to another party to try luck. We are talking of a party whose onetime governor did not just rebuff all entreaties by the party and its leadership to swear in elected members of the state legislature, but employed conceivable tricks out of the rule books to keep majority of the elected members out of parliament using his minions in and out of government. So much for his attempts to play the victim, we are supposed to accept that Governor Godwin Obaseki’s unilateral abrogation of the seats of 14 members in a 24-member parliament is an acceptable political play since, apparently, he deigns to so pronounce. In this, he has made it clear, that the governor’s word, like those of ancient pharaohs must be law and respected!

That Obaseki enjoys the perquisites of incumbency and with it the advantages is of course given, what is at issue is whether his legion of moles remaining should be allowed to press that advantage to the detriment of the party now that the dust he created in his former party is beginning to clear out somehow.

Where then does Anselm Ojezua, the other factional chairman of Edo state APC belongs now that his principal sponsor, Godwin Obaseki has dumped the party he imposed him on? As it is, the matter isn’t so much about his claim of being elected chairman with four-year tenure to expire in 2022; rather, it is one of fidelity to his party in the aftermath of the affirmation of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as his party’s candidate. Will he now surrender his pride to work with a candidate that he once publicly scorned or will he, as it appears to be the case, remain to spoil the fun for his party and its candidate?

The bottom line; will the party overlook the schism promoted by those whose mantra of Right of First Refusal has fallen flat on their faces? What about the other injured party- the lawmakers elected but denied taking their seats? Where does their interests- which are legitimate – fit in the forced but uneasy truce from Maimala Buni? Will the party, as it seems reasonable to do, apply the same stick to the recalcitrant mob, that have all the while defied the party’s instruction to inaugurate the majority lawmakers through frivolous court actions? Will President Buhari’s order on all to withdraw all litigation apply also to those denied their right?

This brings us to the issue on the capacity of Maimala Buni to handle the task bestowed on him with passion and dexterity without inflicting any injury. One cannot be in doubt of the capacity of Maimala Buni to deliver the expected positive results to the President going by his political experience and administrative skills. From the look of things, he has already started recording success. He has brought back a strong pillar of the party that was greatly missed in the 2019 elections, Rt.Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the 8th House of Assembly from Bauchi State. There is no doubt to the fact that Dogara’s return to his former political base may be a blessing to the APC in Bauchi State as several other aggrieved founding members of the APC may return to where they co-founded in 2013 through the mega-merger. The likes of Sen. Isa Hamma Misau, Hon. Aminu Tukur, Bappa Aliyu Misau, Shehu Barau Ningi and of course some PDP sidelined or abandoned foot soldiers may join Dogara in coming days as rumored.

In his opinion, Bauchi State APC Media/Publicity Committee chairman, Comrade Sabo Muhammed said: “Within few weeks, APC has received to its fold three strong political giants; Hon. Farouk Mustapha from New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Hon. Musa Shittu Zaki from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara also from the PDP that he joined as a vocation.

“Bauchi state APC is expecting the return of several others that have sheathed their swords and now battle ready to retake the state from clueless and inept leadership that is retarding the progress of the state with parochial sentiments that may inflict severe injury on our cherished unity built over the years by past governors”.

Although, Yakubu Dogara has not publicly declared his defection to APC, but feelers from his political camp has confirmed his defection and return to APC which was debunked by PDP Bauchi State chairman, Hamza Koshe.

“Hon. Dogara remains a card carrying member of the PDP in Bauchi State. He has not officially communicated to the PDP that he has defected. As usual, we consider him as our member and we shall continue to see him as our member.

“We nominated some serving commissioners and other political office holders in government. He remains our member despite the claims of his defection”, Koshe said.

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