In one fell swoop, 15 APC senators [defected] to the opposition PDP, effectively making the latter the majority party in the Red Chamber.
By sheer coincidence, I was in Abuja on Monday and observed some of the wee-hour meetings of that day, and the precursor to some of the events that unravelled yesterday morning at the National Assembly complex.
Now, I am not too used to gloating, but I am tempted to say: I told you so, Mr. President.
A few weeks ago, on this same page, I had written an article titled “Mr. President, you will still meet nPDP”
I had concluded that article thus: “In fact, I suspect that one of the reasons PMB is reluctant to see the nPDP people is that he suspects that he will annihilate the PDP turncoats at the convention, and make them even more powerless. But his political advisers must not forget that, after the convention, there is still an election. And we all know the role nPDP played in sacking Jonathan.
So, Mr. President, you should hold that talk. It’s for your own political good.”
Clearly, that advice fell on deaf ears, no pun intended.
But that piece was both a prediction and a satirical advisory, informed by the seeming arrogance of President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the ultimatum by members of the New PDP within the APC.
Cheered on by myopic, self-serving aides and members of a cabal who seem to have their brains permanently frozen since 1984, PMB refused to address a simple political itch (which was what the grouse of the members of the nPDP tendency in the APC represented), until it has now festered into a cancerous ulcer. An ulcer that, in one fell swoop, saw 15 APC senators defecting to the opposition PDP, effectively making the latter the majority party in the Red Chamber. A few minutes later, another 37 members of the House of Representatives also dumped the APC, with 32 of them joining the PDP.
It is a major harvest for the main opposition party.
So much so that even Bauchi, which is believed to be a more traditional Buhari base than Kano, now has two APC senators crossing over to PDP.
And that is in addition to Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the soul of contemporary Kano politics, also decamping. Funnily enough, it was only on Monday that PMB suddenly realised that he needed to talk to Kwankwaso.
Indeed, the chickens are coming home to roost.
Now, with two Kwara senators decamping, we can’t give any prizes for guessing where Senate President Bukola Saraki stands. Ditto for Speaker Yakubu Dogara. Add all that to the fact that there are many, like Sen. Shehu Sani, who have since served notice of their quitting the APC, long before yesterday’s exodus.
With every passing day, it is becoming clearer and clearer that PMB might be needing nothing short of a civilian coup to retain power in 2019. Unfortunately, even that ‘coup’ might also flop, if what transpired at the Abuja homes of Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday morning is anything to go by. For it appears that even the security operatives are on the same side of the battle line with us, the masses. Every new act of impunity and desperation on the part of the President appears to be irritating the operatives as much as it is annoying the rest of us. That probably explains why, despite all the security cordon at the homes and offices of the leading lawmakers, they still managed to find their way into the Senate chambers.
I think the time has come for the President to wake up from his fantasy slumber. The time has come for somebody to tell PMB some of the things he doesn’t want to hear, but needs to hear. The time has come for somebody to tell the President, if he is not already aware, that all those deceiving him about his soaring popularity are actually hatching a heinous plot to return him to office come 2019. And their plot has nothing to do with integrity and everything the President is alleged to stand for. It has nothing to do with whether we collect our PVC or not.
Mr. President, Nigerians are hungry and angry. No doubt, you still have millions of followers, but many of those still queueing behind you have either fallen for religion and ethnicity propaganda or are too scared by the real and imagined consequences of being seen to be opposing you.
But it is not too late for you and your party. For, irrespective of what de-marketing Oshiomhole and Ngige are doing to you, the PDP people have still not got their act together. But they soon will, especially if APC continues along this part of self-immolation.
But I’m not expecting the PMB camp to learn anything from this writing on the wall. In fact, like someone under the combined influence of Yoruba spells of Asasi and Edì, the President and his cabal will continue to make even more errors, as we head to 2019.
That was the reason Buhari made the recent comment against restructuring, a suicidal swim against the tide of national emotions.
Thankfully, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has given him the appropriate response to that gaffe. But that is discussion for next week.