- PUNCH LINE
By Jacob Ogunseye
Recent developments in Nigeria political landscapes will no doubts have altered the vegetation structure of the atmosphere of ruling Nigeria all Progressives Congress (APC). The ruling party came on board barely four years after some parties which are otherwise known as legacies parties find a common ground to unseat the then perceived non-performer and weak president of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. Of course, it was crystal clear that Nigeria was going to a point of no return as the country was bleeding profusely under a large magnitude of corruption and insecurity
The killings across the nation then by the dreaded terrorist group – Boko Haram was tearing the nation apart in the North East, the activities of the Herdsmen in the central region was defiling solution, cattle rustlers have taken a hold on the North-West while Kidnappers and armed robbery will not allow for a deep sleep in the southern part of the country.
It became clear that Nigeria need new seer, the serial contestants in the person of Muhammadu Buhari promised all and major on his agenda was security, tackling of corruption and economic development. The nation danced into his music, entrusted him with the power to rule the nation, but the possibility of gaining power was through the amalgamation of parties which includes the rebels who complained of injustices from the last administration on the Peoples Democratic Party.
Of a truth, the rebels contributed immensely to gaining the power of President Muhammadu Buhari, but the problem started when the Nigeria Senate elected Mr Bukola Saraki as their helmsman against the popular decision of their party. Internal fracas became a regular part of the newly amalgamated entity. Accusation and counter-accusations of betrayal and lack of trust within the party became the common headlines on Nigeria dailies and internet bloggers catch in on the weakness of the party. It was clear to all that, there was a fire on the mountain.
The events in the last two weeks are no doubts serious and it will be a luxurious living in the sky to ignore such no matter your closeness to the government. The Senate leader, Bukola Saraki has left the party, a governor of one of the states that gave Buhari a block vote in 2015, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has left the party, and several lawmakers have also left the party. As at last count, three governors and mostly with all their local assemblymen have now departed the party that brought them to power to team up with the opposition in their quest to unseat the incumbent Buhari.
As an outsider, we all rely on the news from the daily tabloids; the defection of these politicians is nothing but a lack of ideological vacuity which is one of the characteristics of Nigeria democracy. But far from that, the ruling party has been ruined by the large-scale magnitude of earthquakes, it should be clear that some earthquake may not be destructive as such while some could be physically and economically devastating.
The ruling APC should hope that the gale of defection has ended though everyone is still waiting for the formal announcement of the lower house leader, Mr Yakubu Dogara and few others to announce their defection, if it stops at this level, it will still be a very hard nut to crack for the opposition. In some part of the country, Buhari is more or less a thin god, dependency on his reasoning of judgement is very high and his past antecedents as a president are too enormous to be ignored most especially in the restoration of peace to the troubled region.
Buhari’s efforts in putting a strong fight against the country’s major plague – corruption has no doubt sent shivering to the hearts of the politicians and the civil servants who benefit majorly from the practices, his no hold bared on the infrastructural developments and level playing ground in the economy remain another popular ground.
It will though be a disservice to state that Buhari and his party, the APC faces the uphill task if the killings in central Nigeria states continue, his purported favouritism to his tribes and religion at the detriment of hundreds of deaths from others need to be corrected. As it stands today, the two major states of Taraba and Benue in the central region may be as good as gone, the South East and South-South of the nation have never played a major part in any of his election so nothing will significantly change.
The South West still remains a stronghold of the APC as was confirmed by the recent gains in the agrarian Ekiti state, coupled with the hold on the North West and part of the North Central, Buhari’s worries may be little but need to do more. The nation is bleeding for the sheer leader that will carry everyone along. Is Buhari ready for the second term of four years with his perceived love for his region and religion kinsmen in appointments and allocation of resources? Time will tell.
Jacob Ogunseye is the Vice President of the Forum for Good Leadership and Probity