Zuma’s resignation, party institutions and Nigeria’s shame

By Sunny Igboanugo on 15/02/2018

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is currently on a mission of reconciling feuding members of the All Progressives Congress (APC). That task was handed over to him by President Muhammadu Buhari, a week before.

“As part of on-going efforts to improve cohesion within the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts.

“The assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the Federation.”

These, were the exact words of presidential spokesman, Garuba Shehu, who announced the “appointment.” Take note of some of the expressions in that announcement. Reconcile it with the entire spirit. Then, the picture becomes clearer.

Tinubu is the National Leader of the APC. Even though, he claimed to have dropped that position – that was some months ago, when he was complaining of how he was being treated by the party, during the lead-up to the Ondo State governorship election – an obviously angry action, every dog and baboon, knows that the former governor of Lagos State, is the altar-ego of the party.

Yet, it was in the place of the President to “designate” him and give him an “assignment,” and not the other way round. Of course, the excitement and gaiety that now accompanies the public mien of the Jagaban Borgu, tells the story of what the President’s assignment means to him.

It is obvious that he cuddles his new status like a child singled out by a class teacher and offered a candy. What is more, he is now a regular visitor at the Presidential Villa, a new status, which was hitherto denied for more than two years after the President’s inauguration in 2015.

To underscore the oddity of the entire drama, National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, was the one asking Tinubu, during a visit to the party secretariat in Abuja, on Tuesday, February, 13, to avail him and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), of the modalities and the terms of reference of the reconciliation assignment.

This was supposed to be the number one person in the party. He was neither consulted nor briefed. Obviously, Tinubu was simply handed the task, just like Buhari would assign one of his aides to perform a duty. It was also possible that he also learnt of the assignment like other Nigerians from Garuba Shehu’s press statement.

So, from the foregoing, how is it possible for the same APC chieftains that appear this malleable and acquiescent to now summon the President for any reason whatsoever, such that led to the interrogation and subsequent resignation of Jacob Zuma of South Africa? Never!

Image result for Jacob zuma

Zuma

Rather, it is the President that summons the party officials wherever and whenever he feels like. In most cases they are summoned to the Villa. On such special occasions, it is like children being invited to a Christmas party. Each person that is given the privilege not only appears in the best attire, but must cut the best behaviour to impress the host.

Conversely, in the event that the President decides to, he chooses when to visit the party office. On such a day also, the drums will be rolled out. Like the days of the visit of the now defunct school inspectors or supervisors, when the headmaster and school teachers would go the extra mile of putting everything in order, special attentions are paid to details in the party office.

Instructively, it is never a day for serious deliberations, never a day for introspection and deep thinking, but one for hero-worshipping and eye-service. Nobody is expected to misbehave at such occasions and that includes raising any issue capable of “embarrassing” the President.

So, for all you know, Buhari would never be summoned to the APC secretariat to explain his obvious tame, insipid and lukewarm treatment of the herdsmen’s attacks on communities in Nigeria, particularly Benue State. He will never be asked to explain why he would order a man under investigation for corruption back to his office, bypassing a minister who is his immediate boss, who rightfully suspended him in order to ensure a credible and thorough investigation, as is with the current smelly case of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) or any of the obvious infractions of his government on the Nigerian polity.

If and whenever he decides to visit, nobody is expected to raise such issues. It will be an abomination for which a fatwa would be passed on the head of anybody that dares.

You could easily fathom this obvious mortal fear and eagerness to please Aso Rock in Tinubu’s response to the very serious issues raised by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and his former military counterpart, Ibrahim Babangida to the reason of the inappositeness of Buhari contesting again.

For their efforts in raising the critical issues that bug the minds of the people, they were simply told to go and retire and “allow us to move our country forward.” Ask what this moving forward means at this time, you are likely to meet a brick wall. No attempt to dissect the reason for the call is attempted, let alone supplied. Impliedly, instead, moving the country forward, lies solely with Buhari’s election.

So, what do you get? What do Nigerians get? Simple – a President that gives himself out as an imperial lord, whose words are law, a maximum ruler who is the beginning and the end of everything. This is the image Buhari has cut these past years. Reason, all those who are supposed to pose any sort of challenge or put a leash on him, are themselves compromised, because their price had been paid in full.   

Incidentally, it is nothing new. Buhari, only took to a familiar pattern left for him by his predecessors, only that it may seem that his, tended to have assumed a more wacky dimension.

For instance, in his own account, Obasanjo tells the story of his “visit” to Audu Ogbeh, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), when he was the President to demand his resignation, because he had found the former party boss unsuitable to work with. In his book, My Watch, the ex-President unabashedly tells it with such relish and flourish as if giving an account of a major conquest on a battlefield rather than a narrating a totally despicable political engagement, which outcome completely dislocated, if not totally destroyed an acceptable democractic ethos, that has left the country reeling from its consequential negative effects.

It must have sounded so sweet that the former President even recounts a second “visitation” because he noticed that the previous letter Ogbeh signed and handed over to him, had some negative implications necessitating that he had to write a second one that was more apposite. That is the type of system we operate.

Rather than what the world saw in South Africa, Nigeria’s political party system is one in which the tail wags the dog. It is a system of a supreme commander as the President, to whom the party, its officials and members are mere errand men and women. They either belong willingly by way of their own individual personal compromises or are whipped into line, by sheer force.

It may be an exaggeration that Ogbeh actually had a gun to his head as he was signing those documents, as some people have said, but what is uncontestable is that something must have forced his hands to succumb to such a humiliation.

That same thing is today forcing the hands the APC chieftains including Tinubu, Oyegun et al, from calling Buhari to order. It is the same force that would guide their public comments and conducts. It is the same force that impels them to tell Nigerians that without Buhari, they are doomed even when they themselves do not mean a single word of it and may even be cursing the situation privately.

That is why Tinubu would see it appropriate to counsel Obasanjo and Babangida to retire, but will never extend the same advice to Buhari, even with all the errors and faux pass he commits daily.

You may have also heard how Zuma’s exit was followed by his Ethiopian counterpart, Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, who in a nationwide broadcast, cited “unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” for his own resignation.

He went further: “I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.” Now, how many people did you hear were killed in Ethiopia compared to the daily carnage in Nigeria that would have forced the hands of the Prime Minister to take the exit door?

Last week, the public was served a picture of a Tinubu, Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State, and Buhari laughing as if there is no care in the world, during a visit of the duo to the President at the Villa. Yet, this is a country where herdsmen are on rampage and killing scores and hundreds of Nigerians daily. This is a country where many compatriots go to bed hungry and many children are in the street for lack of school fees, crime rate has remained on the increase and stories of monumental corruption and official fleecing of the commonwealth of Nigerians, less than half of the reason for the resignation of Zuma and his Ethiopian counterpart, suffuse the firmament.   

To underscore how deep Nigeria has sunk in its sordid political enterprise, it is at this period that some people, mostly youths, whose future continues to hang on the balance due to the ugly situation, are now organising a one-million-man match to compel Buhari to contest for a second term in 2019.

With such odious and outlandish polity, how would Nigeria ever get a Zuma situation? Never!  

 

Igboanugo, a journalist, writes from Abuja

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on February, 15 2018

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