NASS example: If this is the Buhari magic…

By Sunny Igboanugo on 29/07/2015

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You would have lived in a cave or under a rock for a thousand years, outside civilisation, devoid of history and totally bereft of any form of information or knowledge about the past and current affairs in Nigeria, for you to miss the import of what happened in the Nigerian main legislative enclave, the National Assembly, last Tuesday.

You might as well make an agbada out of naivety and political imbecility and proudly wear it to the market place if you failed to underscore the significant. It hit me like a thunderbolt. How did they do it? So it is possible? These were part of the thousand questions that propped up in my subconscious immediately I got the details of the truce with which the almost three months of the disgraceful, distasteful and disastrous bickering in the NASS, was ended. After all, was it not said that when a woman continues to miss her steps, repeatedly displaying poor skills among her Akwuna eche enyi dance mates, she leaves her husband and relations with the inglorious task of laboriously scratching their brows?

No doubt, this, until that historic outing, had been the lot of Nigerians for the period the show of shame lasted in this otherwise envious enclave from whence all that is glorious and noble ought to flow. Not that it started with them. Of course not. In fact, Nigerians have never stopped scratching their brows on account of its legislators, at every level – national, state and local. But never had it looked so disgraceful or dangerous, as the latest episode. What is more, this is the NASS that appeared to have brought more and better expectations and hope than the other assemblies, since the nation returned to civilian democratic rule in 1999, having been largely peopled by those who promoted and sang the change mantra only recently.

Surely, I had noticed the glint in the eyes of Chief John Oyegun, the effable and urbane National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as he told the entire nation to wait for a surprise, “in the next six hours,” as he emerged from the party’s historic meeting with President Mohammadu Buhari, Monday night. I equally didn’t miss out the confidence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who was standing by his side.



But I had taken those apparently tell-tale signs and open pronouncements with a pinch of salt, as I did with many others from them or indeed from many players on the nation’s political turf, big and small, past and present. Surely, not with what I also heard on the sidelines or even the sequence of events trailing the meeting.

In fact, only a few hours before, the Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila groups, the two key camps in the Green Chambers, responsible for the trails of blood left on the floor of nation’s polity and massive lump in the psyche of Nigerians, were still singing discordant tunes on how the crisis was being addressed.

So, how did it happen? Is this the Buhari Magic that the nation was promised and for which many have since left for home singing a dirge, having exhausted their thin patience while waiting?

For all we saw, the APC meeting with Buhari presiding didn’t last more than 20 minutes. There were even few words from the man of few words, who reportedly directed the feuding parties to “go and do the right thing.”

Again, I ask, what went right this time and what has been going wrong before now? Or, as I have heard some people insinuate, was the NASS controversy a contrivance in the first place? Was it state-managed to buy time for the APC?

Yes. That is one of the strands of reasoning trailing the development. Some people are essentially arguing that the APC, had actually prepared for war prior to the last presidential election rather than victory. They had reportedly stocked their arsenal in readiness it believing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it displaced, was either going to rig the election or refuse to hand over, in which case Somalia, Syria or Libya would be a child's play. But the former ruling party did neither of the two. They neither rigged the election nor refused to hand over.

In so doing, the APC, completely unprepared for peace, was bereft of any idea of what to do with the power it got. What to do? They had to instigate crises in every part of the polity to buy time in order to plan on how to govern. Can anyone beat that?

Even as asinine, inane and infantile as it sounds, this reasoning still finds expression in the history bag of Nigerian politics. Or have we all forgotten that huge dispute in the NASS over which is superior between the Senate and the House of Representatives, for which the presentation of the 2010 budget was stalled for weeks on end?

Oh yes. Were we not given the impression then that it was a thing of rivalry between then Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, who would not sit at the same table where David Mark, then Senate President, would be presiding, even with the undisputed and constitutionally recognised tag of the Chairman of the National Assembly?

Did it not turn out that that sustained drama, with many episodes, was contrived, as one of the tricks the powers that reportedly took charge of affairs then in the country, employed in connivance with the PDP to pull a wool over the eyes of Nigerians and the rest of the world, in the attempt to shield them from gleaning into the true picture of the state of health of the then President, who could no longer appear in the public? In the end, it was the Yar’Adua’s Presidential Liaison officer in NASS, Mohammed Abba-Aji that was left with the task of laying the budget on the table of the Senate.   

Regardless this historic truism, I’m ready to admit that the Buhari Magic is at work. And now it appears that he has begun to get his bearing, he has naturally started from where he should. It shows, that like the military tactician he is, even though he has since dropped the tag of General, in the spirit of the new-found democratic ethos, he still knows what to do.  

A simple cure. Just drop the South East from the list, the bone that stuck in the throat and the rest is easy. After all, did the late literary icon, Chinua Achebe not provide the logic long time ago in his The Trouble With Nigeria, when he said that the only subject matter all Nigerians will have a consensus over is how to deal with the Igbo man. I don’t know why Dogara thought he could win the battle of that Federal Character mantra, that’s assuming he is not part of the game.

Of course, it is only a matter of time before the same echo would resonate in the Senate. The issue of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, another disturbing bone in the political throat of the nation, will be dealt with soon enough.

Then follows the hangman’s noose for the likes of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and her former Minister of Petroleum Resources counterpart, Deziani Madueke, two key Igbo elements in the last government and the story will be complete. Already being lined up for the gallows by the likes of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who, incidentally, will never tell anybody about the source of his stupendous wealth from being a workhand in a textile factory, beyond leading a set of hungry workers out in protests when it suits him and recant whilst the workers are still in the sun or rain "struggling" and "protesting," their sharp wincing cries from their dungeons will soon begin to fuel the furnace that will fire the gusto of the President and get him into the right mood to prosecute the magic he promised Nigerians.

Then the nation is on the auto-pilot on cruising smoothly and effortlessly to Eldurado, the Buhari Magic way.   

All hail change



Posted on July, 29 2015

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