When such change of parties and coalitions happened in 2014, Gbajabiamila and his political allies defended it on the ground that the ruling party at the time was factionalised…
Political history tends to always repeat itself. I am tempted to be drawn to the conclusion in the foregoing in deference to recent political history. When Senate President Bukola Saraki escaped the siege on his residence two days ago to preside over the Senate and read the letter announcing the defection of 15 or 16 senators from the ruling All Progressive congress (APC) to other parties, majorly to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), my mind went back to his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the photographs that greeted front pages and social media. It was like the last supper, as it were, but the broad smiles on their faces masking the thick bile and angst beneath the smiles and warm handshake. Newspapers and social media splashed the pictures but not the bile. Little wonder the legendary English writer, William Shakespeare, wrote that “there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.” Deep-seated anger hid in those smiles. It was akin to the encounter between the late Senator Chuba Okadigbo and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when the latter was in office and the former was Senate President. Okadigbo hosted Obasanjo to dinner and served Obasanjo his favourite pounded yam, only for Okadigbo to be impeached days after on the behest of the man he hosted to dinner.
Ominous signs began to show for Saraki when the Inspector-General of police invited him shortly after his meeting with the President. It was on the strength of the invitation that his residence was blocked, perhaps until he responds to the call. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also had a taste of security siege simultaneously. In his case the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the senator had money laundering questions to answer. These issues have been on the cards before now, which makes it curious that both men were needed on the same day. We now hear that Saraki actually foiled a coup against him by appearing at the Senate chambers when security agents revelled in stopping a man who was not there from leaving his house. The game plan was to remove Saraki from office that day and install another person. Saraki beat them to the game, an indication that he was tipped off by someone or people who partook in hatching the plan. The foregoing foretells that the ruling party has traitors within its fold. They are within the fold to inflict greater damage but pose as loyalists. Only Saraki knows ‘ the Grace of God,’ which made him foil the coup. Those who underrate him may well have a rethink because he has proven to be ahead of his adversaries at all times. His emergence as Senate President, in spite of obvious moves to stop him, ought to send signals to those seeking his political demise that higher level scheming has to come to play to put him in check. How come Ekweremadu did not make it to the chambers and Saraki did? The implication is that there are moles in the Presidency or wherever these plots are hatched, who whose sympathy does not extend to the Deputy Senate President. In the House of Representatives, another batch of defections from the ruling party happened as did in one or two states. The political clouds are certainly gathering as on the eve of elections. Those who sow the wind are bound to reap the whirlwind. I was amused when majority leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, began to refer to the Constitution, which has it that those who move to other parties from the platform on which they came to the National Assembly should lose their seats. It was amusing, given that when such change of parties and coalitions happened in 2014, Gbajabiamila and his political allies defended it on the ground that the ruling party at the time was factionalised, as though the R-APC of today is different from the N-PDP of those days. They now refer to the Constitution, which had no relevance when the shoe was on the other foot. It is a matter of the sword inevitably waiting for those who kill by the instrument. It was the British statesman and politician, Winston Churchill, who said that politicians are ultimately selfish in their pursuits. The tables of defection have now turned, and the typical politician recants his previous position to suit new realities and interests. The raw fact is that the drama we saw in the National Assembly is not about the people. Politicians are in the process of feathering their nests and no one should be excited about any coming El Dorado, except those on the other side of the political divide whose personal interests receive a boost on account of the movements. Those who want President Buhari out of the Villa may see a silver lining in the sky. The gathering that saw former President Goodluck Jonathan out of power came in the same garb as we see today.
These developments have diverted our collective attention from attendant halt in governance and the elevation of politics. We seem to have turned a blind eye to the accumulation of unpaid salaries in many states, where workers have gone without pay for as long as six months or more. In the impending polls, where votes exchange for cash, as exemplified in Ekiti, is there stashing of war chests for the battle ahead? Perhaps the President awaits the right time to bail out the states and make maximum political gain from the situation. Meanwhile, the Asiwaju Bola Tinubus and the Adams Oshiomholes of the ruling All Progressive Congress must return to their strategy boards and hatch new plans because the strategy of yesterday has become obsolete today. Matters are made worse by Buhari’s political nativity and that of those who call the shots around him, those who take warmth with fire from firewood fetched by other people who have been sidelined after their toil to fetch same. Some people toiled to wrest power from the PDP, the President invited ‘outsiders’ to call the shots. His wife, Aisha Buhari, sounded the alarm early. The Likes of Buba Galadimma have come to take their pound of flesh, after working for Buhari’s presidential project for 12 years, only for others to keep warm with fire from the firewood he fetched. He is out in the cold.
There may be many in his shoes. The storms are gathering. We watch with bated breath.