OpinionSteve Nwosu

Desperate Times, Curious Moves, By Steve Nwosu

Frank Talk By Steve Nwosu

As I write this piece, Tuesday evening, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu is still with the EFCC, answering questions bordering on corruption. It is not persecution and it is not connected with 2019. It is just the biased commitment of the APC federal government to fighting corruption.

Senate President Bukola Saraki (who just emerged from over three years of delousing in the anti-graft furnace) and his protégé, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, have announced their decampment from the APC, along with millions of their followers.

In Sokoto, the champagne is still on the ice, as PDP awaits the return of Governor Aminu Tambuwal and his own followers. We are also looking at Bauchi and reading the lips, and body language, of Speaker Yakubu Dogara. The CHANGE is indeed changing.

Yes, the times are getting more and more exciting, even as someone in the presidency is swearing by the left foot of Amadioha that these moves have nothing to do with 2019. Again, I agree. The 2019 elections have long been decided. We are only going through the motions. Buhari has already won, going by Festus Keyamo’s queer analysis. So, why are they always too quick to reference an election that has already been won and lost?

In fact, I was literally rolling on the floor of my hotel room last week as I watched Ita Enang, President Muhammadu Buhari’s liaison officer to the National Assembly, as he struggled to explain how all the recent decampments from the All Progressives Congress (APC) have nothing to do with President Buhari and his re-election bid. He re-echoed Buhari’s borrowed lines that all politics is local and that those who left the party left as a result of disagreements in their respective state chapters of the APC. I agree with him.

Ita Enang went further to tell this incredulous tale of how most of the decamping senators had even promised that they would work for PMB’s re-election in 2019. Hmm! Rather than tell the senator to tell his tale to the marines, I would say I also agree with him. Yes, Dr. Bukola Saraki will work for PMB’s re-election from PDP. So also will Dino Melaye, Sha’aba Lafiaji, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Barnabas Gemade and all the other senators who have suffered untold persecution in hands of Buhari’s goons, even as the president looked the other away.

And lest I forget, Buhari will win re-election even from the hospital bed–after all, some people have even won from prison before now.

But, I digress. Of course, the defections in Benue had nothing to do with 2019. After all, it was not the same federal police, which prevented pro-Ortom lawmakers from gaining access into the state House of Assembly complex, that also provided protection for the eight or so pro-Akume (Buhari). It was not the same policemen that fired teargas long after the deed had been done. Never! Nigerian police is more professional than that!

Similarly, the curious impeachment notice served on Ortom has nothing to do with the decampments. It does not also matter that the gathering that allegedly served the notice was an illegal one.

These politicians must think we can’t tell our left from our right. And honestly, we really can’t. Because if we could, we would not be stranded with the leaders we have today. They remind me of all those pranks we used to play as teenagers, believing we were outsmarting our parents. It never occurred to us that our parents were once teenagers, and that they had probably decoded our moves long before we took the first step.

So, a minister, who cannot honestly win his electoral ward, without the assistance of the infamous federal might, instigates the sack of the entire exco of the party in his state. A governor who has lost control of the levers of party control does the same from Abuja, after  losing his congress. He simply waves the Buhari Support magic wand and wins even more concessions from the party headquarters.

Meanwhile, Oshiomole and Ngige have continued with their classic Aki and Pawpaw drama. While the former is threatening to expel the latter from the party, the latter is threatening to leave the party for the former. Of course, Oshiomhole, in the process, confirmed what we have always suspected: that aides and appointees of the president are running rings around the poor old man–committing atrocities in the name of the president. And the president can’t call them to order.

That is why Oshiomhole is determined to call them to order. In the process, the former Edo State governor is going about it with the one-track mind of the typical unionist and communist dictatorship–a disposition that sometimes overlooks the time-wasting’ finer details of democracy. So, if it was the Saraki tendency that won the congress in Kwara, then that exco cannot stand. It must be supplanted with the more agreeable Buhari loyalists.

Dr. Bukola Saraki…Senate President

If in Delta, for instance, the Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege faction of the party lost out in the controversial parallel congresses, then, there must be a way (fair or foul) to hand the state party structure back to the senator, who has clearly worked for the interest of the president in the Senate Chambers. Please, this has nothing to do with the stolen mace o!

And as Omo-Agege is being handed the party on a platter, one or two other people who had been nursing governorship ambition may well kiss such dreams goodbye. Of course, I won’t say nothing about the impeachment in Imo and Kano States, except to say that one of the impeachments reminds me of the joke a friend used to make at my expense.

The true life story goes thus: I had accompanied him to the home of a girl he was ‘toasting’ (as in wooing), but luck ran out of us when her police-officer uncle returned home unexpectedly. My friend suddenly went dumb and tongue-tied when the stern-faced officer barked out questions at us. Being a little more experienced in those boy-girl pranks (that was before I became born again o!), I had to come to his rescue by speaking up. But my speaking up instantly told the officer that I was the ‘bad boy’ who had been sneaking in to see  his niece behind his back. I ended up spending a handful of hours at the Central Police Station.

But that was not the story. The story was that, up till this day, the friend, in whose stead I was detained, still calls me ‘ex-convict’. I’m sure if we end up in different political camps tomorrow, he might just throw it up as an impeachable offence. And before I get the chance to tell my side of the story, I’d have been swept out of office.

Like Bob Hope, the now late American comedian once said, “the quickest way to have your family tree traced is to go into politics”. That is why we are regularly reminded that Saraki came from Mali. That El-Rufai’s father was an Offa man who used to sell kolanuts in the far north. That some people had to quickly go build a mud house for somebody in a Lagos village, to enable the beneficiary contest Lagos governorship.

Of course, I don’t want to say anything about certificates and schools that were never attended but found their way into some people’s CVs, lest Senator Adeleke would think I’m referring to him. If Buhari did not seek the presidency, for instance, nobody would bother with his passing or failing staff college or any promotion exams for that matter.

But, before I digress, let me keep to the issue at hand, which is the dizzying politics of these times. The politics that has seen some commissioners decamping from the political party of their appointer governor and still retaining their appointments. The politics that has seen people campaigning for election in one party, but still openly receiving funding for that ambition from a godfather in the opposition party.

Yes, today’s politics is such that EFCC allowed members of the Benue State House of Assembly to go about their businesses until they joined those who impeached a ‘favoured’ Speaker. It then invited them to explain a few dealings. And in Makurdi, the lawmakers tolerated

Governor Samuel Ortorm for over three years. But when he now decamped from APC to join PDP, the lawmakers suddenly remembered that he had been pocketing local government funds. I’m not begrudging the APC for using what it has (federal might) to get what it wants (retention of power). For if the PDP were to be in government, they would do the same thing.

What I’m unhappy about, however, is this idea of insulting our collective intelligence by telling us that it has nothing to do with 2019, and that the president has nothing to do with it.

Yes, we’re all stupid in Nigeria, but please, APC, you don’t have to rub it in. Haba!

 

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